Some logos should never have seen the light of day, and designers will be hyper-aware of the mistakes that litter the designs we see every day. Typography mismatches, ambiguous images – the list of potential design fails is endless, leaving designers itching to tweak and redesign what they see.
Emanuele Abrate began 'fixing' the worst logos he had ever seen for his project: 'Worst Logos Ever Redesigned'. He chose nine of the most badly designed logos he could find (and truly, some of these designs are hilariously, and famously, bad – they definitely could have benefited from our logo design rules), then analysed the problems with the original logos, and set to work making them better.
One thing the project has shown us is just how many logos contain a very specific unfortunate resemblance. What is going on in the design world?
Kicking things off is a hilarious example of ambiguous imagery, from Instituto de Estudos Orientais. We're sure there isn't a designer in the land who hasn't wanted to get their hands on this one, and we're happy to report it's been tackled here.
As Abrate describes on his Behance page, though the shapes of the image are essential and simple, there's too much going on (as well as the obvious, and unfortunate visual connotations, of course). Abrate simplified the design, working with negative space, aligned the typography and switched it to a sans serif to 'better match the symbol'.
The original Computer Doctors' logo is a hot mess, with confusing typography, and a flaccid, almost-but-not-quite-computer mouse interrupting the key word. As Abrate says, 'nothing could be saved of this design', so he went for a totally new concept – with clean typography and a clever use of negative space to create a medical cross.
What is it, exactly, that Mama is baking here? And where? Something is on fire, and it ain't the design. This is another example of a logo famous for ambiguous imagery and most designers probably have a bunch of ideas for how it could be transformed.
Abrate 'decided to start from the figure of the oven mitt as an iconic symbol: an oven mitt that joins the figure of the heart to convey the sense of love and passion.' He also modernised the use of colour, and used a rounded, friendly font.
There are six more examples to explore over on Abrate's Behance page, including well-known and not so famous designs, plus mock-ups showing the logos in situ on products and business cards. Redesigning logos is a great creative exercise, and finding your own angle for approaching a redesign project creates more interest – like these coronavirus logos.
Not only is a project like this a fun way to flex your creative muscles, it's also a fascinating problem solving exercise and a provides a welcome challenge to see how you measure up against other pros. Plus, it's a creative way to flaunt your design skills and personal style. Would you have approached these designs in a different way?