The new CIA logo is being brutally mocked

Our first big rebrand of 2021 has arrived, and it comes from a rather unexpected place. Instead of a car brand, web service, restaurant or retailer, we're starting the new year with a brand new logo from the CIA. That's right, the Central Intelligence Agency has unveiled new look – and it's already spawned a ton of hilarious memes.

The CIA's new rebrand includes a refreshed logo (below) which retains its predecessor's circular shape – and very little else. With its bold, black-and-white typeface and wavy lines, the internet is wondering whether the CIA has been taking logo design inspiration from techno music posters. 

CIA logo

Old (left) vs. new (right)  (Image credit: CIA logo)

The logo features on the CIA's new recruitment website (opens in new tab), and is part of a rebranding effort designed to encourage more diverse applicants "from people of all backgrounds and walks of life". According to Associated Press (opens in new tab), "while the CIA has been diversifying for years, intelligence agencies still lag behind the federal workforce in minority representation".

CIA website

A screenshot of the CIA's new recruitment website (Image credit: CIA)

Like many of our favourite website templates, the CIA's new site (above) is clean, bold and striking in its simplicity. But conversely, the new logo is anything but simplistic with those frankly baffling waveform-esque curves. It looks as though the CIA is about to drop the hottest (presumably top secret) DJ set of the year – something that hasn't escaped Twitter's notice.

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While it's admirable that the CIA is attempting to diversify its recruitment and target younger applicants, designing a T-shirt-ready logo feels like a step too far. We're not sure we're supposed to be able to imagine spotting the CIA logo in Urban Outfitters.

The best logos of all time are all truly unmistakeable, and judging by the amount of people mistaking this for a music festival logo, it seems the Central Intelligence Agency hasn't come up with the most intelligent logo. Let's just hope the CIA doesn't make the same mistake as the US Space Force and trademarks the logo pronto – there might well be a few plucky DJs with their eye on this one.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).