Does the Mini feature the ultimate car design fail?

(Image credit: Mini)

It's one of the most iconic cars around, but it seems fans are still discovering design details about the humble Mini. Despite being owned by the German BMW since 2000, the Mini continues to celebrate its British heritage, not least when it comes to the taillights.  

Redditors are only just noticing that the rear lights are designed to resemble a Union Jack. But while some are appreciating this nationalistic design touch, others are arguing that it is, quite literally, a glaring design fail. (But is it up there with the disastrous Kia logo?)

If you've ever driven behind a Mini at night, you may have wondered where the hell the driver is trying to go. That's because although the left indicator might be illuminated, that half Union Jack creates the impression of a right arrow, resulting in a tad of cognitive dissonance – just what you want on a busy road.

"We drove by one the other day and it looks both ridiculous and is counter intuitive when blinking," one Redditor complains, while another adds, "Precisely what goes through my head when I’m behind one of these. It’s pointing the wrong way and it looks dumb. The Union Jack works for a lot of design implementations, just not this one." And it seems there's no shortage of complaints on Twitter, too.

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Indeed, it hasn't been a great few months for car branding and advertising. From Audi's poorly received new rings to Volkswagen's hilarious unfortunate Instagram handle, it's fair to say a few creative decisions have gone, er, off-road lately. Still, for every illegible Kia logo, there's a brilliantly sleek new BMW design.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.