We've seen plenty of logo-based disputes over the last few years, with everyone from Kanye West to Apple fighting over supposedly similar symbols. It's rare, however, that we see a large company deliberately provoked – and even rarer that we see eight of them prodded at once.
Enter MSCHF. The collective which specialises in absurd and yes, mischievous, products and design has revealed perhaps its most controversial "drop" yet, which sees it deliberately misappropriate some of the best logos of all time. The team has targetted the likes of Coca-Cola, Walmart, Disney and more, and is openly inviting those inevitable cease and desist notices.
Titled Cease and Desist Grand Prix, the 'drop' lets users buy one of eight shirts that illegally use the logo of a major company. If your chosen company is the first to send MSCHF a Cease and Desist notice, you could win an exclusive MSCHF Grand Prix winner's hat. It's that simple.
The subversive shirts, clearly modelled on existing Grand Prix kits, feature either the Disney, Microsoft, Tesla, Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, Coca-Cola or Subway logo. The offending design is slapped right in the middle of the shirt, for that 'main sponsor' look.
Equally garish is the landing page, one of the cheekiest examples of web design we've seen for a while. From the rotating shirts to the ticker-tape banner declaring which companies have sent a C&D (none at the time of writing), the whole thing is almost as compelling as watching live race coverage.
If there's one group we can rely on to execute a trolling of these proportions, its MSCHF. Previous drops have included Icon Rewind, which brought back retro logos to your iPhone, and the hottest video game of 2021: Chair Simulator. But these seem positively innocuous compared with Cease and Desist Grand Prix. (We should probably take this opportunity to say that Creative Bloq does not endorse such mischief. Using logos illegally is very, er, illegal.
But it seems MSCHF isn't only in it for the mischief this time. A "manifesto" on the website tells brands, "You spend your days playing legal whack-a-mole with harmless and inevitable brand infringement. We’ve made a different game for you! Your C&Ds are used to shut down independent creativity, but now you have the opportunity to use one to participate in an actual creative endeavour. Get writing!" Indeed, if there's one notable omission in the list of brands targetted here, perhaps it's Apple – the company that recently went after a small company for using a pear as its logo.
It'll certainly be curious to see which brand ends up biting first. While we wait, why not check out our guide to logo design, a resource that should help you create something completely original (read: C&D-proof).