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TV show forced to scrap new logo after Red Cross steps in

Q+A
(Image credit: ABC Australia )

An Australian TV panel show has been forced to scrap its brand new logo after inadvertently (we assume) breaching international humanitarian law protecting the Red Cross emblem.

ABC's Q&A with Hamish Macdonald was recently rebranded as 'Q+A', with the ampersand replaced by a plus symbol. In the new logo, a red '+' was placed on top of the white letters, creating the effect of a red cross on a white background. This emblem means 'don't shoot' in times of war, and is protected to avoid diminishing its power and meaning. It's an extremely simple mark that conveys its message immediately, and even made to our list of the best logos (opens in new tab) of all time. 

The Red Cross

The red cross emblem, 1864 (Image credit: redcross.org)

Red Cross Australia told The Guardian (opens in new tab), “One of our team did get in touch with Q+A when their use of the emblem was brought to our attention. One of Red Cross’ roles is educating and informing the broader community about the protective significance of the emblem."

ABC swiftly changed the new logo on TV and social media to one that features a grey '+' on a red background (below). It wouldn't have been able to simply invert the colours of its red/white logo, as a white cross on a red background is also protected.

Q+A logo

The new, new logo (Image credit: Q+A on Facebook)

We've seen plenty of plenty of logo design crimes (opens in new tab) in our time, but few that have actually breached international law. Still, it only took a touch of colour tweaking for ABC to fix its mistake. At least it wasn't forced to scrap the rebrand entirely, as was the case with a few of our most hated redesigns of all time (opens in new tab).

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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).