The brand logo is the face of the company. You see a logo and if you it appeals you, you might consider going out on a date with it. A logo that causes you to make a face belongs to a company going home alone for the evening. Some logos are so great that they become works of art. Others make it onto a list of the top 10 worst brand logos ever. Like this one.
Table of Page Contents
Here are the Top 10 Worst Brand Logos Ever
10. Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos do not exist as a Major League Baseball team anymore and that is certainly a mercy killing if ever there was one. The only thing more excruciating than watching the Expos play baseball was trying to figure out their logo. Of course, the problems with the logo was not help by the inadvisable choice of a team nickname. Just because Montreal had hosted a World Exposition (more commonly known as a World’s Fair) was no reason to name the first Major League Baseball expansion outside the United States after it.
After all, it is not like Montreal had an exclusive claim to hosting a World Exposition. Perhaps the incomprehensible logo was unavoidable under those conditions. The meaning of the Expos logo was utterly incomprehensible to most fans. Was it a “D” and a “B” and if so what did that mean? Maybe that funky “D” was actually a combination of “E” and “L.” But that “ELB” made as little sense as “DB.”
Just what was the Expos logo, anyway? Turns out that the first letter was an “E” after all and, yes, the other side was a “B” and these stood for Expos and Baseball. The bulk of the logo was intended to be an “M” linking the other two letters together standing for, of course, Montreal. Even when you know what it is supposed to be, it makes no sense.
9. Sony Vaio
In the world of tech geekhood, the Sony Vaio logo stands as one of the most creative ever. According to them, Vaio is a subtle manifestation of how the old world of analog and the insurrection of the digital age can be integrated into a visual dynamic. The “V” and “A” are representative of an analog wave while the “I” and “O” are, of course, bring the binary background of digital to life. All of which is perfectly fine if you get it. The problem being that most don’t and therefore the Vaio looks more like a strange Druidic rune from the ancient past than the offspring of modernism and old school.
8. Olive Garden
Specifically, the 2014 makeover, although to be perfectly honest a makeover was definitely in order as the Olive Garden logo has always been numbingly lacking in character. At least the old logo had grapes and a font that doesn’t look like it something drawn by the CEO’s 8 year grandchild. What was merely lacking identity before is lacking all sense of character now.
Not just one of the top 10 worst brand logos ever, but one of the most reprehensible. You know that green and yellow flower-looking thingie that is the logo British…Petroleum? It is officially called Helios, after the Greek god of the sun. The whole logo is intended to remind customers who buy their gasoline of the massive energy of the sun. You what know what the sun is, right? That massive ball of energy that could supply boundless and incredibly cheap energy to billions if only oil companies like BP didn’t obstruct every serious attempt to get to that energy and, in the process take a chomp out of their crude profits.
6. Taco Bell
Not that they have much to work with, right? Only a food item in the company name and all things Mexican to choose from. Instead, they go with the obvious. A bell. And while we’re on the subject, just who calls a Mexican restaurant Taco BELL anyway? And if you do, shouldn’t you use the bell to entice. As in a dinner bell? But no, nothing of the sort. Just a bell. For seemingly no reason. The whole premise seems like it somehow got mixed up in the printing process and they decided not to bother correcting it.
One of the most famous brand logos of all time is that belonging to Lacoste. Who hasn’t seen their crocodile logo? Recognizable as heck and iconic, so how it could possibly be one of the top 10 top worst brand logos of all time? The answer is simple. Because the Lacoste logo is just so darn stupid. What in the name of all that is holy does a dangerous animal like a crocodile have to do with representing a clothing company famous for making country club-style clothing preferred by country-club style personalities. If Lacoste made clothing for adventurous types, it would be an adequate logo. But they make clothing for preppies!
Specifically, the Reebok logo that in which the company name perched above a red geometric shape which was piercing through a white geometric shape. Would love to be able to describe accurately what those shapes are or were intended to represent, but who knows? Reebok shoes were already mind -bogglingly popular considering that they tended to last about two months before coming part at the seams. Hey, maybe that’s what the white shape represents: the seams coming apart on pair of sneaker!
According to legend verified as fact, Snapchat’s logo actually has a name–Ghostface Chillah (based on Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan), is a ghost to represent the “There, then gone” nature of their photo sending service. Two problems here, the first being that it is never a good idea to pull a pop culture zephyr into your branding design. Just ask anyone who ever worked “O.J” into their own design. Secondly, it really doesn’t look much like a ghost, does it? Actually, it looks more like a squid. Actually, it looks more like that tentacle-face Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.
So…that checkmark…that’s supposed to stand for something, right? Anybody got a guess why the word “Verizon” is always accompanied in some way by a red checkmark placed somewhere nearby? The only time it ever looks cool is when it is on a black background and the letters below are white except for the red “Z.” Even then, it means nothing.
The best logos tells us something about the brand or else create a visual image that automatically links those elements with the company even when they are seen outside the logo. The checkmark is not doing. Time to revamp Verizon…before your recent takeover talks makes you the latest victim of the Curse of Yahoo!
Perhaps it merely takes a truly dreadful company to make a truly dreadful logo out of nothing but letters. But therein lies the misery. Fresh from stealing their name from Jonathan Swift, the company then promptly set to creating and tweaking a series logos that did nothing to allude to the literary inspiration behind the brand’s name. Making matters worse is that not only did the logo of Yahoo! Never reference the sub-intellectual humanoids which Gulliver came across in his travels, it didn’t even try to insinuate what the company was or did or dreamed of.
Nothing but letters with—the final insult—the subsequent addition of an exclamation that was never anything but an exclamation. To be fair, in 1996 the company rolled out a logo featuring an abstract drawing of a figure who seemed to be celebrating with a “Yahoo!” yell that was actually very cool. Yahoo! being Yahoo!, of course, it lasted but briefly before the company commenced a long, long journey of minor tweaks of the worst brand logo ever since it tells you absolutely nothing at all about what the brand is.
Some logos you never forget. They get imprinted on your mind at an early age and can even get you all nostalgic when you see them. Others are dreadful reminders that evil may still exist in the world. The important thing to remember is that as painful as some logos may be to look at, you are still in power. Just look away. If enough people start looking away from the worst logos, those brands just may get the hint and reform, redesign or even start over fresh.