A Designer Created a Service to Help Brands Figure Out If Their Logos Look Like Genitals

Ready to release your new logo to the world? Hold up a tick. Are you 100 percent sure it doesn’t look like ladybits or man berries?

Truly embracing the tenets of due diligence and risk mitigation, graphic designer Josh Mishell this week launched GenitalsOrNot.com, a satirical service that offers to spot the (hopefully) unintentional genitals in logos before they go pubic. Er, public.

“As with anything with which you are intimately familiar, sometimes it takes a third party to notice when something isn’t quite right,” the site notes. “If you’re unsure if your own design or the design an agency has performed for you has exposed accidental genitals in your design, hire us to perform a complete genital review.”

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Why Are There Errors in the White House Logo, and How Did They Get There?

The White House doesn’t publicize changes to its brand identity. But something fishy has been going on with its logo over the past decade, according to a design agency that worked on refresh ideas for the famous mark several years ago.

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Are Any of These Instagram Logos Better Than the Actual Redesign?

OK, so we didn’t like the new Instagram logo that much. But could you do any better?

That’s the challenge that DesignCrowd.com gave its community, and submissions have been flooding in from users. Obviously these are pretty quick sketches, for the most part—but do any of them strike your fancy?

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This Brooklyn Agency Made Its Logo and Brand Identity Out of the Partners' DNA

Agencies talk a lot about brand DNA. Well, this Brooklyn agency’s brand is its DNA.

Travis Weihermuller and Dominic Santalucia want their shop, lifeblood, to explore “what makes us human.” So, they did so literally with their brand identity—by having their DNA analyzed in a lab, and pulling sequences that were unique to each of them.

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A Fascinating, Step-by-Step Look at How This Trippy, Drippy Ice Cream Logo Was Designed

The process of logo design is pretty intriguing, particularly when a designer takes you step by step through the development of a mark. The video below is a great example, as Kath Tudball of design firm Johnson Banks explains the creation of a gourmet ice cream startup called Mr. Cooper.

The logo uses negative space to great effect, and also has a nice drippy quality that fits the brand well. But the mark you see above was the end point of a very involved process, which Tudball shows in great detail.

The video is longish, but worth it. Via Creative Bloq.

Jeb Bush Unveiled His 2016 Logo, and the Internet Shouted Unkind Things at It

There’s nothing more infectious than good old fashioned enthusiasm from a presidential candidate. And what better way to project that political fervor than by adding an exclamation point to your campaign logo?

On Sunday, John Ellis Bush, known colloquially by a snappier acronym, did just that in unveiling his 2016 logo. It sure is enthusiastic, capped off by an actual exclamation point:

Many critics quickly pointed out that the logo is missing his surname, though given how politically charged the Bush name is, perhaps that’s not surprising. (Hillary didn’t even find it necessary to spell out her first name in her logo.) And anyway, Jeb has been using essentially the same logo—with the exclamation point—for 20 years:

Of course, everyone has an opinion about campaign logos, and the Internet had plenty of fun with this one as well. Here are some of the best reactions from the past day:

I couldn’t help but join in the fun, too.

Watch 12 Famous Logos Evolve Before Your Eyes in These Mesmerizing GIFs

Unless you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail, or staring at your walls all day, or living under a rock, or running ad-blocking software for your eyeballs, you’re bombarded with brand logos all day long.

Here’s a fun and downright trippy project by the folks at Zing, who have taken some of those famous logos and GIF’ed their histories. The results are pretty neat, and you might just want to just sit and stare at them morph from old to new, over and over.

Then maybe go on a hike, but not after seeing them on white. Enjoy. 

Is Hillary Clinton's Campaign Logo as Bad as Everyone Is Saying?

It wouldn’t be an election season without a full-on Internet-fueled art-school-esque critique of a candidate’s logo. This week’s victim: Hillary Clinton!

Along with her campaign announcement on Sunday, Clinton showed off her new logo—a big blue H with a red arrow striking through it, pointing to the right. Of course, the Internet freaked out and issued a torrent of snark-laden reactions to the design.

Critics commented on everything from the direction the arrow is pointing to other logos it reminds them of (cough, FedEx, cough) and of course made some other super-tangential-oddball associations. 

What do you think of the design? Is it actually bad, or do people just have it out for Hillary?

And people got super weird too.

Watch a Calligrapher Perfectly Draw Famous Logos From Scratch With Pen and Ink

Remember when you were in middle school and you would doodle the logo of your favorite band on your Trapper Keeper? The Led Zeppelin logo, or Tupac’s face, or the Grateful Dead bears? You’d feel like a badass when came even remotely close to the original.

In that same spirit, here’s a series of time-lapse Instagram videos from Sebastian “Seb” Lester—an English designer and calligrapher who’s got some prettty impressive clients under his belt. 

Watch below as Seb magically re-creates the logos and marks of iconic brands like Google, Adidas, Star Wars and Converse with pen and ink and a steady hand. Lester says of his passion for language and lettering: “I find the Latin alphabet to be one of mankind’s most beautiful and profound creations.”


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 10, 2015 at 6:09am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 2, 2015 at 8:36am PST


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 22, 2015 at 6:01am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 25, 2015 at 7:35am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 19, 2015 at 6:18am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 15, 2015 at 7:47am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Mar 8, 2015 at 6:59am PDT


A video posted by Seb Lester (@seblester) on Jan 26, 2015 at 7:34am PST

Via Design Taxi.

For the Right Price, These Two Guys Will Add a Penis to Your Competitor's Logo

Ever wonder how the BP logo would look if its sunflower petals were replaced by penises? What if a phallus stood in for the “I” in AIG, or the slanted stripes of Adidas’ emblem morphed into dicks? Do you imagine giving Airbnb’s heady logo the shaft?

If such thoughts keep you up at night, you might want to check out Penised.com. For $25-$35, designers at the assuredly not NSFW site will add penises to your enemies’ logos. (Scrotums are strictly optional.) In its first week, the site has focused on corporate insignias, but its founders say they’re eager to handle requests of every kind.

I sought out the pubic pranksters for a hard-hitting Q&A.

So, who are you?
We are two buddies that work in tech and have decided to remain anonymous for now, as we do have day jobs, and we want the logos to be the face of the business, not us.

How did the idea for Penised—sigh—come together?
We have a side business building prototype apps for people. One day we were at the bar having a couple of beers and doodling some logo concepts for an app we were about to build, and we noticed a couple of sketches had rather phallic shapes to them. The more we drank, the funnier they looked, and we started joking about other logos that looked a bit dick-ish, and, boom!—the idea for Penised was born. Everyone loves a good dick joke, and we are no exceptions.

What’s the response been like?
We launched last weekend, and the site went viral on Reddit around Monday [March 16]. Our first 24 hours saw about 330,000 visitors, and our first full week about a million. We have been incredibly overwhelmed with how well it’s been received and how many people love the idea. Since every logo is chosen by the customer, it’s basically like telling a joke perfectly tailored to your audience.

We received over 1,000 design applications in the first week. We were shocked by how many people there are out there like us—getting paid to draw dicks is their dream job.

How many paying customers have you had so far?
We have chosen not to disclose sales numbers nor customers. Most of the logos on the homepage were made by our designers, based on logos we selected.

Are there companies you expected requests for, but haven’t got?
We tried to get some of the heavy hitters on the most-hated list (penised for the launch, before the push for customers), so maybe people just like the ones we have already done. We are shocked we haven’t gotten any Comcast requests. We personally hate them and are pretty sure the rest of the world does, too.

Which logos are your favorites so far?
My personal favorite is the Uber logo because of how subtle and elegant it came out. Shout-out to our designer Stephen Thompson for that one.

Are there any logos you’re just aching to turn into penises?
I’d like to see a real challenging one, something like Dick’s Sporting Goods. Something that obvious would be difficult to penis well.

What’s your view on circumcision?
We let each designer make their own calls about girth, cut and length. It’s really a case-by-case basis.

What does all this say about Western Civilization?
People are awesome. Organizations can be dicks. Often the organization runs the people instead of the other way around, and people are getting sick of taking it. There is really no excuse anymore for any organization to not being aware and empathetic to peoples’ opinions of them and to try to make those opinions positive. If you don’t, we are going to penis you.

Is there a company or organization whose logo you’d never remake as a penis?
We don’t really care if anyone gets upset or offended by any of our logos.

Any worries that corporate lawyers might order you to cease and desist?
We consulted with an attorney prior to this endeavor. Basically, if you look at our terms, all work should be considered parody and therefore should be OK. However, we recognize how litigious this country is and are well aware someone will probably take legal action at some point.

What’s next, vaginas?
We are still trying to get our heads around where we are right now. But with the rock-star design team we have as the heart of our business, we will definitely be erecting some new tools and working hard to penetrate into new areas.

Can You Identify All These Famous Logos Redesigned by an Artist Into Chinese?

Turkish artist Mehmet Gozetlik has created a fascinating study in iconography with his latest work, titled “Chinatown,” where he deconstructs popular Western-based logos and reinterprets them in Chinese.

The resulting work is an interesting study in the effectiveness of a mark, and a true testament to the indelible impression these logos have in our minds. In the video below, Gozetlik shows us a glimpse into his process of creating one of his neon-sign designs into an actual neon sign:

“Chinatown is a Chinese translation of the trademarks in a graphical way” says the artist on his website. 

“It’s a carefully arranged series of artworks showcasing 20 well-known Western brand logos with maintained visual and narrative continuity. ‘Chinatown’ pushes viewers to ask themselves what it means to see, hear, and become fully aware. ‘Chinatown’ also demonstrates our strangeness to 1.35 billion people in the world, when you can’t read Chinese.”

Instead of simply translating the brand names into Chinese, the logos include a generic description of the product written in Chinese. So, even for those fluent in Chinese, the logos appear somewhat unbranded. 

Take a look below at some of these interesting studies in branding and see if you can figure them out on first glance:



Shell Gasoline


Burger King

London Underground


Levi’s Jeans

Chiquita Bananas




Diet Pepsi


Via Design Boom.

Sonos' Brilliant New Logo Appears to Vibrate When You Scroll Thanks to an Optical Illusion

It’s not easy to capture the idea of sound through visuals. But Sonos has done so quite brilliantly with its new logo, which appears to pulsate when a user scrolls up or down—thanks to an optical illusion with the radiating lines.

Bruce Mau Design in Toronto designed the mark around the idea of amplification—thus, the radiating lines. But the designers only realized halfway through the process that the lines looked like they were emitting sound waves when the user scrolled up or down. Indeed, they say it was a “happy accident,” and once they noticed it, they worked to refine it.

“We didn’t know people were going to notice it so prominently,” says Webb Blevins, vice president of brand design at Sonos. “We’ve done quite a bit of animation studies making that more prominent, but I thought, personally, it was going to go unnoticed.”

Not exactly. Check out lots more about the rebrand at Fast Company and Brand New.

Via Design Taxi.

11 Major Logo Redesigns of 2014: Which Did You Love, and Loathe?

2014 was a busy year for logo redesigns, but who actually improved on their old marks?

PM Digital put together the infographic below showing 11 major logo revamps from 2014. For each one, PM says whether it loved the new design, liked it, or would have preferred the old one be left alone. There are some oddities here: PM likes the new Olive Garden logo, which was widely panned, and doesn’t like the new Netflix logo, which we felt was a nice evolution.

What did you think of each redesign?

Below the chart, check out some analysis from Roy DeYoung, svp of creative strategy at PM Digital, about each mark.

Roy DeYoung, svp of creative strategy at PM Digital, analyzes each new logo:

Airbnb made waves with its logo redesign. Whether or not Airbnb intentionally created a provocative and somewhat sexual image, the flat redesign did accomplish the challenge to communicate the brand’s overhauled messaging and positioning. The company named this new symbol Bélo to indicate a sense of belonging and connectivity. Airbnb no longer thinks of itself as a simple home exchange provider, but a global connector. Bélo aside, the company also cleaned up and contemporized the wordmark. We’ll have to wait and see if this redesign becomes as iconic and universally recognized as Airbnb is hoping.

Pizza Hut
This year Pizza Hut overhauled its menu and needed an updated logo to support the change. To capture a millennial and mobile-focused audience’s attention, and communicate its new, slew of customized menu options, Pizza Hut de-cluttered and introduced a flat logo reminiscent of a blank pizza pie covered in sauce, and awaiting customers’ personalized choices. While this is definitely a radical change, the restaurant chain still managed to incorporate their iconic slanted roof symbol.

It’s difficult to look at the new Hershey logo objectively as there is a significant heritage associated with its brand emblem. However, from a pure design standpoint, the new logo is far superior as it is cleaner, easier to decipher the hierarchy and will likely pop across a variety of devices and environments. In introducing a new logo, the brand also quietly dropped the ‘S, and essentially diluted ownership through this slight name change. Although, because of the historical connotations, it’s likely that people will continue to refer to the brand as Hershey’s rather than Hershey despite the new logo.

Coming off the heels of the World Cup, and the soccer frenzy it inspired in the United States, Major League Soccer needed to make a smart branding move to maintain interest and capitalize on the momentum of the global tournament. Their previous and outdated youth soccer patch-like logo was desperate for a more relevant overhaul. By introducing a crest as the face of the league, MLS is not only signifying that it’s ready for a new era of American soccer, but it’s also playing homage and leveraging the historical equity of the sport’s European roots. With this redesign, it took a complex, unclear illustration and added more visual integrity to the organization. Additionally, the crest will reproduce well across a range of environments, from flags at matches to mobile applications.

Foursquare completely changed the direction of its brand this year, and this logo redesign aptly communicates its new story. Now that Foursquare has siphoned its signature check-in feature to another app, the company is focused on serving customized local reviews and suggestions. The new logo is highly reminiscent of a pin you would place on a map signifying the company’s authority in location targeting. The brand has also graduated from its previous rounded, multicolored and playful typeface into a clear and commanding wordmark.

As far as the typography goes, the wordmark treatment is a nice evolution, eliminating the dated convention of all-caps. While I think Southwest needs to move away from the oversized jet, the inclusion of the heart is puzzling. The brand is clearly trying to indicate a position of customer first, but it doesn’t align with the brand. Southwest has carved out its niche in the industry by putting price first—and the strategy seemingly works for the airline. Travelers choose Southwest to get the best price, not necessarily the best flying experience. The updated logo deviates from the essence of the brand.

Reebok’s logo redesign offers a slight, yet contemporary, clean-up of the typographic treatment of its brand name. While the font evolution is positive, the symbol within the new logo is challenging. Although the previous logo shared undertones of Reebok’s competitors (Adidas and Nike), the new logo also does not feel completely original. The red triangle is reminiscent of both Citgo and Mitsubishi and will likely fail to achieve an instantly recognizable and differentiating status. Although introducing a color into the logo was a strong choice, this logo feels like a cop-out, or at least an unfinished product.

Netflix’s logo update managed to fly under the radar because the changes were fairly minimal, which doesn’t necessarily constitute diminishment. Netflix must have decided it was time to clean up as this update, and the elimination of the drop shadow, has introduced a logo that is tidy and unblemished. Yes, the drop shadow might be dated from a design perspective, but it gave Netflix’s previous logo a hint of nostalgia for the vintage, back-lit cinema marquees. In following the design trends of today, Netflix has forgone the subtle homage to classic Hollywood movies to usher in a new brand era.

Olive Garden
Olive Garden’s logo update was a long-needed move. The predecessor to this update was not really a logo, it was a sign. Now with the shift to a logo, Olive Garden can confidently deploy its brand emblem across a range of environments and screen sizes. Olive Garden also implemented subtle repositioning through switching out Italian Restaurant in favor of Italian Kitchen under the brand name. This update showcases cleaner lines and more balance, which will help make an impact within digital promotions.

Black + Decker
Like everyone else this year, Black + Decker went flat. The previous Black + Decker logo was iconic and ingrained within the mind of consumers across every generation. The updated logo is straightforward and painstakingly clean. Additionally, the company also switched out the “&” in favor of the more timely “+” sign. Black + Decker is completely on top of the design trends of 2014, but in favor of gaining a trendier status symbol, it may have ceded some emotional connectivity that identified the brand to so many consumers.

To mark the dissolution of its longtime marriage to Ebay, PayPal introduced a logo overhaul fit to usher the brand into this new era. The eye-catching overlaid Ps express motion and, subliminally, transaction. However, the redesign feels incomplete due to inconsistencies within the typography (kerning between the letters is slightly off). While this is a good step in the right direction, PayPal should reconsider another round of touch-ups to finish the job.

This Hipster Business Name Generator Is About to Become Your New Obsession

Forget all those sites that randomly generate band names, stripper names and hobbit names. This one could make you rich, my friends. Brooklyn rich!

The Hipster Business Name Generator creates a random combination of quirky nouns and drops them under a stylized X, with the requisite stylish dingbats and initials. The resulting names—such as Fox & Otter, Spyglass & Bean, Whiskey & Cake—are good for a laugh, especially when paired with icons of tiny rabbits, knives and muffins.

The site, which was quickly generating passaround among creative types today, seems to be a marketing effort for domain registration site NamesCheap.com, where you can conveniently book a site for your lovely new business venture. Or maybe the creators simply picked a booking site at random, though that seems unlikely. 

Try it for yourself and let us know your most fruitful combinations. A few of our favorites below.

Hat tip to my friend Paul Crawford for sharing this on Facebook, though to be clear, his agency’s not the one behind it.

Infographic: What the Color of Your Logo Says About Your Brand

Few design projects seem to require as much deep thinking as a corporate logo (some would say overthinking—remember Twitter’s tortured explanation for its new logo back in 2012)?

One of the most basic decisions for any logo, though, is color. And if you think color choice isn’t really that important, well—someday you’re going to be beaten up by a psychologist.

The infographic below explains a bit more about logos and their color—as well as the cost, value and evolution over time of some well-known corporate marks.

40 Brand Logos With Hidden Messages, Starting With the Most Famous One

You probably already know the story behind the famous FedEx logo and its clever use of negative space. (If you don’t, read this.) But of course, it’s hardly the only logo with a “hidden message.”

British plastic card maker Oomph has collected 40 such logos—check them out below. Amazon, Unilever and the Tour de France are particularly cool. How many of these sneaky messages would you have spotted without the help?

Note on the BMW logo: There is some debate about that one.

This Zigzag Logo Looks Crazy. But Given the Brand, It's Pretty Brilliant

Anyone who’s played squash knows it’s a frenetic game. Now, one British squash club has a fascinating new logo to match.

Melbourn Squash Club‘s new branding features a web of zigzag lines designed to look like a capital “M.” Created by Distil Studios, it’s meant to capture the spirit of smacking a ball back and forth against a wall with a racket.

The design studio explains on its site: “Avoiding generic silhouettes of players or two crossed rackets, our inspiration comes from every thwack, thud, squeak and sneaky drop shot to form their unique club initial.”

Distil creative director Neil Hedger tells Logo Design Love that the original sketch was pretty complex, and that the agency tried to simplify it—but in the end, couldn’t. “Some of the more simple approaches just lacked the energy of our original thought,” he says. “We kept much of the complexity of our first draft and opened up the spaces in between to help visual clarity. The rebounds from the left and right provide a much stronger form. We also put in just a couple of curved sneaky drop shots to break up the rigidity of the lines.”

Hedger adds: “To reflect a true squash match (and for animating the lines), we made sure the icon was formed from 2 continuous lines.”

Fast Company calls it “perfect.” For sure, it’s unusual and eye-catching. It actually seems to look kind of sinister, not unlike a mechanical spider. Or maybe “M” is for Mordor.

What do you see in this logo Rorschach test?

Instagram Users Are Obsessed With Recreating Its Logo, and the Results Are Quite Wonderful

You don’t hear a lot of users gushing about their social networks these days, but Instagram seems to be a noticeable exception—as illustrated by the recent trend of photographers creating artistic homages to its logo.

Hundreds of people having been posting their interpretations to the photo network, using objects that range from the obvious end of the spectrum—rocks, seashells, and candy—to the unusual, like axes and dog treats. Coffee cups are popular, as are lenses from actual cameras.

Many of them appear under the hashtag #myinstagramlogo. There’s a pretty astounding level of diversity and creativity in the mix, and all in all it makes for  a nice example of consumers putting their own stamp on a product they’re passionate about.

Some of the versions are quite abstract, though. Out of context, one might just look like, for example, an odd (if pretty) flower arrangement, or a pepperoni pizza.

So is this an official marketing promotion created by Instagram, or was the Facebook-owned brand at least behind the original idea? If so, there’s no obvious evidence. We’ve contacted the brand to find out and will update you if we hear back.

Check out some of our favorites below. 

Via Design Taxi.

Google Makes the Subtlest Logo Change in the History of Logo Changes

You didn’t notice it, but the design geeks on Reddit did.

Google moved the “g” right one pixel and the “l” down and right one pixel, one eagle-eyed Redditor noticed on Sunday. Apparently, this was done to fix a very slight problem with the kerning of the letters. As another Redditor pointed out: “The bottom of the ‘l’ and ‘e’ did not line up horizontally and that, my friend, must have driven some design employee crazy.”

Gizmodo wrote about the change yesterday, and got this statement from Google: “Great to see people notice and appreciate even single-pixel changes—we tweaked the logo a little while ago to make sure it looks its sharpest regardless of your screen resolution.”

Compare the two versions of the logo below, also via Gizmodo:

Infographic: The Evolution of 18 Major Brand Logos From 1886 to Today

Logo lovers, here's your Friday roll in the hay—an infographic charting the evolution of 18 big-company logos, beginning with Coca-Cola in 1886 and Pepsi a decade later, and continuing through the Yahoos and Googles of the late 20th century. As a bonus, there's a section at the bottom called "Did You Mean to Do That?"—showing some unfortunate logos, most of which seem to evoke images of pedophilia. Via Adrants.