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Why Poor Logo Designs Should Inspire Us

I really wanted to cover the Cleveland Browns uniform unveiling this week. I really wanted to talk about some strawberry jam packaging that looks like it belongs on a Mumford & Sons album cover. I really wanted to spend just one GameofThronesday weeping in the corner and not spewing bile over my keyboard. But the Washington Wizards just won’t let me.

Full credit to user Go Red Sox! over at sportslogos.net. This was the original Wizards 2015 logo detail file (.png) that was released by the Washington marketing department a couple of days ago. As GRS points out, the new Washington Wizards roundel isn’t quite round, and there are slivers of red where there should only be blue. Do mistakes happen? Of course. SHOULD an NBA franchise allow a designer without a master grasp of the pathfinder tool handle their brand? Ehhhhh. 

In 2008, my mother “commissioned” me to design a logo for her boss’s philanthropic firm, and my novice self offered up a heavily-pixelated, cardboard-bland icon that made clip art look fashionable. But then, she’s not the NBA. And I’m a copywriter.

I’m not mad at the designer/team for serving a substandard offering, We’ve all been there before. I’m mad for every other designer who’s applied so much effort to their craft. The ones who get lowballed because, “my nephew is a graphic designer,” or, “I found someone on Fiverr who’ll make me a logo too.” I hope the design community uses this as a tool for good. I hope they point to debacles like this and state, “This is why you pay us, so mistakes like these don’t occur.” 

The Wizards will continue to print money, the designer responsible will never host this in their portfolio, and with any luck, the design community will rally around shoddy workmanship and uniformly declares, “this is not acceptable.” Because, you know, it really isn’t.

~ Chase Cambria, Jr. Copywriter, The S3 Agency


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