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14 Unfortunate Logo Perspectives You Can’t Unsee

Every now and then, a major brand’s logo design generates a lot of buzz for all the wrong reasons. It’s usually just a trick of the eye that transforms the logo into something completely different. Sometimes you don’t even needing to modify the original at all; but many times there are unfortunate associations. And some of them can be hard to unsee.

So let’s take a look at some of the most popular that you’ll never be able to unsee.

**Be warned, the last few may be on the offensive side… 

 

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1.  Pepsi = Fat Man

pepsi fat man

Pepsi fat man [Image Source]

This is one of the most popular big-brand logo memes of all time. By simply adding a head, arms, and legs to the logo, it transforms into a fat guy with his gut hanging out of his shirt. This image became so popular that the artist started selling t-shirts of his version of the Pepsi logo.

Embrace it, Pepsi: You’re full of sugar, and we love you for it.

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2.  Alfa Romeo Logo : Dragon breathing fire, serpent eating a man, or snake with tongue?

alfa_romeo_logo

Serpent [Image Source]

The answer, in fact, is serpent eating a man – or a child, to be more specific.  It was inspired by a family coat of arms that the brand’s designer saw in Milan.

“The official story of the logo is that Romano Cattaneo was given the task to come up with a badge for the then new company, in 1910. While waiting for a train at Piazza Castello in Milan, he gained inspiration from the Visconti family’s coat of arms displayed on a door. It features a “biscione” which is a serpent eating a human child.” [Source]

Earlier versions of the logo were less ambiguous, depicting a much clearer human victim. The current version, however, has been around since 1972 and the source of trivial water-cooler debates ever since.

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3.  Walmart = Star Wars Galactic Empire

walmart_galactic_empire

Walmart-galactic image [Image Source]

In 2008, Wal-Mart went through a re-brand and released their shiny new logo to the world.  And while the aesthetics of the “burst” were met with the criticism you’d expect for such a controversial brand, the techie crowd recognized the design right away. And it spread from there.

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4.  KFC’s Stick Figure Sanders

kfc-stick-man

KFC stick figure [Image Source]

Much like the Pepsi-fat guy meme, this logo needed just a minor tweak to transform Colonel Sanders into a caricature of himself. Though unlike Pepsi, the outcome is perhaps a bit more ironic than apropos. Still, this one’s hard not to see every time I eat there.

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5. Google Chrome = Simon (the electronic memory game)

google-chrome-simon

Chrome Simon [Image Source]

If you were a child in the 80’s, like myself, you probably remember this game.  And if Google was trying to make the logo & icon for their web browser futuristic and nostalgic at the same time, they succeeded.  Or perhaps it’s just a subconscious warning that their product stops when you get too many tabs in. Challenge accepted.

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6. LG = Pac-Man

lg-pacman-logo

LG Pac-Man[Image Source]

In its original form, LG’s logo looks more like a face than anything else. But as soon as someone points out that it is Pac-Man, just slightly altered, that’s all you can see.

What’s more, when you see the transition in animated Gif form, it’s hard to believe this isn’t exactly what the designer intended:

lg-pacman-gif

LG Pac-Man gif  [Image Source]

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7.  Boston Market = Stewie

stewie-boston-market

Stewie Boston Market [Image Source]

Boston Market has been around since 1985 and their logo hasn’t changed much. But in 1999, along comes a cartoon called Family Guy. Thanks to their remarkable similarity in shape, whenever I look at the Boston Market logo all I see is everybody’s favorite cartoon baby with a football-shaped head. (And don’t say “Hey Arnold” because he was a 4th grader.)

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8.  Adidas = Sinking Ship

adidas-sinking-ship

MS paint drawing [Image Source]

It’s not exactly the most positive brand message one could have. Certainly not as harmless as turning the brand name into an acronym. Adidas has been using the three stripes logo for just about ever, but it only took a simple edit in MS Paint to point out that this particular version resembles the smoke stacks of a sinking ship.

Adidas brand before and after the riots

Cleaner ship art [Image Source]

Unfortunately, this little visual anomaly makes Adidas an easier target for critics during times of bad publicity. Case in point:

adidas-london-riots

[London riots screenshot]

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9.  Vans = square root of the answer

Vans_logo

[Vans logo]

If you hadn’t heard this before, you may never look at this logo the same again. No editing necessary.

It’s not hard to see, especially if you’re a math person.  And, I suppose if you do the math, it doesn’t exactly send the message the brand might want: why settle for less than the FULL answer?

But luckily for Vans, that’s not exactly going to be part of the shoe-shopping thought process.

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10.  Dodge Ram = Female Reproductive System

dodge-ram-uterus

logo [Image Source]

If the fact that a ram slightly resembles the shape of the female reproductive system in the first place wasn’t enough, the red color and detail of the Ram in the Dodge brand’s logo did it in. The similarity to the diagram of the female reproductive organs is simply too much to overlook. And once it was pointed out by a student at Columbia University, drivers of other truck brands couldn’t help themselves but share with Ram owners.

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11.  Dodge Viper = Daffy Duck

viper-logo-duck

Viper with inverted [Image Source]

This one doesn’t quite jump out at you like some of the other ones, but when you see it…it’s definitely there. Those who have trouble seeing this one, look for a black and white picture negative of Daffy Duck (in the upside down logo). See it now?

daffy_duck

[Picture of Daffy]

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12.  Twitter = Handicapped

twitter-handicapped-gif

Twitter handicapped gif [Gif Source]

The twitter bird is the main “logo” for the social media brand, but since the “t” icon is used so often as buttons across the web, it’s as recognizable as the bird and then some.

And it’s when you overlay the universal icon for handicapped on top of this icon of icons that you notice that it fits perfectly. A little too perfectly…

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13.  weighTWATchers

weightwatchers-logo

I don’t know what else to add. That’s unfortunate?

weightwatchers-twat-tweet

[Permalink to status update]

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**If you think that’s bad…don’t continue. Seriously, I’m not kidding, don’t scroll down any further.**

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14.  London Olympics = Lisa and Bart Simpson doing what?

olympic-logo-pink

2012 Olympics Logo

This ruins both the Olympics and my favorite TV show of all time. No matter how much I wanted to, I simply couldn’t leave it off this list. If you don’t see it right away, then scroll down. When you add color you get a clearer picture of what’s “going on” in the logo:

2012-olympics-logo-lisa-simpson

With color added [Image Source]

I’m really sorry….

Did you learn anything new? Which of these logo perspectives surprised you the most?

Expand Your Brand!

 



Todd Heim

Todd is the Digital Marketing Manager for QLP. He has over 10 years experience in marketing and can be a bit of a nerd about it. While Todd enjoys just about all sports, he would much rather be participating than spectating. He's also a bit of a movie buff, particularly B horror... If you want a decent horror/slasher flick to find on Netflix that you've probably never heard of, he's your guy. Connect with Todd on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Myrtle

    That is AWESOME!!!

  2. Jason S

    “Or perhaps it’s just a subconscious warning that their product stops when you get too many tabs in.”

    Nice

  3. Wash

    This is awesome. I don’t think I had consciously made any of these associations before.

    Also, seriously weighTWATchers, what were you thinking?

    • Todd Heim

      Yeah, that one is recent, too; and inspired this post. I actually liked the Weight Watchers logo at first. I was even about to do an entire article on the simplicity of it. But in my research on how it had been received and I found that tweet… So I wrote this post instead.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Roxanne Krause

    hahahaha! ive shown this around the office to about 10 poeple already. some obvious, some not so obvious until its pointed out. my fav by far: TWAT!

  5. Eric

    If I’m not mistaken, I think KFC used to roll with the “tweaked” (i.e., “stick figure”) version of the Colonel until the company realized themselves that it did, in fact, look like a stick figure. Fair enough.

    However…who spent enough time upside-down long enough to find the Daffy Duck resemblence in the Viper logo? Spiderman? And what’s he doing wasting him time staring at logos? He’s got crime to fight, Todd! Don’t let the man get distracted!

  6. andi

    Try the Kappa logo of two women sitting back to back. Looks like a woman giving birth with her legs all spread out.

  7. The Top Quality Logo Products Blog Posts of 2013

    [...] 14 Unfortunate Logo Perspectives You Can’t Unsee When brands pick out a new logo they don’t always consider all the different aspects of the design. And when it comes to these 14 logos, it’s clear that some people saw them far differently than the creators. Warning: some may be a little offensive. [...]

  8. Alberto Fumo

    I just dont know why iam still suprised with this, after realizing that the kappa logo is nothing more than a sitting naked woman with open legs… damn it

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