Service of Logos that Give the Wrong Message: They Don’t Communicate

October 3rd, 2019

Categories: Communications, Logos, Mistakes, Spelling

You can’t read some logos and others give the wrong message. One awning featured a spelling error. You’d think folks would take better care of these crucial and basic marketing tools.

Deirdre Wyeth posted on Facebook the logo above that advertised a nail and spa salon in her neighborhood. Its name remains a mystery as it’s impossible to decipher the script.

I followed a friend to a restaurant bar on Manhattan’s west side to hear jazz and as I entered, I couldn’t decode its name on the awning in the time it took to slip inside. The orange card–photo right–with its disturbing italic font provides a clearer clue [but is it Sugar or Suggr?].

I felt sorry for the bistro on the upper east side that the windows indicate didn’t make it. I snapped a shot of the awning [photo left] from the bus. The logo for “Le Paris” was OK but the owner of the supposedly French restaurant didn’t know how to spell bistro. Maybe the chef didn’t know how to make French bistro fare any better than the owner knew how to spell a standard French word.

The captions were as funny on the “Bad logos” post on firstwedesigner.com as the logos are faulty. For the dentist’s logo [above right] the author wrote: “That looks like a lot more going on than your regular cleaning if you ask me.” And another logo, for The Detail Doctor, stood out from the many on the website[below]. The caption: “Based on the sketch of this car, seems like this doctor needs a better understanding of the word detail.”

Do you think that poor logos happen when a business owner hires his/her kid, friend or in-law to save money?  Have you seen memorably bad ones?

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6 Responses to “Service of Logos that Give the Wrong Message: They Don’t Communicate”

  1. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    I don’t know about unclear messages but when I was growing up my mother would proof read signs as she walked. Then she’d go into the offending store and tell them about the error. I can’t say if any store owners ever fixed the mistakes. I’ve inherited her pickiness only I don’t run around telling people they can’t spell! I just mumble under my breath.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Helen,

    Giggling now.

    It’s hard to decide whether or not to tell a business about its mistake. If something easy to correct, why not? If a mistake on a menu that can be easily and cheaply reprinted, the harried owner might appreciate the tip. A logo, if posted all over the place, is another matter, though the digital world makes corrections easier and less expensive to make these days.

    [If reporting a behavior thing, the owner or manager of many departments or branches can’t possibly be everywhere and if said nicely, is appreciated by most. I imagine surveillance cameras help a lot to catch and curb bad behavior.]

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    I get a kick out of some of the spelling mishaps in otherwise dull logos. Some of these could be deliberate, so as to avoid lawsuits if a given name too closely resembles that of an already established enterprise.

    There is a weirdly named pet grooming parlor in the vicinity: “Bloomingdalz”, take or leave the “g.” It’s clear that it wishes to avoid costly threats from the department store. Similarly named businesses have come and gone over the years, with some glitches more creative than others.

    Some may have been errors, and not an effort to attract or amuse. Who knows? But regardless of intent, they provide entertainment on what may be a dull day.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    What a fun name–Bloomingdalz–and one that’s easy to remember! I will keep a lookout for business names that make me smile for another post.

  5. Martin Johnson Said:

    Logos like all art and communications need feedback. Sometimes that’s why painters work in studios with other artists so that they don’t create in a vacuum. I get my feedback from an art historian who lives in my development, Dr. Joan Lipton. From time-to-time my friend, artist and art teacher, Barbara Wasserman tells me what’s right and wrong. She knows. It all helps, but one can still make embarrassing errors. I recall that in publishing, we sometimes came out with egg on our face after the magazine was published. No one saw the “typo” or the page that “continued” but never could be found. Some failures are writ large, and the best of us fail now and then. Too often I finish a painting and think, “I just didn’t see that.”

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martin,

    You just jogged my memory about one of my most embarrassing moments in PR and it involved a logo.

    I worked with a graphic designer to create a logo for a new client. The client approved it and a trade magazine editor, [not you], learning that a plan was afoot, asked to run a preview before the official launch. I submitted what the graphics person had given me and my heart sank when I saw what appeared in print–only half of the logo. I can’t recall the technical reason for this glitch–or even if digital was involved or in its infancy.

    I contacted the graphics person and he fixed it so that anyone getting the art subsequently wouldn’t achieve the same horrendous result. I also wrote down and posted on my bulletin board the precise wording of what he’d done wrong so that in collaborating in future with other graphics folks, [never again him], I could say, “and please be sure that blah, blah, blah is thus and such so we see both sides of the image when a magazine or newspaper print it.”

    That particular error never again happened to me.

    If I have the time and I’m able to re-read copy the next morning for a client or for this blog before presenting it for approval or posting it, I often shock myself at some of the clumsy wording and blatant typos or missing words. I try to have at least an hour to let it rest–like dough! May I assume that you can fix a painting–depending on the medium–[maybe not watercolor] as I can copy?

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