Hall of Shame

My picks for some pretty God-awful branding decisions, along with my usual blithering, witty commentary.

Prior to being obliterated by the Korean government, Daewoo was on pace to challenge Hyundai as  a legitimate competitor in the entry-level import car world. Daewoo did have something going for it that no other car company had, however, and that was its jock strap logo. Seriously, what else can this thing be? Thongs? Perhaps. In any event, Daewoo went the way of the white buffalo 10 years ago falling victim to low quality exports. Having undergarments represent the company probably didn’t help much either.

As much as it pains me, the classic Tampa Bay Lightning (my team since day one)logo is, in terms of design, awfully flawed. Where do we start? Well, the bolt attempts to achieve a 3D look, but doesn’t quite pull it off without looking like clipart first. The logo as a whole is lopsided to the left thanks to the word “Lightning” extending from the right. My guess is the designer was simply trying to balance things out. Also, brush script (Reporter Two) combined with a sans serif block font is akin to wearing two different plaids at the same time. I don’t even want to get into how the complexities of this logo make for some unruly embroidery jobs. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the new Bolts logo is beautiful. Love it.

The old HD DVD mark isn’t horrible, I just have a bone to pick with designers who take an existing, and very recognizable flag and tack something onto it. The result here is somewhat amateurish. If you divided the logo in half vertically, you’d just about have two different logos that could stand on their own. The whole HD DVD logo concept just seems rather uncreative, unlike the original DVD logo.

Oklahoma City Thunder, what is going on here? I’m not really sure where to begin, so I’ll just choose arbitrarily and then go from there. You’d think after electing to use five colors to brand your team you could come up with something a little more clever than this. What does thunder have to do with two upward sweeping lines, or a basketball offset in a pregnant triangle? I shudder to think at what it cost the OKC franchise for this turd. Here’s the thing. Several business (in this case I’ll stick with sports) have come up with far more original and profound creations for branding teams whose names are all-encompassing, singular, yet plural at the same time. Teams like the Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Nationals/Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, Utah Jazz and so on have managed to take the road less traveled and done a fantastic job branding themselves. Teams like the Atlanta Falcons or the Miami Dophins have something tangible to work with – in this case falcons or dolphins. That’s easy. But when you take something abstract like lightning, jazz, avalanche or thunder and name your team after it, you had better come up with something brilliant, or at the very least something that makes sense. In the case of OKC Thunder, you very well could have replaced the word “Thunder” with Oilers, Roughnecks or Sky. I’m not suggesting those as names, rather, simply pointing out that the logo doesn’t convey any real meaning, let lone thunder. Back to the drawing board I say, before people realize there’s actually an NBA team in Oklahoma City.


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