Logo warping

Logo warping

Think of all the brands you interacted with today. Nearly everything you’ve done involved, enabled or was accompanied by a brand. The logos that are married to those brands — you know, the powerhouse logos that if tampered with are guaranteed to send the brand management team into seismic levels of risk management — are highly sensitive markings.

Trending forward is this growing desire to twist, tweak and warp big-name corporate logos. The rewards for those brave enough to enter the tweaked-logo waters are notoriety and even profit. 

The “You Took My Name” collection is painted on canvas by Dorothy, a group of British artists who strip famous logos back to their basic graphics sans any words. 

Taking away the written component of the logo makes the viewer contemplate where they’ve seen this design before, truly testing the amount of brand recognition consumers may or may not have without the wording.

Sweden-based graphics designer Victor Hertz is also into the modifying logo trend with a twist that homogenizes it with other graphics. For instance, fusing the Apple Inc. logo with Mickey Mouse ears, a disco ball or the rings of Saturn. Hertz pairs modified images with reworked slogans that parody the corporate motto. 

Overall, it’s a mixed bag, as some of Hertz’s reworking’s range from clever and profound to downright nonsensical.  

According to New Zealand-based designer HtCRU, remixing logos is a popular way to parody something to make it honest. Transforming logos with a Star Wars element is his forte, which is exactly what he did when he changed the Nike symbol into a light saber and used “Do or Do Not” as the slogan.

A series by U.K.-based logo designer Graham “Logo” Smith focuses on brand logos that have undertaken a creative change based on the visual style of another brand logo. In other words, brand identities with split personalities. The series switches iconic emblems and brand names such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi with one another to showcase just how similar each product truly is. 

I am certain this logo-warping trend will stir some fascinating conversations within legal, marketing and graphic arts departments. Although the logo reproduction trend is garnishing attention worldwide, artists are viewing it as good-natured fun. Most have adopted a general consensus that if your brand is big enough to have a remixed, warped, tweaked and hindered logo, be proud, because it means many are paying attention, and isn’t that what effective branding is about?