Monday, March 16, 2009

Wisconsin Bombs Rebranding

Large corporations aren't the only ones capable of botching a rebranding job. The state of Wisconsin unveiled their new logo today and there is only one word to describe it: horrendous. I have nothing positive to say about it. The font has nothing particularly appealing about it and that little flag thing in the middle of the W just bothers me. I expect it to be there for a reason and there's no apparent reason to it's existence except to make the W particularly difficult to decipher at a glance. The wavy N is just as distracting. Then the whole word has the distinct shape of unnecessary use of Illustrator's bulge warp tool. At the risk of sounding preachy, Illustrator and photoshop filters can be godsends or train wrecks and it all depends on your discretion in using them. The epic fail is when they're unnecessarily used to try to beef up an otherwise poor design (e.g. the logo above). It never works. Use them with extreme caution.

Beyond the bad font choice, the logo fails again between that tag line and the completely random silhouette handstand that isn't remotely integrated into the design. Both the silhouette and tagline look completely tacked on. The handstand has no real reason to be there, except maybe to illustrate the painfully generic tagline, 'Live like you mean it,' which ironically comes straight from Bacardi. I mean Wisconsinites like their liquor, but if you were going to steal from such an ad, 'Please Drink Responsibly' would have at least been a little more true to some of the distinctive characteristics of the state.

Megan and I are both native Wisconsinites, and having lived out of state I'm very aware of the not-so-exciting reputation Wisconsin has in most of the rest of the country. That's exactly why it pains me to see that this is the 'new' face we're going to show to try to ramp up tourism? Ugh. Wisconsin is much better than that.

As much as I'm sure this botched logo is at least partly due to decision by committee, I can't believe the state paid $50,000 for that slapped together looking logo and a ripped off tagline.

What do you think of the new logo?

13 comments:

suzanne said...

And it's interesting to note about the tagline being the same as the Bacardi one is that Wisconsin's state "brand" is 'Originality Rules'.

Real original folks.

Daniel said...

That really looks like a hoax to me, but I guess it isn't. How can a wonderful state like this come up with such a crappy Logo?? I spent a year there during highschool and it's just painful to see this to be honest...

Dana Severson said...

Oh wait, I get it ... that's not a person doing a handstand, that's someone doing a keg stand. It all makes sense now.

justacoolcat said...

"I'm very aware of the not-so-exciting reputation Wisconsin has in most of the rest of the country"

I totally agree with your post, but I'd say Wi.'s reputation with the rest of the country is more not-so-sane than not-so-exciting.

Zab said...

As a child growing up in WI I remember the bumper sticker slogan which was "Escape to Wisconsin" which everyone naturally cut to say "Escape Wisconsin"
There was one eager beaver (eager badger?) that made a new sticker "Escape Wisconsin so we can sin"

Which I did...

Christine said...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal published another article on the logo today focusing on the negative backlash and showing a few of the parody's people have created—including one of a guy doing a keg stand.

Jessica said...

wow. top story on Yahoo! right now.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090317/ap_on_re_us/rebranding_wisconsin

Roy said...

Sadly this is generally the case when design-by-government-committee is the protocol; can you imagine how many good ideas were most likely presented and then watered-down by pedestrian and territorial battles!

Christine said...

Roy, I agree to an extent. I think decision by committee did play a role in the failure of the slogan in particular, but I'm less inclined to write off the poor design to that. Even if the client demanded the logo to be a figure doing a cartwheel on the word Wisconsin, there are many much more successful ways to execute it. The design of the logo just rings with incredibly poor and not thought through design choices.

Even from a simple logistical standpoint it fails since it doesn't work small. At its current size on the blog some people have mistaken the cartwheeling figure for the letter 'x' or simply wonder what it is and what it's doing. Can you imagine how indecipherable the logo will be at 1/4 the size?

UCBlack said...

/me takes his cheesehead off in shame, Word Art?

Anonymous said...

there's no apostrophe in the possessive "its."

Megan said...

There's a Facebook group called "People Against Wisconsin's New Logo." It's currently at 357 members.

http://budurl.com/r6cv

Kyle said...

Bottom line... the logo and tag line are completely wrong for the Wisconsin state brand. This logo needs to be recalled or impeached so we can vote in a new one.