Friday, July 27, 2012

Logo Loathing.

Maybe they were trying to communicate that the world is a blank slate, quivering in anticipation of your color choice.  Or possibly, in a moment of branding self-importance, they believed that only their products give color and brilliance to the world.

Whatever their communication intent, they failed.

Had I been sitting in the logo approval meeting at Sherwin-Williams, which was most definitely preceded by 12 meetings with brand managers and the design agency so that final CMO approval would be quick and painless, I would have provided the following direction:

1.  If we're throwing environmentalists to the wind, as the paint on the globe suggests, let's just go for it.  Please add some batteries and lightbulbs floating in the ocean that hasn't yet been overtaken by paint.  And give the PR/CSR team a heads up.  Otherwise, start over.

2.  Must we go with red paint?  It looks like  our brand is responsible for a global genocide.  Nice work with the drops pouring off the bottom.  They really nail that message.  However, I'd like to see some different options.  I'm not directing the creative here, but purple implies royalty, which would be a powerful communication point about our brand.  Yellow is happy, as most customers are when they begin painting.  Green is an environmentally-friendly choice which may balance out the earth-destroying aspect of the paint. 

Please rethink the color choice or let me see the deck that outlines "paint genocide" as a pillar of this year's strategy.  Otherwise, start over.

3.  I know we need our logo somewhere, but it really looks like our brand is single-handedly ruining the earth.  Also, not sure if you noticed that it's upside down.  Is this a new trend in logo design?  Since it's our largest intangible asset, I just wonder how you came to the decision to flip it 180 degrees. 

As for placement, think about moving it from the paint can onto the earth itself.  That's a very strong message about our global presence.  If it doesn't work, please start over.

I don't know how this one escaped the guard of SW's agency Account Director and then finagled its way outside the corporate campus walls.

Have you seen any other advertising/branding choices lately that make you think the Leadership Team is high most of the time??


  1. That really is terrible. My first thought was "why is she including an image of the world covered in blood? And what the hell does SWP stand for?" Yeah...this was very poorly designed!

    1. That was my thought. too, when I saw it go by on a truck. I'm sure I've seen it before, but I noticed for the first time and thought, "would have loved to been a fly on the wall for those meetings." Someone thought, but didn't say, "Ummm guys, are you sure about a bloody globe???"

  2. Dammit lost comment. I am in an iPhone ban for comments!!

  3. It looks like war propaganda. Maybe there were no women in that approval meeting, because all I see is blood, just like all ya'll {all ya'll is a Texan plural of ya'll, you'll come to know it well}. Plus it reminds me of period blood and what woman wants to be reminded of that when she needs to go buy paint???

  4. I have seen that logo before!! Now I am trying to remember where and when, but it made me shudder and I even pointed it out to Darcy and said: that's a PR disaster waiting to happen!" You are not alone!