Even the big guys can get it wrong - Nike offended Muslims in 1997 when the "flaming air" logo for its Nike Air sneakers looked too similar to the Arabic form of God's name, "Allah". Nike pulled more than 38,000 pairs of sneakers from the market.

Association for Women in Computing

Just what exactly is she supposed to be doing? Bowing reverentially, seemingly naked, in front of her computer? If she can churn out the Powerpoint presentations in that position, more power to her.

Monkeys in the Forest
Deep and meaningful philosophical musings. You could spend hours pondering over what it all really means. Then again, you could dismiss it as total gibberish?

Facial Body Remover
Ah yes, after a hard week slaving away at the office, there's nothing more relaxing than getting that facial body removed.

Ancient Chinese remedy, perfect for that over-excited boyfriend.

Bad translations

Hard to know what's going on in some of these, or indeed what the translator might have been on.

When brand names don't translate for the web

It's nice when you can use your existing, established brand name exactly as it is for your web address. But sometimes you might be better changing it slightly to avoid getting the wrong type of visitor.

Pen Island

Who Represents

Therapist Finder

Speed of Art

Go Tahoe

Computer Doctors

The US again. There's really nothing that can be said about this, except maybe .. HUH??

Arlington Pediatric Center

And nobody thought this looked a bit strange? From the US, it was pulled after a few months, a whole load of complaints and quite a lot of wasted money.

Instituto de Estudos Orientais

From Brazil, a nice graphic for The Institute of Oriental Studies. You can see what they might have been thinking, but really, what's the first thing you see?

Ank Air

Note to Turkey's World Focus Airlines - If you're going to re-brand with a name like Ank Air, think very hard about where to place the logotype in relation to the symbol.

Kudawara Pharmacy

Without the 2 "heads" it would be perfectly innocent, but once theres a visual suggestion that they might be people, the imagination takes it to a new level.

Norwegian sign

Spotted outside a toilet in Norway. Can't figure out exactly whats being discouraged here, but a few thoughts spring to mind.


This Swedish company sent Christmas cards to their customers and thought they'd give their logo a festive spirit by substituting a little heart for the letter "o". Harmless enough idea ... or is it?

West Virginia Basketball Team

Always proof everything before going to print. This pic features a subtle typo that isn't very obvious on first viewing, but is pretty embarrassing when you become aware of it.

Irish School of Motoring

From the dim and distant past before Photoshop - before the PC, probably before the car. The oldest working logo in the world, possibly, it's developed a kind of charm after all these years.

Clinica Dental

Slightly aggressive logo for a dental clinic, as if we're not scared enough to go already.

Kids Exchange

The importance of letter spacing, part 1.

Mega Flicks

The importance of letter spacing, part 2.

Publish IT

More how it reads than how it looks, a couple of full stops might have aided pronunciation. As it reads now, it wouldn't really inspire confidence, would it?



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What were they thinking?

Sometimes, the designer, or indeed the client, can get it spectacularly wrong. Graphic symbols that look like something entirely different from whats intended, translations that simply don't translate, or words and graphics that have a totally different meaning to another culture.

Being too close to a project, not researching the background thoroughly or just churning something out too fast to meet a deadline. For whatever reason, not giving it one last, objective look can lead to some pretty strange and sometimes embarrassing results. Enjoy these Branding Blunders from around the globe.

If you come across anything you feel merits inclusion, we'd love to see them.
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