Logo Design Love

on logos and brand identity design

How to create a sh*tty brand

shitty brand

Click image for larger version.

Contributed to Logo Design Love by David Brier of DBD International, previously featured for his Botanical Bakery work on Identity Designed.

Also by David, The branding pie.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

15 appreciated comments

  1. Wonderful graphic, great blog, good find. Thanks.

  2. Chris

    Nice :D Wise words.

  3. words of wisdom indeed!

  4. This article made me laugh! Great blog, I love it :)

  5. It’s sad because I’m working for a company who does those things exactly :'(


  6. Anne

    There are a few exceptions to these rules. A lawyer in Louisiana has the last name of “Lemon.” Now, what are you going to do with that?


    When life gives you lemons …… Call us!

    You have to be able to poke fun at yourself sometimes and laugh.

  7. What I think is way shittier is this: being scared of cliches (they exist for a reason, they are proven to work), not copying the successes of others (again, they are successful for a reason), and not listening to people who know you like nobody else does. If your edge is customer service, say it. Don’t worry about the fact that everyone says its theirs too. As they say, don’t borrow good ideas, steal them (when legally allowed haha, and giving credit is nice too). About my dog’s opinion the brand… Well, I don’t have a dog so I can’t comment, but I have a brother. And recently I had a great idea for my company, and he said: you know what, it’s not you. And he was damn right. If you don’t have a smart brother, get a smart friend.

    I have no problem with original ideas. But I think when you get to the point of actually being able to execute those ideas well and produce something worthwhile, you won’t need this kind of advice. Most shit today is produced by “original” folks. That’s because when you don’t have originality, you probably have at least something else of value. You can’t say it’s good just because it’s different.

  8. Jay Bob

    Ti’s but a crude stab at the design process by someone who’s could be better using their frustrations to rise beyond juvenile denigration. The sentiment does reflect a reality but I wouldn’t assume it’s ‘shitty branding’. A good designer shouldn’t have to worry themselves with issues such as this.

  9. John Lamerand

    I found this chart after a gelato company asked me to put the Italian flag’s colours into their brand. I tried to explain to them that cliches do not help a brand gain traction.

    Pick a colour, call it yours.
    Pick a shape, call it yours.
    Pick a font, call it yours.

    Tell everyone about your colour, shape and font.

    Then you have a brand.

    Adding your grandmother’s national flag is not part of that picture.

  10. If your brand fits into all the categories and you’ve answered your brief correctly then an awful brand is what it was always going to be. But if you design a brand that dabbles into the above categories without you realising I think it’s time for a rethink.

    Handy little diagram to let you check your designs and make sure you are steering clear of what you don’t want.

  11. Hehe, that would be worth adding a signature line, make clients agree ahead of time not to ask you to do any of the above…

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