A fatter McDonalds logo? A caffeinated bitchy Starbucks logo? What would famous logos look like if they really were affected by the products they sell?
Italian designer Marco Schembri recently made a provocative series about logos and their effects on consumers.
“For work, I always spend my time going around the web looking for trends and so on,” said Schembri from his home in Malta. “I was spending my weekend searching for articles and I found one on the food damages. Later on I “met” the McDonald’s logo and immediately I thought that logo was very skinny—it was a paradox, considering how fat people become after eating their products. So I decided to modify it by myself just to laugh. The rest of the story you can imagine.”
That led Schembri to doing a series of 10 logos, like fuzzing out the ABSOLUT vodka logo into how one might see it under the influence of alcohol, to putting the Durex logo inside of a condom.
Schembri’s approach is simple; he says he speaks as a product designer. “When you design something, you always start from the brand to develop a product as close as possible to the company family feeling,” he said. “This means at least 80% of the products in the market need to reflect the brand. What happens is the brands are also usually conditioned by the product image.”
A few others include a Nestle chocolate logo covered in pimples and a Zippo logo charred with smoke. Even though his playful approach can come across as critical, that wasn’t the plan.
“The idea was not to attack the brands but to create something funny,” he said. “Funny things make people smile and when people are happy they are also more inclined to share or comment—this is what this social era is teaching us, to give an emotion is the most important thing, never mind if its positive or negative, the important thing is to make people feel something.”
He feels it’s important to comment on consumption through design. “I think people in general never like to read ‘technical informational stuff’ and the key could be to give them a message, by using a funny way to make them think about something which is very important.”
The series can still be seen as critical of consumption—and specifically the consumption of edible products, like fast food. “Smoking and drinking can be dangerous but not like eating the wrong way,” said Schembri. “A wrong diet can slowly ruin your life.”
But what about Schembri? After making a comment on all the products and their logos, does he eat McDonalds and drink Starbucks coffee? He is, after all, personally connected to the brands. “I’m not addicted,” he said. “But yes, sometimes it’s the fastest way to eat when you travel a lot.”