I’m not a branding expert, nor have I ever worked in advertising (perhaps Meghan or my sister can help with this), but it’s my humble belief that a lot of the green logos out there suck. It’s not as though hippies have bad taste — there are tons of slick, eco-friendly designs and products out there; it only takes one look through Treehugger to find proof — but my theory is this: Bureaucrats always have bad taste (have you ever seen an eye-catching federal budget? Didn’t think so), so when government officials take control of green legislation, it’s never pretty.
Want more evidence? Here:
First up, we have the new logo for the Canada Organic Regime. This is the sticker that will appear on everything that is at least 95% organic, according to new regulations, which kick in sometime in June:
I can’t figure out what’s worse, the design or the name. Is a regime ever a good thing? And I’m sure the folks in Quebec will love the fact that the French “Régime Bio-Canada” appears upside-down.
Thankfully, a lovely Torontonian named Allison Carter has taken some initiative by offering a great rebranding of this whole campaign, which you can view here.
But even worse than a bad logo is a bad mascot — Foodland Ontario has a mediocre yet recognizeable brand, but attempting to render its simplistic Trillium logo into human-sized Muppet has only led to an awkwardly generic, asparagus-looking creature, not to mention possible copyright infringement with the Jolly Green Giant. See below:
If you think that’s bad, then you might want to shield your eyes from this next dude — he’s the new mascot for Toronto Environment Volunteers, but he looks as though he just walked off the set of Lord of The Rings:
And yet, considering the previous TEV mascots included a compost bin and a life-sized stack of newspapers made out of foam, the tree might actually be an imporovement.
Now, while my American friends are probably thinking this is an issue that doesn’t involve them — a mere side effect of some lacklustre Canadian design scene grounded in bilingualism and Group of Seven rip-offs — well, they need to think again. Let’s take a look at the United States Department of Agriculture’s logo for its certified organic produce:
Bo-ring. And when you see it at print-size, which is less than an inch in diameter, you can’t even notice those diagonal lines suggesting a farm scene. Why couldn’t there be something fun here? Like a sun and a rainbow? And organic kittens?
In fact, out of all the organic/sustainable/eco-friendly logos out there, the only half decent ones I can think of are the newly revamped Fair Trade logo and the somewhat Starbucks-ish Rainforest Alliance logo:
What do you guys think? Why are green logos so dull? Should we not be excited whenever we see a symbol of organic food or fairly traded coffee, not bored and underwhelmed? And who gets commissioned to design these things anyway?