31 May 2010

[logo design] BP Logo Satire - Beyond Petroleum Logos

2424.The relentlessly-unfolding BP-Deepwater Horizon environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico influences minds and the public discourse in unpredictable ways. And, in the case of graphic designers, they unleash a humor as dark as the crude that's invading the Gulf waters.

Greenpeace UK is holding a competition called "Behind the Logo", an agitprop effort to come up with a new version of the now-somewhat-awkwardly tagged BP logo that more accurately, they feel, reflect what they see as, if not the company's vision, suggestive of what they feel the company's vision may result in.

Interestingly enough, the competition wasn't brought on by the Deepwater Horizon disaster but BP's effort to develop Canadian tar sands. It has, however taken a turn in that direction, and given the outlook, how could it not have?

The Beyond the Logo competition's Flickr stream is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceuk/sets/72157623796911855/, along with a link to the contest for those so inclined to find out about it (If you're a USAian, I doubt you're eligible for entry, but who knows?). Also, I'll remind the less left-leaning amongst my reader that this is Greenpeace, and if they've irritated you in the past, they won't make you any less mad here.

But the Gulf of Mexico tragedy is so remarkable ... who can tell what anyone thinks anymore? Maybe you just like your thoughts challenged about such a thing. Herewith, a selection of the ones that caught my eye.

They go from the obvious:

... and ...

This image suggests what the maker thinks perhaps what the energy company is selling the public:

Others combine wordplay and juxtaposition:

Still others are cheeky and abstract:

And it was a matter of time, I think, before someone came up with something downright nasty:

... those who understand what the word "goatse" means will get this joke. Those who don't, count yourself lucky. Don't put "goatse" in teh Google. You will regret it. No, I'm not actually daring you here. I'm serious.

And, they didn't forget the retro:

And this one just made me say "wow":

Another listing is available via TwistedSifter here: http://twistedsifter.com/2010/05/funny-creative-bp-logos-competition/. Has several from the flickr stream and some I didn't see there.

Interesting times, mah peoples.

Once again, the link to the Greenpeace UK flickr stream is http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceuk/sets/72157623796911855/.

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Kevin Allman said...

Sam, we in New Orleans have been impressed with the creativity of Greenpeace UK -- but this homegrown sign at yesterday's protest in New Orleans, I think, beats them all in both cleverness and shock value:


(last sign on page)

Ira Nayman said...

I have also created a mock British Petroleum logo. It can be found at:


It may not be as sophisticated as some of the designs you have reproduced on this page, but it is embedded in an article that takes a highly satirical view of the oil spill. In the context in which it is set, I think it works well.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@Kevin: Thanks for the pointer. I was wondering what made those two silhouettes so familiar ...

Then I remembered. It was Eddie Adams's famous photo from Feb 1st, 1968 ... taken in what was then called Saigon:


That is witty in the dark, dark way. Scary.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

@Ira Nayman: Clever, like water, is where you find it. The image is indeed embedded within a very acerbicly witty and sarcastic context that allows me to laugh at and dread the disaster in a single thought, which is no mean feat.