LOGOS: NEW MELBOURNE LOGO
August 2009
The following text is part of an article that
appeared in The Age on July 26, 2009 -
written by Tom Reilly
WHEN Melbourne's new  logo was
announced last week, critics lined up
to declare the futuristic M design
more  mundane than magnificent.

While the new motif left many
underwhelmed, taxpayers vented
their anger at the $240,000 cost of
the design and  the fact the company
behind it, Landor, was foreign
owned. Worse still,  its main
Australian office was in Sydney.

But some experts insist the M design
has merit.

"It's certainly not a disaster and
considering the amounts some
companies spend on rebranding, it
might even turn out to be a bargain,''
says the managing director of  Brand
Behaviour, Karl Treacher.

Certainly, it is less of a disaster than
London's logo for the 2012 Olympic
Games. While an AgePoll found  
two-thirds of Melburnians disliked the
city's new logo, the creators of the
next Olympic emblem managed  to
unite an entire nation in anger when
they presented the electric pink
geometric logo. Within hours of its
launch in 2007,  30,000 Britons
signed a petition calling for it to be
scrapped.

There are plenty of examples of
Australian companies that  have
been criticised for their expensive
rebrands.

In 1991, the Commonwealth Bank
employed world-renowned designer
Ken Cato to come up with a  new
logo and the result - which is still
used today - attracted "more than its
fair share of initial criticism'',
according  to branding expert  
Stephen Downes of RMIT.

"It is supposed to represent the five
stars of the Southern Cross but it
was famously described as looking
like a Sao
(biscuit) dipped in
Vegemite,''   Dr Downes said.

Melbourne-based law firm Maddocks
created a new logo which it said
"symbolises the flexibility, energy  
and progressiveness of the firm and
its people, as well as our diverse
practice areas''. But others described
it as  looking like a barcode. While
Maddocks refused to say how much
its 2002 rebranding  cost - only
stating it  "wasn't inexpensive'' - it is
likely  to have been far more than
Melbourne paid Landor.

Mr Treacher said: "Of course, when
you're a government or public body
people will say the money could have
been spent elsewhere or possibly
better. But in the scale of logos
$240,000 isn't over the odds.

"Consider that BHP Billiton was
reported to have paid around
$3million when they changed their
old symbol to the current blob they
use and, in the UK, British Petroleum
was reported as spending over  
3million to make a change.''  
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