Logo Design 101: Don't Berk It Up


If you spend any amount of time on the New York City subways, there’s a unique, common language you quickly come to appreciate — the argot of Poetry in Motion, the visage of Dr. Zizmor, the portent of Gregg “see something, do something” T., the witticisms of Manhattan mini-storage.

In the mix, there are no shortage of ads from local colleges and trade schools, subtle ripostes to the inner dialogue in many a weary commuters’ mind, enumerating all the reasons they need to finally quit that job of theirs.

Aside from its mesmerizingly dreadful logo, I know very little about one of these institutions: The Berk Trade and Business School. I mean, The Berk Trade School and Business? Wait, no, The Berk and Business Trade School. You pick. I don’t know. What I can say with reasonable authority is that this if there is such a thing as hell, and I do end up there, every store will be emblazoned with this white-on-red-Times-New-Roman travesty. Where to start? With the red backing oval that struggles (and fails) to contain the school’s inelegant name? The all caps serif font? The ampersand wedged into the recesses of the K? The random 90 degree turn of type, with a little vertical scaling thrown in just for kicks? It’s a design marvel and a landmark in the annals of the epic fail. Saul Bass, Carolyn Davidson, and Paul Rand are rolling in their graves (and one of them is still alive).

Oh, the humanity.

Oh, the humanity.