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  • Novus

BBC One's Apprentice Logo Disaster

The first episode of the new series of The Apprentice completely showcased what happens when you either:

a) Do a logo yourself

b) Don’t listen to your graphic designer

Starting a new business is incredibly difficult, and you often need to budget wherever you can; however, your branding is one area in which you should not cut costs. Your brand is a direct representation of the credibility of your company and it needs to showcase exactly who you are as an organisation.

As the only person who had watched The Apprentice, the next day I called the Novus team in to a meeting where I showed them all the following image:

The Apprentice Logo

This is the logo that the boys’ team came up with on this first episode of The Apprentice. It’s safe to say that three of them in the sub-team were really happy with the logo. The fourth, Harry, who was the one fired by Lord Sugar, wasn’t quite as happy, but in my opinion, his logo wasn’t much better:

Harry Mahmood Logo

The Novus team had a few ideas about the type of company/product the boys’ logo represented. The closet to reality was some form of healthy filtered water brand. Unfortunately, this wasn’t what the logo was meant to promote - it was actually meant to represent luxury health and wellbeing cruises for 50+ year olds (i.e. empty nesters).

I won’t tell you what happened in the episode as it’s well worth watching; however, there are a few ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ the episode effectively demonstrated:

1) Always put the name of your brand in the logo, otherwise people won’t have a clue who you are

2) Use professionals whenever and wherever possible, especially when it comes to branding and design

3) Ask people’s opinions from outside the room. It’s easy to get caught up in an echo chamber, where you know what you're talking about but the rest of the world doesn’t. Ask friends and family their opinion on your logo and see what they say. If you aren’t at that stage, do what we do: save it and come back to it a few days later after working on something else. If you still like it and feel it appropriately sums up what you offer, you’ll potentially be onto a winner.

The Apprentice sub-team that created this logo did not include anyone with graphic design skills/experience, nor were they experts in branding, so perhaps we should cut them a little slack. And, luckily, it was created for a fictitious brand.

That said, don’t make the same mistakes they did, and for the love of God, put your name next to the logo somewhere. You don’t want a potential customer pulling the face Karren Brady does here when setting eyes on your logo and branding!

Apprentice logo appreciation


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