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The BP Logo: Emblem of an Evil Empire

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Pollux writes:

You’ve seen it in the news a lot recently. You’ve seen it online. It graces the sides of unsafe oil rigs. It’s the BP logo.

The sunburst logo debuted in 2000 in an explosion of green, white, yellow. The logo unveiling was accompanied by mythological references to Helios, the Greek god of the sun (and the father of Phaëton, who irresponsibly set the earth on fire).

Greenpeace rightfully mocked the logo after its debut. Margarit Ralev writes about an incident in which Greenpeace handed out fake copies of the International Herald Tribune at a summit in Brussels.

The newspaper included a satirical BP advertisement that proclaimed: “When we greened our identity, we felt confident that cosmetic changes would be enough.”

Corporate logos are tied to identity, but they reveal nothing about a company beyond the image they wish to project. Cosmetic changes are meaningless without management, structural and safety modifications that would have avoided, for example, the Deepwater Horizon disaster. When dictators come to power, they change flags, coins, country names, and city names, and care much less about improving the lot of their people.

Cosmetic changes are simply easier. It’s much easier to change one’s stationary than it is to reform Station 42872 (“Deepwater Horizon”).

And now the Gulf of Mexico isn’t seeing friendly sunrays of green and yellow, only an ocean of fire, gooey emissions, and dead porpoises. We don’t see sunbursts on the news, only burst pipes.

Star Wars’ evil Galactic Empire also had a logo:


Perhaps it’s time for BP to perform another redesign:


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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree