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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Online, the 2012 National Day logo gets a drubbing

By Irwan Ismail | TMI

The 2012 National Day logo has received wide criticism since it was released this week, with cyber citizens and graphic designers saying it is the worst they have seen and not suitable for the celebration that stretches from August 31 to September 16 which is Malaysia Day.

The government eschewed the traditional logo designing competition this year, leaving the Information Department to come out with the logo which comprises words in different fonts, the Jalur Gemilang, the 1 Malaysia logo and theme “Janji Ditepati” (Promises Fulfilled), all using the four colours of the national flag.

“It’s not even a logo from designer’s point of view. Too many things going on in one piece — logo in a logo, so many fonts, no strong visual message, no hierarchy in typography,” said Imran Abdul Jabar, the founder of, a website dedicated to multimedia design.

He said a logo should be able to stand on its own without the addition of images, illustrations, effects and colours.

“That ‘logo’, or whatever name it is, is not even close to reflecting the spirit of our National or Independence Day. Such a disgrace to the pride of our nation, let alone our creative industry,” Imran said.

Graphic designer Muhammad Azizi agreed with Imran, saying that this year’s logo was an outdated design and lacked creativity.

“There are too many fonts for a logo design and a lack of meaning to relate to the theme. Those in charge need to consider opinions from experts in the design industry,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

To add to the diatribe against the logo, many also made fun of the explanation for the logo, which is available here.

In social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook, many queried Putrajaya for not having a competition as done previously.

There is even a Facebook group named “Kami Bantah Logo Kemerdekaan Malaysia Ke 55” that questions the tagline “Janji Ditepati”, saying it does not make sense and appears political. The Facebook page has 2,600 members and is growing since it started on July 24.

Activist Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir also weighed in on the furore, writing in her Facebook page that “obviously our Ministry of Information’s graphic designer just discovered all the fun of Photoshop and decided to bung everything it all at once…”

According to those in the commercial design industry, it is common for clients to make changes although initial designs are good enough but they are not sure what happened with this year’s logo.

“Local designers and design practitioners in Malaysia hope that the logo can be changed for the better,” said one designer, who declined to be named.

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