Kuala Lumpur’s New Logo – No, it’s Not a Hoax, it’s Real

From the country that brought you the wonderfully catchy, forever burned in our minds “Malaysia, Truly Asia” campaign, comes a travesty of destination branding logo design.

The new logo, which has been mercilessly ravaged online and in the professional design community since its release this week, is bad on so many levels —the font that your grandmother used on her first first attempt at making a birthday with MS Word; the accompanying fonts from who knows where in the “I think these will go together fine” bizarro universe; and the drop shadow!

There’s also the slogan itself -well, the two slogans- hardly inspiring. A city of contrast and diversity? Well, it sure is swell that they provide equal opportunity to the people with no knowledge of design do their logo work. (Reverent applause)


A hoax?

So terrible was the final product from all the planning and money spent that a lot of people figured it was actually a clever joke designed to be an attention-grabbing publicity stunt.

“I really thought it was a brilliant hoax campaign,” said Vijay Anand, executive creative director of BBDO Malaysia, in an interview with Mumbrella.

“Where they put out a really bad logo, people pour their anger and heart out for it, then they reveal that it’s actually a fake logo which was designed to prompt a debate about how emotional and passionate we are about the city as the main theme.”


Sadly, it was not a hoax –just vintage horror.

And our personal favorite:

Mayor now walking it back

Speaking of the new logo at first, Mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, seemed quite proud of the effort:

“The work to finalise the branding took a long time with the feedback from stakeholders from the government and key players from the tourism industry. Everyone was consulted and it went back to the government for approval,” he said.

A group that included, among others, hoteliers and representatives from Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia. (Though likely not from the creative departments)

Following the backlash, however, the mayor told a press conference that it will be referred back to those who attended the Kuala Lumpur City Council’s (DBKL) tourism bureau meeting that approved the design.

“Fine tune it and all that, yes, yes,” he replied when asked if he planned on tweaking the logo before using it for promotions. “From time to time, we will improve on it. We are open to improvement. It can be discussed in the bureau’s quarterly meeting.”

Well, good. But probably better not wait too long.

Is it the worst logo in the world? Well, as the old song says, “Everything is beautiful in its own way.” So, there’s that.