Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tepco logo - a future target for satire?

A logo is usually the primary face a corporation. If said corporation does something bad, like destroying an ocean or institutionalizing accounting fraud, the logo will stand in satirists firing line. Do a search for "bp logo" or "enron logo" in Google Images, and you'll find Landor Associates' helios symbol drenched in oil or Paul Rand's slanted E giving you the middle finger. I wouldn't find it hard to believe that the images mocking Tony Hayward or Ken Lay are outnumbered by those that mock the logos of their respective corporation.

Because of the ongoing crisis in Fukushima, the management of Tokyo Electric Power Company, who owns the power plant, has faced criticism, although I am certainly not the person to judge whether or not they should be blaimed. If they should, their logo is an easy target for mockery.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, who also use the English abbrevation Tepco, has a logo made up of six circles, five smaller ones which form a T and a larger one which surrounds the two circles that make up the "stem" in the T.

For anyone with some time one their hands and a little creativity, it wouldn't be hard to turn it into a mushroom cloud. I have not yet found any satirical images with this logo. I don't know why, but perhaps the country has better things to do than mocking company logos at the moment.

I've understood that the Tepco logo was introduced in 1987 and that it was created by graphics professional Kazumasa Nagai (born 1929). It is a common sight on the streets of Tokyo. There's lots more to see and read about the corporate identity on the site of Nippon Design Center (in Japanese). (archive)

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