New Australian War Memorial centenary logo ‘lacks spirit’ says designer

awm-logoA new logo from the Australian War Memorial (AWM) for its World War One centenary program has been criticised as looking like “it was put together in clipart”.

The new logo, a white silhouette of the Canberra memorial on a black background, was revealed earlier this week by the AWM’s director Dr Brendan Nelson, with the organisation saying it derives “from the history, mission and purpose of the Australian War Memorial” while also reflecting symbols of WWI.

Designworks Sydney creative director Derek Samuel said Designworks Wellington office has recently worked on the logo for New Zealand’s centenary commemorations, and described the AWM effort as “ill conceived”, adding:  “It looks like it’s been sourced from clipart.

“It seems a shame that for such an important piece that  it’s at that level, there’s absolutely no spirit of what that’s representing in that at all, which is a real shame.”

WWI NZThe Designworks logo for New Zealand’s commemorations feature a poppy shape, which the agency says “can also be read as an open eye, a target, a bullet wound”.

It is unclear whether the AWM used a design agency for its logo, or produced the design in house. They had not responded to request for comment from Mumbrella at the time of publication.

On the Australian logo Samuel said: “I don’t think it’s had any real strategic thought of how that works or actually as a system that can be used for the period they’re celebrating as well which I think is a real shame.”

“I think that with that they’ll have trouble expanding and bringing the program to life with the identity they’ve currently got.”

memorialThe logo was unveiled earlier this week at an event in which the memorial’s director Dr Brendan Nelson launched the centenary of the First World War program of events. It was projected onto the memorial for invited guests, media and the public.

Nelson said in a statement: “This is an opportunity for Australians to look back on this momentous event in world history, to understand the impact it had on our nation, and to remember the service and sacrifice of our First World War soldiers.

“The Memorial is a key commemorative body in Australia and is thus committed to providing a respectful and dignified program of events.”

The logo features the iconic poppy which the Australian War Memorial says is “a symbol of commemoration and sacrifice with a history tied to the Armistice of 11 November 1918”. Poppies are also synonymous with the Australian War Memorial, with visitors each year placing the flowers next the names of relatives and friends on the Roll of Honour.

The 2014-18 references refers to the Australian War Memorial’s centenary program which will run throughout this period as they recall Britain’s declaration of war on August 4, 1914 and the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

The text ‘Their Spirt Our Pride’ on the logo refers to words penned by Australian World War I war journalist Charles Bean: “Here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved; and here we guard the record which they themselves made”.

A silhouette of the Memorial dome and building completes the logo, tying the logo into the Australian War Memorial brand, according to the rationale.

Miranda Ward

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