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National Art Gallery logo saga: Here are three other corporate logos that were criticised

The iTunes 10 logo, a black music note on a flat blue bubble, was introduced in 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TECHNORATI
The iTunes 10 logo, a black music note on a flat blue bubble, was introduced in 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TECHNORATI
The original iTunes logo of a CD and a blue music note, which was first introduced in 2001, was replaced in 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TECHNORATI
The original iTunes logo of a CD and a blue music note, which was first introduced in 2001, was replaced in 2010. -- FILE PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TECHNORATI
The original Gap logo, which was introduced in 1990. -- FILE PHOTO: GAP 
The original Gap logo, which was introduced in 1990. -- FILE PHOTO: GAP 
The new Gap logo was introduced in 2010, only to be switched back to the original amidst negative feedback. -- FILE PHOTO:  SCREENGRAB FROM BBC
The new Gap logo was introduced in 2010, only to be switched back to the original amidst negative feedback. -- FILE PHOTO:  SCREENGRAB FROM BBC
 London 2012 Olympics logo was criticised as looking childish, and resembling a swastika. -- FILE PHOTO: LONDON 2012
 London 2012 Olympics logo was criticised as looking childish, and resembling a swastika. -- FILE PHOTO: LONDON 2012
The National Gallery Singapore logo has spun off parodies such as this, likening the two blocks to a Tetris game. -- FILE PHOTO: FACEBOOK 
The National Gallery Singapore logo has spun off parodies such as this, likening the two blocks to a Tetris game. -- FILE PHOTO: FACEBOOK 
The National Gallery Singapore logo which was unveiled last Wednesday has spawned parodies on the web. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE  
The National Gallery Singapore logo which was unveiled last Wednesday has spawned parodies on the web. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE  
The original logo for The National Art Gallery of Singapore was revamped along with its new name of National Gallery Singapore on April 2, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE
The original logo for The National Art Gallery of Singapore was revamped along with its new name of National Gallery Singapore on April 2, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE

Some say it is meaningless. Others dismiss the logo as unfinished. Memes were also spun off, with one depicting it as a bar graph.

Yes, the logo for the soon-to-be-opened National Gallery Singapore has been the subject of endless ridicule since it was revealed on April 2.

The minimalist logo features two simple rectangular blocks - one taller and narrower than the other. The logo comes in either red or grey. Credit of the revamp goes to home-grown design firm Asylum.

What was thought to be a belated April's Fool joke was actually the result of three months' worth of effort, Mr Chris Lee, founder of Asylum. Mr Lee defended his design, saying that the reductionism of the two blocks is open to interpretation, just like art.

"The two blocks are originally derived from the two buildings that are joined to form the National Gallery. It could also represent two platforms or two dialog boxes. Art should be a two way conversation," he explained.

While netizens bicker over whether the logo is abstract art or just plain ridiculous, we find three other logos that had also left many scratching their heads.

London 2012 Olympics

First unveiled in 2007, the colourful logo for the 2012 Olympic games in London was criticised as looking like something a child could draw with crayons. Others brayed that it resembled a swastika.

Yet there were those who said it spelled the word "Zion" in a pro-Israeli conspiracy, which led Iran to threaten to boycott the Olympics. However, this boycott did not occur eventually.

Sebastian Coe, the chairman of aid the chairman of London's 2012 organising committee, defended the logo, saying its vibrant colours and jagged design were meant to appeal to young people. "It is an invitation to take part and be involved."

Gap

In 2010, Gap changed its 20-year-old logo. The capitalised serif font, Spire, in a blue box was changed to one with 'Gap' in Helvetica, with the 'p' overlapping a small blue square.

The new design was blasted as cheap and tacky. Gap quickly switched back to its original logo a week later.

iTunes

Fans were outraged when Apple switched the simple iTunes logo in 2010.

The original design of a CD and a blue music note made its launch in 2001. It was replaced by that showing a black music note on a flat blue bubble in 2010.

The switch was to reflect the trend towards digital downloads, and the growing obsoleteness of CDs.

Users criticised the design as looking "amateurish". Apple founder Steve Jobs apparently replied in an e-mail to a complainant with just two words: "We disagree."

vthor@sph.com.sg

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