Hanging on a leaf

Let's play a little game called "find the similarities". When it comes to logo design, this game should be hard, as originality and creative features and elements should be key to designing a logo.

Romania Tourist Brand. Explore the Carpathian Garden

istockphoto: 6073738

Change transportation logo

Lots of press people and designers have played the little game and find it too easy given the similarities between the newly launched Romanian tourist brand visual identity, a UK transport company and a stock logo available for purchase online.

The main element, the famous leaf now, of the Romanian tourist brand visual identity and that of the UK transport company or the stock logo presented above are beyond similar. They seem to be identical copy cats.

Given the creative concept  of the Romanian tourist brand "Explore the Carpathian Garden" the use of a leaf as a main element seems to be the obvious choice. I mean if it is a garden, it must have leaves, right. Right. That is exactly the point. Should we use an obvious element that doesn't bring anything new in terms of design and call it creative?

I call it simply carelessness from the part of the company that designed the logo. When you launch it worldwide, it will definitely look similar to something else. But at least try not to make it identical. Beyond the fact that the concept is not a great one, at least design it in a creative manner so we could appreciate the execution.

Lots of thought has been given to the subject, lots of internet hours, blog posts and newspaper ink. The question still stays. Should they drop the leaf or keep it? Drop it means going back to the drawing board, scrap the 900,000 euro and explore new concepts or adjust, redesign that leaf. Keep it, means scrap the whole criticism, ignore it maybe and only hope that the logo would get so famous that at a certain point people will forget the drama.

The fate of the Romanian Minister in charge of the branding program is hanging on that leaf. She saved herself perhaps by choosing the cheapest branding offer (times of economic crisis) and going with an international branding company. Although, with the creative talent that Romania has I incline to think that a better job would have been done "in house" this time, especially when you have companies awarded by Rebrand100.