How The Arnell Group Botched the Pepsi Logo With Crimes Against Design

Aaron Perry-Zucker at Fast Company describes the new Pepsi logo as “branding lunacy,” and I could not agree more. If you have time (and a lot of bandwidth–it’s over 10 MB) and want to either laugh or cry, you should download the Arnell Group’s design brief, which invokes the golden ratio, the Mona Lisa, the Parthenon, the Gutenberg Bible, the earth and its magnetic fields, and the entire universe…all to justify a multi-million-dollar fee.

This is not a serious document that explains the logic behind this design. Rather, it is an abomination that invokes real design principles like the Golden Ratio to justify a terrible design and even more outrageous fees.

Real designers don’t need to cloak their explanations behind a wall of self-important mumbo-jumbo. Real designers can explain everything they do in simple words that anyone can understand.

I have a design degree from the Stanford Product Design department, and I can assure you that this “design brief” is nothing more than the addled rantings of a witch doctor attempting to hoodwink a client.

9 thoughts on “How The Arnell Group Botched the Pepsi Logo With Crimes Against Design

  1. Forget the alleged $200m in fees. That document is a mastercard moment of priceless hilarity. To be honest, in an ad industry full of wasted $, it is just yet another pimple amongst millions of others. IMO any agency that can somehow sell that ridiculous document in to the CEO of Pepsi and get away with it deserves some credit, no matter how much BS, alcohol or Jedi mind tricks used. Let’s laugh, or we’ll cry 😉 – and that’s no fun.

  2. Anonymous

    How right you are….cant say anymore yet….my time to speak will come……….do i have a story to tell……

  3. Anonymous

    i have worked with Arnell – I hate them!!!!!!! They give us files that look terrible, go against all design rules. I don’t think any of them even went to school for design, there’s no way!!!!! We get Ad’s from them that we have to fix (kerning, alignment, SIZING!) then we have to get APPROVAL FROM THEM! Ludicrous. They are the worst Agency EVER how they get big name companies like Pepsi and Tropicana I have NO idea!

  4. Anonymous

    That red/blue spherical device with the white swoop puts me in mind of Gort ( the big robot from the movie 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', classic version of course ), opening up his visor & preparing to atomize Patricia Neal.

    But hey, that's just me. I've been known to see invisible guitars too.

  5. Anonymous

    Absolutely hate it

  6. You all need to get back to work and be more productive rather than trying to figure anyone else's not so productive designs….

  7. Anonymous

    That was an absurdity of biblical proportion. So there's actual gravitational forces pulling me down the aisle at the local grocery store lurring me toward Pepsi. Ok. Enough said.

  8. Hey, I'm an Art Director who DIDN'T go to school for design, and I can even smell that from a mile away:).

    Thanks for the comedic post up, my whole department is enjoying this today. I have to agree with eunmac, there is some skill in salesmanship they sold this adventure. Maybe they're in the wrong business, I hear Wall Street is hiring again?

  9. Anonymous

    "Design" "Design" I don't need no g-dam design.

    Last month Arnell could not spell design today he are one. Amazing how s–t floats to the surface

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