BP Re-design – Practice what you Preach

Keeping Your Brand Promises
The BP oil disaster has now been spewing oil since April 20th. It is a disaster of epic proportions. One wonders what will happen to BP. Its share price is down, the pipe still not repaired and it seems like the clean up is an impossible task. The images and videos that have been circulated the internet are both heart wrenching and frustrating.

Big brands are often seen as invincible, but all brands need to look after themselves, building amazing brands more than window dressing, it is about creating a philosophy and living it. BP’s current brandmark was developed in 2000, to symbolise a commitment to a greener future and they haven’t lived up their brand promise, and it effects all of us.

Activism can happens in many ways and designers are global citizens too, and the spill cuts deep. Images can be powerful and evocative, meanings can be skewed and shifted and being creative can be soothing to the soul. A global re-design of the BP logo has been started by Logo My Way, uses can submit a new brandmark for BP based on recent events. Here is a collection of thoughts and feelings from around the globe in image from.

Lachlan McDougall

Designer/Global Citizen.


  1. Interesting Blog Lachlan, These re-branded marks create a very graphic face for global unease at this environmental disaster. There are few examples of a brand disaster so directly undermining the positioning of a brand’s identity.

  2. I think something that’s becoming clearer with all this is the distinction between what a brand ‘says’ and what the brand ‘does’. Hence the play on BP as standing for “Broken Promises”.

    While BP did make very public steps towards repositioning itself as a forward thinking, alternate energy, sustainable company the reality is that the overwhelming majority of its investments in and revenues from energy production are from old/dirty sources as is explained in their most recent annual report – http://www.bp.com/assets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/set_branch/STAGING/common_assets/downloads/pdf/BP_Annual_Review_2009.pdf

    It seems that the new CEO and management team have been less interested in the good corporate citizen approach – other than to maintain the lip service. Alarmingly, that last annual report also goes on and on about how important safety is. I’d hate to be the copywriter trying to put a spin on that in the 2010 report!

    Maybe this is an opportunity for BP to show some of the leadership it seemed to show 10 or so years back and make a commitment to a more honest approach and to push sustainability further up the agenda. If it leads this charge it will likely get the support of others and it may inspire more cautious and traditional competitors (Exxon/Shell etc) to also step up.

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