Established in 1946, Senac — originally SENAC, short for Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Comercial; National Commercial Training Service in English — is a vocational trade education institution in Brazil where it has presence all over the country with over 580 locations. It employs over 23,000 faculty members that teach more than 54,000 combined classes to 1,150,000 students a year. In other words: it’s big. Earlier this month, Senac introduced a new logo, designed by Rio de Janeiro-based Packaging Brands, and a new advertising campaign by Ogilvy.
“The logo features a stylized paper plane, formed by the junction of triangles, like an arrow, pointing toward the new, the future. Professional education is the vehicle of this transformation of lives, enabling the rise of the personal and professional Brazilian accompanying the trajectory of social and economic success of the country,” explains Sidney Cunha, director general of the National Senac. […] Regarding the colors, blue and orange contemplate freedom (the choice of what you want to be in the future), innovation (creativity who becomes for education) and lightness (a simplicity that enables the flight entrepreneur).
— Press Release (Google Translated)
I wasn’t going to post this project because the result is so bad but it is my duty to the profession to report on all outcomes. This is an especially sobering occurrence of poor identity design because of Senac’s vast presence throughout Brazil, deploying this thing en masse. The old logo was already bad, but at least it was bad in that naive kind of way that it was the 1970s and nobody knew any better other than slap Helvetica inside some abstract shapes — a practice that led to great results by capable designers, not the case here. The new one, however, is presumably done with all the knowledge that comes from twenty-first century branding and what appears to be common sense rationalization: a stylized paper airplane, forward-looking-ness, transformation, etc. But the execution is so so terribly bad. The icon is perhaps okay. It almost looks like a paper airplane and there is some clichéd dynamism to it. But then we come to the typography. Words can’t begin to convey how inappropriate this is. Each character is progressively worse, starting with the truncated “S” through the stemless “n” and culminating in quite possibly the worst “c” ever drawn since Lithos and overall the worst custom wordmark since Bing. To think that this logo could last as long as the old one (1969) makes me want to jump off an airplane. And not a paper one.