Join 3,498 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


September 11 Rebranded Everything
September 11, 2007 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Terrorist Organization Logos.
posted by fandango_matt (50 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have to say, Hezbolla's flag is pretty sweet. Especially when artfully distressed. distressed meaning the artistic effect of adding decay and damage, i.e.).
posted by delmoi at 9:42 PM on September 11, 2007


I wonder how these logos come about. Do they have meetings where they discuss them?
"All right, so issue one is settled. Our mission statement is 'Drive the Jews into the sea.' Item 2: Logo. Ideas?"
"How about something red? To symbolize the blood of our struggle?"
"I don't really like red. Too garish. How about a nice cool green?"
"I'm thinking something involving stars and a circle."
"Maybe an AK thrown in?"
"Yeah, good idea!"

But really, who designs them?

Also: Is it just me, or is the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Army just about the goofiest name ever for a terrorist group? It's straight out of a bad comedy.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:58 PM on September 11, 2007


Jihad in Sweden?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:59 PM on September 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Er, that ought to read, "Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia"...
posted by Sangermaine at 9:59 PM on September 11, 2007


Poor Mr. Kalashnikov won't see a dime from licensing fees.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 PM on September 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Strangely powerful. I was reading V.S. Naipaul's Magic Seeds the other day and his main character joins a terrorist organization, who describes the people around him as being in love with death. I can't help but feel that way about these groups and their choice for their logos: instead of logos that reflect whatever virtues they claim to be fighting for, the logos chosen are that of violence and fear.
posted by Karcy at 9:59 PM on September 11, 2007


posted by Sangermaine Is it just me, or is the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Army just about the goofiest name ever for a terrorist group?

"Are you the Judean People's Front?"
"No! We're the People's Front of Judea!"
posted by fandango_matt at 10:07 PM on September 11, 2007


Huh. It sucks to know what the Creativity Movement ended up being.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:07 PM on September 11, 2007


They kinda remind of Scout shoulder patches... they have the same sort of funky we're-not-really-designers vibe to them... though, of course, with a lot more guns. And red.
posted by Malor at 10:09 PM on September 11, 2007


Elizabeth Griscom was only married to her newlywed husband three years when he died in the war. She took over their business. What few know is that Miss Griscom eloped with her lover, because they were from different denominations and their families frowned on their intent to marriage.

One day, after their decisions helped to kill her husband, three men came to her place of business, which hadn't been doing well since the war began because materials were scarce and customers were infrequent. The men who came to her door had a job for her and she needed money. They had a rough design for their flag. They had wanted the flag to have six pointed stars, but Betsy showed them how she could make five pointed stars in one snip of her scissors.

Her husband's name was John Ross. Tho born Elizabeth, her friends called her Betsy. The stars & stripes were born.

So usually these flags work this way; a group of men chew on it over drinks, doodle something on a napkin, and then hand it to someone who actually knows how to make these things, and she actually makes it.

I bet Hezbolla has their own Betsy Ross. Shame we'll probably never know her name.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:20 PM on September 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


Sangermaine writes "Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia"

The name is actually very telling. It implies there are non Armenian secret armies plotting to liberate Armenia or that there are several Armenian Secret Armies and only some/one of them want to liberate Armenia.
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 PM on September 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


It'd be good to get a full list of these.

The Irgun had a pretty good one.

Any more, I can't see an IRA one easily.
posted by sien at 10:21 PM on September 11, 2007


ZachsMind writes "They had wanted the flag to have six pointed stars, but Betsy showed them how she could make five pointed stars in one snip of her scissors. "

How do you make a five pointed star with a single snip? I'm trying to imagine a semi elaborate fold to the cloth but I can't come up with anything.
posted by Mitheral at 10:30 PM on September 11, 2007


Here.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:39 PM on September 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


pssst, terrorists-

two words of advice: Comic Sans
(and those drop shadows are wicked ominous, too. but stop being so stingy with 'em!)
posted by maryh at 10:42 PM on September 11, 2007 [7 favorites]


It implies there are non Armenian secret armies plotting to liberate Armenia or that there are several Armenian Secret Armies and only some/one of them want to liberate Armenia.

You forgot Armenian non-secret armies that want to liberate Armenia.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:52 PM on September 11, 2007


Hm. ushistory.org is blocked by my work filter. Weird. I guess they're worried about people stealing office supplies to make five pointed stars...
posted by robcorr at 10:52 PM on September 11, 2007


This has got to be the creepiest terrorist logo of them all.
posted by sourwookie at 10:59 PM on September 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


This has got to be the creepiest terrorist logo of them all.

Finally the comments deliver, although I was expecting the entire US flag.
posted by Hicksu at 12:09 AM on September 12, 2007


Sorry. It was low-hanging fruit, I know.
posted by sourwookie at 12:13 AM on September 12, 2007


Here is some "client" critisism on national flags.
posted by Harald74 at 12:33 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


One gun
One bomb
Let's get together and blow shit up
posted by Meatbomb at 12:52 AM on September 12, 2007


Once again, Ironic Sans has quality posts. The comments are even more interesting, since people get really worked up about who is or is not on that list (despite his disclaimer).
posted by spiderskull at 1:31 AM on September 12, 2007


More
posted by Geezum Crowe at 2:21 AM on September 12, 2007


Hezbollah's flag looks like a wannabe design for threadless.com. Seriously.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:45 AM on September 12, 2007


Strikes me as all these groups are just grown up wee boys gangs. Probably have membership cards, secret passwords and hideouts where they smoke and read porn mags all day...
posted by brautigan at 3:16 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


They had a rough design for their flag. They had wanted the flag to have six pointed stars, but Betsy showed them how she could make five pointed stars in one snip of her scissors.

And so it was that American evolved from a Jewish nation into a Christian one.
posted by psmealey at 3:31 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not exactly terrorists, but gay rights group Queer Nation have a really good logo.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:12 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to add that "Terrorist Organization: Logos" sounds like the name of an anime.

NEEDZ MOAR MECHAZ.
posted by Avenger at 4:25 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not exactly terrorists, but gay rights group Queer Nation have a really good logo.


Actually that's the infamous and short-lived logo of Instituto de Estudos Orientais.
posted by brautigan at 5:40 AM on September 12, 2007


Via BB in July?
posted by imperium at 6:06 AM on September 12, 2007


Actually that's the infamous and short-lived logo of Instituto de Estudos Orientais.

Short lived? Wow. Makes sense, I suppose. Had a makeover a la Beaver College?

Got a story/link on its shorlivedness?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:11 AM on September 12, 2007


These need a simple "TM" or "Circle-R" in the corner of each. Bet you'd get one hella c&d for copyright violation.
posted by hal9k at 6:12 AM on September 12, 2007


Uncanny H: Best I got!
posted by brautigan at 6:15 AM on September 12, 2007


Goatse: where terror and logo are one.
posted by kid ichorous at 6:25 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter needs one of these. A fire-spitting three-headed beast with vibrating crossed pitchfork/banhammer against a giant Portobello mushroom...
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:06 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


weapons-grade pandemonium said: MetaFilter needs one of these. A fire-spitting three-headed beast with vibrating crossed pitchfork/banhammer against a giant Portobello mushroom...


It only works if the animal is a bunny with a pancake on his head. Of course, the counter-filterite revolutionaries will have to create one with a cat in a scanner and a vibrating broom.
posted by dejah420 at 7:54 AM on September 12, 2007


They're ALL too complex to look good on the terrorist organization stationary.
posted by spock at 8:31 AM on September 12, 2007


Any group which specifically avoids physically hurting people does not qualify as a "terrorist" organization. Which is why the A|_F should not be on this list, sharing company with Hezzbollah and FARC. Vandals, yes. Terrorists, no.
posted by vegetarian at 8:34 AM on September 12, 2007


ALF eats cats.
posted by Reggie Digest at 8:52 AM on September 12, 2007


Harald74, that's a great link. Hadn't seen it before.

So...Metafilter logo design contest, anyone?
posted by misha at 9:13 AM on September 12, 2007


They're ALL too complex to look good on the terrorist organization stationary.

I beg to differ. You just can't beat the good old SLA logo: clean, elegant, ornate but not too busy or cluttered, nice color scheme, makes a statement while at the same time being, like its designers, utterly batshitinsane. What's not to like?
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:25 AM on September 12, 2007


MetaFilter needs one of these. A fire-spitting three-headed beast with vibrating crossed pitchfork/banhammer against a giant Portobello mushroom...

Don't forget a plate of beans, rampant.
posted by xthlc at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2007


Ok. So who comes up with the application forms?

“So do we accept anyone who belives in death to america or are we looking for candidates more appropriate to our style, our flavor one might say, of causing death to america?”
“Anyone!”
“No, no, we don’t want short people.”“Or people with bad dental hygene.”
“That reminds me, are we going with MetLife for our dental plan, or..?”
“No, that’s the HR committee. Look, this is just about screening applicants”
“Well, how do we check what kind of experiance they have?”
“Hey, we just want to weed out those not committed to the cause.”
“Like noobs or poseurs, you know the people we want.”
“No Jews!”
*room erupts - er, with laughter, not with bombs *
“Ha ha, good one Bob*, but seriously...”

*every organization on Earth has at least one Bob
posted by Smedleyman at 2:02 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mefi logo also needs: an elephant peeing and a pony.
posted by misha at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2007


They forgot this one
posted by zouhair at 3:02 PM on September 12, 2007


Somewhat narrow-minded and repetitive logos, doubtless ideologically overdetermined (red stars = Communism, guns = violent struggle, etc.). The terrorist groups are probably too close to their own ideologies, and are tempted to "pack everything in."

The point of a logo is that it does not necessarily evoke the ideology in literal (verbal) form; it evokes by association.

A logo is a somewhat arbitrary symbol, the more striking the better, that gains its force from association and repetition. A good example (technically, not morally) is the Nazi swastika. The original Russian Communist hammer and sickle was a good logo too -- not entirely arbitrary (allusion to labor) but also visually striking.

The Symbionese Liberation Army's logo (a hydra-headed cobra) was also creative, though probably hard to copy. Nonetheless, aren't they defunct?
posted by bad grammar at 6:04 PM on September 12, 2007


On a similar note, why is the design of the U.S. dollar (1, 5, 10, 20 etc.) a mess? I'm not discussing the recent peach and blue washes and new design elements. The design was always fussy, like those Renaissance paintings filled with symbols.

Of course, a major purpose of the design of paper money is to discourage counterfeiting, so a fussy, copper-plate engraved design was best in this respect. A logo, in contrast, is something you want people to reproduce easily, disseminating your business mission, brand, or ideology. (Another argument for not making your logo too complicated.)

The overall green color and engraved look of U.S. bills became themselves a logo, a symbol: "greenbacks." Hence I'm not thrilled aesthetically with the new color washes, which are, of course, along with the other new details, the latest effort to discourage counterfeiting.
posted by bad grammar at 6:12 PM on September 12, 2007


Harald74 writes "Here is some 'client' critisism on national flags."

Plant motifs are so out! LOL
posted by Mitheral at 8:20 PM on September 12, 2007


Sangermaine: They were considering re-branding. From Wikipedia:
The group also operated under other names such as The Orly Group and the 3 October Organization.
Also, if anyone was wondering why a Marxist-Leninist organization was operating in what was till 1990 a Soviet-socialist republic:
The stated intention of ASALA was "to compel the Turkish Government to acknowledge publicly its alleged responsibility for the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland".
posted by the cydonian at 8:42 PM on September 12, 2007


« Older Street Survival: Learn to survive a knife attack, ...  |  For almost thirty years, the f... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments