The 8 Worst Shark Tank Logos & Why They Suck

A logo is an image that is supposed to be the best representation of a company. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs don’t care and these logos are a disgrace!

The logo’s job is to give off the same energy you would want people to receive when you describe the startup it represents. Especially when you’re pitching to Shark Tanks investors like:

  • Mark Cuban
  • Barbara Corcoran
  • Robert Herjavec
  • Lori Greiner
  • Kevin O’Leary

My question is:

If it takes you months if not years to get a shot on Shark Tank – why wouldn’t you care about the quality of your brand identity?

It seems like an obvious thing to do, but some entrepreneurs are either too busy or don’t give a f*ck! That’s why I wrote this logo critique article.

Hold tight, you may fall from the chair.

These logos are horrible

I’ve seen many startups on Shark Tank having their brand identity on point, but many have such a poorly designed logo that it makes me think they treat it as a hobby rather than some serious business.

Perhaps, they’re not aware of the power of business design.

After all, hiring a graphic designer is super easy and you can definitely save a lot of money, avoid many mistakes, and improve your pitch enormously if not directly prevent from blowing one in a life chance like that.

I talk about hiring a designer vs. a design agency, because I totally understand that these startup perhaps cannot afford spending much money on design in the early stage.

Good logos vs bad logos

I see it all around. My fellow designers spend so much time praising good logos and appreciating the expertise displayed in some, that we forget how wrong a logo can actually be.

That’s why in this post, you will be presented with an array of poorly designed logos that I selected from the famous ABC’s TV Show – Shark Tank and in a week or too I will follow up with another article that features the 8 best logos.

So, the first feature of a good and effective logo is that it can immediately “grab” viewer’s attention.

In this case, it’s the Shark’s attention. So the goal is to make sure that your logo makes an impact and hold the viewer’s attention, it’s easy to understand, and allows to make meaningful associations.

In other words:

Great logo is the DNA of a company, manifested in ways we can understand fast. Click To Tweet

A logo not only provides an easy to recognize identity for your business but also communicates who you are and what you stand for.

But logo design is far from being easy. It requires an enormous attention to details and an obsession with getting it right. Learn more about logo design process here.

The power of good design

Be aware that your presentation, the best it can be, won’t substitute a good logo design. And there’s only one chance to make the first impression, right?

Why would you dismiss the importance of a well-designed logo? Click To Tweet

I believe that every company should invest in logo design before stepping into such a big opportunity like Shark Tank.

But not only that…

Perhaps you’re starting a business, or you’re thinking about stepping up your game and conducting a professional redesign of your current brand identity.

So, this article will show you what makes a bad logo and what NOT to do.

A good logo, on the other hand, is the important marketing tool and all marketers agree. Yet not all of the entrepreneurs or rather wantrepreneurs know that.

Bad logos will struggle to comply with these 5 principles of effective logo design.

5 Principles of effective Logo Design
5 Principles of effective logo design

I have judged all shark tank businesses’ logos by the following five criteria:

  1.  Simplicity
    Is the design simple and clean enough to be flexible and easily recognizable? Is it not too busy, distracting, or confusing?
  2. Memorability
    Is it quickly recognizable? Is it clever? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it to get it?
  3. Timelessness
    Will it still be a great logo in 10, 20, or even 50 years?
  4. Versatility
    Does it scale to different sizes without losing quality or clarity? Will it work across various media and within different contexts?
  5. Appropriateness
    Does it resonate with the desired audience and industry of the business?

Logo design is both an art and a science. And a skilled logo designer takes everything into consideration.

The company’s target audience is a primary consideration, but then the designer must think about everything else – the elements that build a logo:

  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Fonts

These elements used in a logo makes an impact on the people who see it, or not.

Making the right choices to represent a brand is a cornerstone of logo design. So please, my friend, don’t underestimate the power of design (logo design doesn’t cost much) and check your logo against these 5 principles of effective logo design.

In the last episode aired on TV in late 2016, we had an opportunity to see 96 companies and their brand identity whether it was on presentations, uniforms, packaging or engraved on the product itself.

The truth is:

More than half of Shark Tank's companies didn't have their logo and identity on point. Click To Tweet

Have a look at these ugly logos and my technical analysis to learn from their mistakes. Perhaps their pitch failed because of their poorly designed brand identity?

Anyways, I have no doubt that it contributed to their failure.

The 8 worst corporate logo fails.

I’ve reviewed all of the 96 companies presented on Shark Tank Season 8 in terms of their logo & brand identity and came up with the list of 8 worst logo examples.

These logos absolutely ‘deserve’ to be on the list:

1. Apollo Peak

Apollo Peak, Inc. was developed to create fine snack beverages that we like to call Cat Wine and Dog Wine for our feline and canine friends. We are animal lovers just like you, and our story is a long and fun one, to which we’ve shared some of our memories here.

Where do we start? Just have a look at the inconsistency first.

On the website, we can see more than 3 typefaces being used. Starting with a big and heavy slab serif (letterpress style typeface), through a regular sans serif and some weird, modern, rounded typeface.

It just looks like different pieces were pulled from different companies. No consistency whatsoever.

Apollo Peak – Shark Tank pitch

The logo itself appears in color as well as in black. This is digital space, so why not keeping it consistent and make a decision on whether to use color or black logo version. Either one. Second, the mark is illegible.

There’s no way I could recognize a cat’s head in there if I didn’t hear the pitch first.

Don’t get me wrong. A logo doesn’t have to directly illustrate what company does, it can be an abstract element, but in this case is neither one of them.

I assume that this is some kind of combination of Collorado mountains and a cat’s head? For me, it’s just poorly designed mark, that is neither abstract nor pictorial.

Apollo Peak – logo analysis

Third – the name is so confusing. The tagline is too long and the typography is inappropriate. Since we’re talking about as crazy things as wine for cats, why wouldn’t we project a look & feel that fits into this category at least?

Perhaps some combination of wine label characteristics with rounded and sleek shapes that represent cats nature would be more appropriate. I guess so.

Besides, the mark it overly complex. There are too many details. In the construction of the circle, we can see a bumpy pattern that is useless. The same applies to the white stroke inside.

Apart from that, the name is repeated in the mark itself which becomes hard to read in small sizes.

Why would you repeat the company’s name twice in the same logo lockup?

That’s a mistake, no question. Different lockups should have been designed – with and without name and/or with and without tagline.

Ohh and that red small heart inside the tagline with a tiny cat’s paw. Can you even see that cat’s paw? This logo is so ugly that it has to be #1 on my list.

2. ReThink

ReThink™ is an award-winning, innovative, patented, non-intrusive technology (mobile app) that effectively detects and stops cyberbullying and online hate before the damage is done. It’s the first-ever proactive technology solution that empowers adolescents by giving them a second chance to rethink before posting anything hurtful online (works like spell-check).

This logo could actually compete for the #1 position on my list. Aesthetically the mark is so off balance, using some drop shadows, gradients, inner shadows, bevel & emboss all at once.

I guess the designer wanted to show off his/her ability to use layer style effects in Photoshop.

It’s bad. I mean, really, really bad. We remember this kind of logos from the 90′ – about the beginning of the internet. I understand the idea with the large lowercase “r” bullying over a tiny lowercase “e” letter.

ReThink app – Shark Tank pitch

The logo concept wasn’t bad (the idea), but the execution is perhaps the worst possible you can imagine. You need to think about the emotions conveyed by the logo. Everything should work together to create a harmonious whole.

There are so many things going on in this logo that it’s super overwhelming.

In this logo example everything is so unbalanced and there’s absolutely no point for the application of all these photoshop effects.

One of the first principles of trademark design is simplicity. Logo design must be simple in order to work. Everything that is not necessary should be removed to achieve simplicity.

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ReThink – logo analysis

In a good logo everything has a reason for being there. Logos are reproduced so many times, across so many different media, in as small sizes as favicon and as big as billboard – it must be simple.

In this case the first principle of a successful logo design was broken.

The ReThink logo is a huge failure in design execution, but I believe it could be easily fixed by removing all those effects and by leaving naked, yellow “re” in a blue solid square. Just about as Google redesign.

3. Bendtique

Blendtique Wine Company invites individuals, couples, and businesses to create & design their very own Custom Wines! Design the perfect wine for you, your special event, or even your place of business right here at Blendtique.

Blendtique – Shark Tank pitch

The shapes you use in your logo, as well as the logo’s overall shape, is important. When compered to previous examples this logo looks way better. However it’s far from being good. Again..

The idea behind the logo concept was good, but the execution stinks.

The “d” is stylized to be seen as a stream of wine poured from the bottle, but the line is too thin and too weak to be read as the “d” letter. The wine bottle uses some additional double line (reflection) that shouldn’t be there.

Blendtique – logo analysis

A logo’s main purpose is not to decorate with fancy lines and reflections, but simply to work, to be read in an instant. And to differentiate and maintain consistent look & feel.

The second thing is the typeface selection. I believe that the typeface choice is wrong.

The logotype should use some sort of hand-drawn typeface that would go well with the bottle line and create a unity.

In addition to that the tagline is too squeezed. The letter spacing is too tight. There should be a clear margin between the company’s name and it’s tagline. And finally, the proportions are not accurate.

The name “blenditque” is way to big in regards to the text underneath, or the slogan is too small if you wish. The bottle is too far on top, which make the overall logo neither a horizontal nor vertical composition.

The red color is appropriate and that’s good about the logo. However, I think the whole company name should be set in red color and nicely stylized as attempted with “d” letter.

4. Line Cutterz

Line Cutterz is a patented line cutting ring for cutting fishing line. In this way, you can enjoy a quick, convenient cut and get back to doing what you love doing best – catching fish! After inventing this ring, Vance considers this one of his ultimate fishing essentials.

Line Cutterz – Shark Tank pitch

Many logos incorporate the names of companies or their slogans. In such cases, the fonts you pick are just as important as the words. The company’s name is awesome, but have a look at this long slogan and fishy typeface.

The font selected is not on point. What comes to my mind is Gillette. Can you recall that logo? It’s bold, it’s italic, and it has a sharp cut in there. The Gillette logo is brilliant in all aspects.

The Line Cuterz logotype isn’t as clever as it could bee. With just a little of research, a better typeface could be found that has uses some sharp lines and edges that would project the desired perception of the product.

Line Cuterz – logo analysis

Line Cutterz – logo analysis

Instead we can see that strange looking typeface and totally disconnected slogan. On the website the logo is set in black on white, but on the packaging we can observe wide use of neon green color.

So why wouldn’t you keep it consistent and set the neon green as the primary brand color to be used consistently across all applications.

5. Angels and Tomboys

Originally handmade body lotions and body sprays for girls made with natural ingredients. We use shea butter, aloe, and vitamins A, C, and E in our body care products.

Please don’t look at the website it’s a nightmare!

Angels and Tomboys – Shark Tank pitch

There are so many issues surrounding this logotype, that before I was to see that, it would be hard to believe you can actually make so many typographic mistakes in one wordmark.

The logotype uses 3 different typefaces. Starting with a script font for “Angels” word in the company’s name, which is perhaps the ugliest script font I’ve ever seen.

The attempt made to incorporate an aureole within the “A” letter is of an inferior quality.

You may choose to use a fancy or elaborate font in your logo, but your first consideration should always be readability. And the overlapping parts of the “g” letter crossing the “MB” in TOMBOYS is just not how we do. Moreover, the “and” word should have been replaced by “&” symbol.

Angels and Tomboys – logo analysis

The tagline on the bottom “by Madison & Mallory” looks like a mistake. Wait a second, It is a mistake, but conscious mistake I guess.

The “M” letter in Madison, as well as the “M” in Mallory, is set in a different typeface than the rest of the letters. What for?

It is not only, that totally different typefaces were used in the names, but while “M” seems to be script as previously used in “Angels” word, the second “M” is just a new quirky font (sic!). And both of them are emboldened.

Remember. The font you choose for your company’s logo should do a good job of representing your brand’s image and mission.

I assume that the mission here is to appeal to young clientele rather than copying look of an expensive, upscale fragrance company.

6. Under The Weather

Enjoy Comfort and Safety in a SportsPod™. We think everyone should be COMFORTABLE. WARM and DRY when it’s cold and wet outside. SAFE when it’s hot and sunny. Please visit the website to see the product unfolded.

Under The Weather – Shark Tank pitch

Similar as in previously described typographic logo, this one stacks words one on top of another. The problem is that the most prominent part of this logotype is the “Weather” word which, in my opinion shouldn’t be.

Since the full name is “Under The Weather Pods”, what’s the reason of making some parts smaller and some larger? It’s pointless and it’s confusing because we naturally read the larger words first (hierarchy of elements)

Under The Weather – logo analysis

First, the name is too long. Second, the logo should clearly separate the name from it’s tagline and the domain should be consistent with the name as well (undertheweatherpods.com).

We’re faced with a logo in which too many elements trying to compete to get the viewer’s attention. It look’s cheap, and make me think that the product is bad quality too.

The pictorial mark of a cloud, sun, rain and snow is too complex in form. And together with the logotype is even more complex.

All of those elements should have been simplified to something like the Citibank’s umbrella. It would be appropriate (symbolize bad weather condition), and it would be simple enough to work in an eye-blink.

And ultimately it would allow for a wide coherent and cohesive usage across different media without.

After all, the company’s mission is to protect you from bad weather condition when on the field, so the logo should be solid as the product hopefully is.

However, it’s the opposite. The logo is skewed, making me think that those pods will fold on me like a cheap umbrella on a rainy day.

7. Energy Bits

ENERGYbits® are tiny tablets of algae, a sustainable eco-friendly crop so nutritionally dense, it eliminates fatigue and hunger instantly. Want a healthy, natural way to fuel your game or fire up your brain? NO caffeine, sugar, chemicals, gluten or soy, just pure, plant based nutrition.

Energy Bits – Shark Tank pitch

First, let’s talk about the typography. Because in this logo, at least the typography is not that bad.

The logo uses some kind of Helvetica typeface in 2 different weights, bold font for the “energy” word and thin font for the “bits” part of the name.

And that’s all about good news.

The mark seems to really do a good job standing for… nothing. After looking at those three bars and dot for a long time, the only conclusion that comes to my mind is that it’s actually a “B” like bits (can you spot that small cut in the second bar?)

Energy Bits – logo analysis

It’s hard to notice that “B” shape in the mark, and the black dot still seems to have no purpose of being there. Unless it symbolizes a bit, a tiny tablet of algae. Because of the proportions, the tablet look rather big, in comparison to the rest, than tiny.

By further analyzing the weird “B”, we can see that the tablet makes it want move backward, while the rest is moving forward (italic). Treatment like that makes it just look bad. Either you move forward or backward. And you probably want to move from left to right – forward it is.

The turquoise color looks rather weak than powerful and energetic. It’s a visual mismatch that makes the whole logo look far from being professional.

The last thing is that the slogan is way too long and therefore set in such a small size typeface it becomes hard to read. Highlighting the “bit” word in it doesn’t do any good either.

BTW: Energy Bits is on the list of 10 worst Shark Tank moments according to Inc. Magazine.

8. Joyce’s Lulu Bang

Our Joyce’s Lulu Bang Sauces are all guaranteed to enhance the flavor of any of your favorite foods, whether it’s fish, chicken, or beef, pasta, rice or salads. We are confident that we have crafted the right combination of herbs and spices to enrich your favorite dishes and leave your family members, friends and guests wanting more.

One of the Sharks – Robert Herjavec said: “I found the packaging very confusing. It looks like the asian thing.” Well, he was right! It looks Asian, indeed. But it should look American instead – it’s a barbecue sauce.

Perhaps they crafted the right combination of herbs, but who crafted that logo?!

Joyce’s LuLu Bang – Shark Tank pitch

The script typeface is hard to read. The “y” looks more like “n” or “r”, but I could get over that just because it’s a one-word name, using a common word – so our brain registers it anyways.

The problem is that the lines are too thin, to be readable in small size on the packaging (check it on the website).

Joyce’s Soulful Cuisine- logo analysis

The slogan “soulful cuisine” is better than most of the slogan described in this article, but still: it’s to small, not legible and to weak. The red color is appropriate, but that’s all about the good news.

Apart from that:

The hidden fork is there for no reason. It doesn’t add anything good to the overall look & feel, so it should be removed.

If you have a look at the packaging on their website you will realize that it projects wrong associations – as Robert Herjavec said – the design looks asian, so it’s inappropriate for bbq souses (Lulu Bang).

I believe that the logo could be fixed by removing the slogan and redesigning the typeface. At least some letters should be connected like in Coca-Cola logotype (ligatures), and some special attention should be given to the “y” letter.

Conclusions

You can actually learn from these bad examples of logo design and avoid costly mistakes when it comes to your business and your brand identity.

An effective logo is more than the sum of its parts. The colors, shapes, fonts, and words chosen all need to work together to form a harmonious whole.

Every decision you make when you pick a logo can have an impact on the way your brand is perceived. Logo designers have to take all of these things into consideration.

Color
The colors you choose for your logo send an immediate message to the people who see it. If you select colors that don’t work well with the brand personality (Energybits) you want to convey, then you may lose people as soon as they see your logo.

One thing to consider is the functionality of colors. Certain colors speak directly to the industries they represent. For example, green is a common choice for the farming industry because of the symbolic link between green and nature.

You also need to consider the emotions that colors evoke. If your company is conservative, you don’t want to choose wild or overly bright colors for your logo. They may contradict your branding message.

Shape
The shapes you use in your logo, as well as the logo’s overall shape, is important, too. Circles tend to convey warmth and community (Blendtique). Square and rectangles are more orderly and balanced, while triangles can signify excitement.

Sometimes a company might use one shape inside their logo, but use a different one as the shape of the logo as a whole. Skilled designers look at both elements.

Typeface
Many logos incorporate the names of companies or their slogans. In such cases, the fonts you pick are just as important as the words.

You may choose to use a fancy or elaborate font in your logo, but your first consideration should always be readability.

Logo designers sometimes use fonts and then embellish them with other design elements. Again, the font you choose should do a good job of representing your brand’s image and mission.

Emotions
Finally, you need to think about the emotions conveyed by your logo. Everything should work together to create a harmonious whole.

A company that targets women might use a feminine color such as pink, combined with a flowing font and a circular shape. The combined effect sends a clear message that this is a company that markets to women.

What do you think about these logos?

Did you spot other issues? Am I being overly critique? Don’t hate – appreciate. My goal is to help you understand what makes a bad logo on specific examples. No offense to the businesses’ owners.

Share your comments below and share this article on social media.