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May 23, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Logo design for power awareness

Flick_offWes Goodhoofd writes in:

The picture I have attached has the words "Flick Off" and is sanctioned by the provincial government here in Ontario, Canada for awareness to climate change.

Their idea is to make people "flick off" their lights and other electronics when not in use, and while the idea is excellent, the execution is broken.

They have purposely used a font that makes the phrase appear as the F word. The worst part of this is that this logo appears on numerous campaign items, like buttons and bumper stickers that are given out to everyone from elementary school students to adults.

The logo for this campaign is broken and can be found at


I don't think it's broken. Rude, perhaps. But it absolutely, positively gets your attention. And that, I imagine, is the whole point...

Posted by: furd_burfel at May 23, 2007 12:40 AM

Yes, that's the *entire point of the whole campaign*, which is targeted at high-school and college kids, who *like* that sort of joke.

From their website: "FLICK OFF is a movement to fight climate change by getting people to use less energy. We need you to FLICK OFF, and tell everyone you know to FLICK OFF."

Posted by: rich at May 23, 2007 07:30 AM

That's only broken if you're an American. Everyone else thinks it's flicking cool (I do), and it certainly gets people to notice it.

Posted by: LKM at May 23, 2007 09:00 AM

It'd be a sad world if every public attempt at humor were considered to be broken.

Posted by: Klemens at May 23, 2007 09:44 AM

On the website, there is an area that states: Are we Flicked?

Now, you tell me that's not intended to be another F word.

Posted by: wesg at May 23, 2007 10:46 AM

I love it!

Posted by: Zephyr at May 23, 2007 10:53 AM

Not to mention that the power (') symbol looks like the gesture itself.

Posted by: tandy1000tl2 at May 23, 2007 11:50 AM

This is not only NOT broken, it's also more than just words. The power symbol (the incomplete circle with the vertical line that's used in place of the "o") is a clear representation of the "bird" - that is, a hand with its middle finger raised. So this logo is both visually and verbally "rude" and effective.

Frankly, people in the US take "rude words" too seriously. Canadians have always been more laid back than their neighbors to the south (in a lot of ways), and this is a clever, in your face campaign that is intended to get people talking and thinking (and it is clearly doing its job).

Posted by: yiftach at May 23, 2007 11:54 AM

I don't think it's broken or rude. It's about having a sense of humor.

Posted by: IGGy14 at May 23, 2007 12:00 PM

Broken?? Since when is something "broken" just because it disagrees with your personal sense of morals? Let the Canadians set their own standards of "right" and "wrong" when it comes to things suggestive of naughty words, yeah?

This submission: Broken.

Posted by: Fastolfe at May 23, 2007 12:47 PM

As an American... I'd like to say that I'm flicked off that others think we are too worried about being rude! :)

I can be as flicking rude as the rest of you whiny pansies from the rest of the world! :)

(see.. I just was!)

Seriously tho... that website is so funny, and obviously meant to get your attention with that setup.

Come on... some of the other links within the site are headed "who needs to flick off" and "go flick yourself"... great stuff!!

... and not broken at all...

Posted by: Memnon at May 23, 2007 02:40 PM

If you go to the website,, near the top one of the categories is called

"Go Flick Yourself"

Posted by: sitruc at May 23, 2007 05:35 PM

_@_v - flick off.... to the great white north! flick off... it's a beauty way to go...

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at May 23, 2007 06:06 PM

Ah, I hadn't even noticed the double meaning of that symbol! Whoever designed this is flickin' brilliant.

Posted by: Zephyr at May 24, 2007 12:10 PM

Not broken - an excellent use of humour to get the message across.

Hats off to the plucky folks behind it.


Posted by: adamstjohn at May 27, 2007 08:46 PM

Flick yeah!

Posted by: redbull47 at May 28, 2007 10:35 AM

This would be a good example of Seth Godin's "Broken on Purpose".

There are commercials similar to this in Canada. They are for "Knorr Frozen Entrees". The female voice informs the viewers that "Knorr F****n Entrees contain quality ingredients that you wouldn't expect from f****n food. They might be the best f****n meals you've ever had." Then the punchline... "Frozen doesn't have to be a bad word: Knorr Frozen Entrees".

Posted by: Munchkinguy at May 28, 2007 10:55 PM

I'm American & I think this is flickin' brilliant...

But I agree that many Americans are wayyy too uptight!

Loved the f****n food ad too!

Posted by: cKy00 at May 28, 2007 11:08 PM

ROTFLOL, that's broken on SO many levels!


Posted by: Maxaxle at May 29, 2007 07:06 PM


Sorry to double-post (so sue me), but...

1. That frozen food thing was f****n funny!Um, wait...

2. Omg, it said "go flick yourself"??? Wow, I never knew that people who wanted everyone to conserve energy were nasty and potty-mouthed like this.

Posted by: Maxaxle at June 2, 2007 12:10 AM

(gosh, a triple post!?)

Sorry. Still, that power down thingy DOES look sort of like "flipping the birdie".

*puts small amount of duct tape on power off button*

Poor birdie, lol.

Posted by: Maxaxle at June 2, 2007 12:13 AM

I've said it before on this site, and I'll say it again:

"Funny" does not equal "broken."

Posted by: J H at June 21, 2007 08:18 PM

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