A Tale of Two Logos

Issue section: 

With the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development happening at the beginning of September, there are a number of websites giving alternative views to an event which will see large amounts of hot air coming from politicians as they clamour to show their green credentials.

There are many sites dedicated to exposing the real issues behind the summit and climate change in general. Greenpeace have been having fun with their Stop Esso campaign. The website was originally hosted in France. Esso mannaged to get an injunction to stop Greenpeace using their spoof E$$O logo on the Stop Esso website www.stopesso.org. But things are not always that simple in cyberspace--Greenpeace moved the website to a host based in the oil rich state of Texas--where the injunction isn't valid. Several weeks later another French judge ruled that Greenpeace had a right to parody the logo of French nuclear fuel company Areva.

The full story 'A tale of two logos' can be found at www.stopesso.org/static/logos.html

With the availability of cheap and decent graphic design, it's increasingly easy for activists to design and create logos and websites. There are many spoof websites which pretend to be the real thing. www.whitehouse.org is a hilarious spoof website of the White House. Have a look at their 'readers' e-mail' to see just how many people are taken in, and believe they are contacting the real President Bush.

These parodies aren't simply created for entertainment. Compare the World Bank's website www.worldbank.org ('Our Dream is a World Free of Poverty') with the parody site at www.whirledbank.org which contains huge amounts of information on the real effects of the World Bank's policies, with a near perfect copy of the real World Bank's website design style. It's been done by the Institute of Equity, Ecology, Humor and Art which 'creates innovative multimedia materials such as websites, video, computer games, music and educational material to promote social justice and environmental equity'. More information can be found at www.IEEHA.org.