Probably you have heard the definition of a camel---a horse designed by a committee.
Above is a work of graphic design chosen by a committee.
It is the official symbol for Israel's 60th-anniversary celebrations in 2008. A committee of five government ministers picked it this week from six competing entries.
At first glance, the winning logo seems to express the confusion that afflicts Israel in many ways today. Even the country's name is typographically ripped apart.
(UPDATE: They repaired the country's name in time for the May 8 independence celebrations.)
The logo is intended to express the theme that children are the future of the country.
A partner in a public-relations firm that made the logo explained:
"We chose a design that combines flow with innovation. It is an Israeli logo that expresses optimism which comes from hope and great faith. Our logo tells the story of the country. The loops of the blue ribbon that make the "60" are the symbol of the struggles and hardships of the country in its 60 years, but through optimistic eyes---with a movement of upward flight and growth. The Star of David stands as a stable, strong beacon. At the head of the camp and leading everyone, connecting it all, is the child---our future, our hope, our tomorrow, of all of us...."
The pr firm clearly understood what the government committee would buy, although one member, Yitzhak Cohen of the Shas Party, said the child needs a haircut.
The logo is a product of Arad Communications, whose president is Eyal Arad, a strategic advisor to present and past Israel prime ministers. Lior Chorev, who managed Prime Minister Olmert's election campaign, became managing director of the firm in April.
The firm lists among its clients the Jewish Agency, the Kadima party, the Egged bus cooperative, the Israel Electric Corp., the Herzlia Conference, the Haaretz newspaper, the country's Coca Cola bottler, Israel Weapon Industries, and fashion brands including Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.
Before the ministerial committee made its choice, the Israeli web portal Walla asked its users to vote on the six competing logos.
With 1,173 Walla users voting, the official logo finished in fourth place. A less-complicated design won the Walla vote---60 small stars of David forming one big Star of David, above the slogan "Israel 60."
What the winning logos do not show is that Israel is bursting with talent in many creative fields. The government did not involve the public in the logo project. No competition took place among graphic-arts students, nor was any panel or jury of established Israeli designers set up.
---Joseph M. Hochstein, Tel Aviv
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