Saturday, September 8, 2007

An official logo for Israel's 60th birthday

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


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


  • I would have put the one they picked at the end of the line, its elements that are supposed to be symbolic of lofty thoughts do not work together at all and the whole thing looks contrived and uninteresting. For the record, I loved Walla numbers 2 and 3, didn't like No 1 either. I wonder why they picked this particular design and this agency - I wonder if there was a kickback involved

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 8, 2007 at 8:53 PM  

  • Ik like the logo! The winning design was pretty ugly and had little symbolism: 60 stars making up 1 star, so what? The number three on Walla also looked pretty, but the 60 was not clear enough, and all in all it seemed somewhat New-Age-ish, with the Star going adrift.
    The logo does work better in Hebrew I think, with the Star of David better placed.
    And I like the hair cut.

    By Blogger BrassĂ©-Limburg, At September 8, 2007 at 11:24 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous:

    Nonsense. Your suggestion of a kickback is on a par with the other conspiracy theories and foolish comments that appear over your famous signature elsewhere on the web.

    A bribe or kickback would not make financial sense or any other sense.

    What I wrote was intended to make the point that a design of this quality is what you can expect to get if you leave the choice up to a committee of political office-holders, especially if you have excluded the art students and the rest of the public.

    By Blogger Joseph M. Hochstein, At September 14, 2007 at 6:37 PM  

  • Cut the kid out and replace it with a Menorah to balance the logo. (Put your thumb over the kid and you will see that it is unbalanced. So put a Menorah not some kid with unkempt hair.)

    D.R. Hunter
    Amarillo, Texas

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 24, 2007 at 9:02 AM  

  • Nice symbolism pictured here (IS RA El.)
    Isis [IS]
    [RA] (sometimes spelled RĂȘ) is the sun-god of Heliopolis
    [EL] The Akkadian god of earth and wind

    This symbol couldn't be any more in your face, I love it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 14, 2007 at 5:10 AM  

  • My name is John Lalor and I am an Irish supporter of Israel. I love the design of thr 60th birthday t-shirt. Where can it be bought?

    I'm actually more interested in finding one I saw in Israel in 2006: a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem. Any ideas where to buy this? My email address is

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 26, 2008 at 5:48 PM  

  • Does anyone else see the"666"in the
    logo?I think this is intentional.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 31, 2008 at 12:56 AM  

  • Dear anonymous: If you can see the 666 symbol in this logo, this is another reason the committee should have rejected the design. They should have been aware that hate groups use this symbol. You think someone intended to insert the 666 symbol, but you have no way to read other people's minds. Try reading your own mind instead.

    By Blogger Joseph M. Hochstein, At March 31, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

  • Oops. I inadvertently omitted three words from a comment earlier today. A corrected version of this comment follows, inserting the words "imagine that you" in the first sentence. This clarifies the point that Israel's 60th anniversary logo does not contain the satanist "666" symbol mentioned in a reader's comment signed by "Anonymous."

    Dear anonymous: If you can imagine that you see the 666 symbol in this logo, this is another reason the committee should have rejected the design. They should have been aware that hate groups use this symbol. You think someone intended to insert the 666 symbol, but you have no way to read other people's minds. Try reading your own mind instead.

    By Blogger Joseph M. Hochstein, At March 31, 2008 at 12:30 PM  

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