Logo loco?!

By Dr. Herman M. Lagon

IN A WORLD full of pressing issues and important matters, unveiling a new logo might not seem like a big deal. But when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) revealed its new logo, it quickly became the talk of the town–for all the wrong reasons. The netizens wasted no time expressing their disapproval, and it’s not hard to see why. The logo, meant to represent “energy, inspiration, passion, and transformation,” instead sparked a firestorm of criticism.

The main gripe? The P3-million-worth logo looks remarkably like a rooster, bringing images of cockfighting rather than the desired symbolism to mind. It also looks like a devil in disguise, giving us the arguable impression of the base existential core of the institution. PAGCOR’s attempt to set the world ablaze with its fiery design has backfired spectacularly. The internet is now flooded with jokes and memes, out-popularizing the “Love Philippines” fiasco and turning the gaming logo into a new laughingstock in government service.

However, let us give credit where credit is due. Maybe PAGCOR had a stroke of genius. Perhaps it is a brilliant marketing ploy to associate the thrill of gambling with the excitement of a rooster fight or the devil and the deep blue sea vibe. Who needs to win big in a casino when you can bet on feisty, devilish fowl instead?

All kidding aside, this fiasco serves as a valuable lesson for businesses and organizations everywhere. Designing a logo is not a task to be taken lightly. It should capture the essence of our brand and resonate with our target audience. Otherwise, one risks becoming the punchline of a viral meme.

We recently changed our institution’s logo after thorough discussions and revisions. The result is a non-traditional emblem with a distinctive fish-techno vibe that perfectly embodies our university’s identity, values, and aspirations. Surprisingly, our logo was crafted without any cents involved. This raises doubts about why PAGCOR paid a substantial amount to their branding professionals for a design that seems dubious at best.

A logo is not just about aesthetics; it is the face of our brand. It should authentically represent our brand’s personality. A well-designed logo can evoke emotions, build trust, and leave a lasting impression. Conversely, a poorly executed logo can undermine our credibility and alienate potential customers. A shabby logo project may scandalously waste much public money.

So, what can we learn from PAGCOR’s misstep? First and foremost, we are reminded not to underestimate the power of professional help. Designing a logo is best left to the experts who understand the nuances of visual communication. It is an investment worth making to ensure that our brand identity remains intact and resonates with our audience.

Secondly, we are encouraged to consider our future marketing strategies when creating a logo. Will it still be relevant in the long run? Will it stand the test of time? Will the investment be worth it? These are crucial questions to ponder before settling on a design and cost that may become a source of embarrassment.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, we are pushed to listen to our audience. Social media has given consumers a powerful voice, and they are fearless in using it. It is worth noting to pay attention to their feedback, whether positive or negative. Indeed, it is not an opportunity to profit but to learn, grow, and course-correct if necessary.

PAGCOR’s logo fiasco should serve as a cautionary tale for businesses embarking on the perilous journey of logo design. Let it be a reminder that a logo gone loco can have far-reaching consequences. So, before we set our brand’s fate ablaze, we are called up to think twice, seek professional guidance, and, most importantly, not be a devilish rooster in a world of angelic hens.

With that, let us hope PAGCOR finds its way back to the drawing board and comes up with a logo that lights a fire in the hearts of its audience. Alternatively, they may stick to their old, unbroken logo and do what they devilishly, rather passionately, know best: gambling.


Dr. Herman Lagon fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice. He is a physics and math professor of ISUFST, an educational leadership student of USLS, a retired Principal of Ateneo, and an alumnus of UP, UI, and WVSU.