Reactions, Reimaginings, and a Retraction of the 2019 SEA Games Logo

How low can a logo go?

( Nobody could believe their eyes when a picture of the logo of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which will be held in the country from November 29 to December 10, was floated online. The logo was displayed on a white screen during an August 19 presentation made by Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee at the Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia. That’s probably why it was easy to assume that the amateurish-at-best logofeaturing colorful rings arranged in the shape of the Philippineswas a prank.

But as it turned out, the logo was confirmed to be real and it instantly became the butt of jokes all over social media, and even various brands like Nissin Yakisoba and Japan Home Centre have joined the fun. The reaction is not unwarranted; one can only imagine the government fundsa.k.a. our taxesthat went toward the creation of a logo that was poorly thought out and strangely represents the Philippines alone and not Southeast Asia, which, you know, is what the games are actually for. A logo that seems to have been created by someone who just figured out how to make perfect circles on Photoshop. A logo that seems inspired by the MMDA Art of old.


People have responded with their own, much better ideas for the 2019 SEA Games logo.The Philippine Star also shared logos for the previous SEA Games hosted by the Philippines, signifying that the current one is a disappointing fall from grace.

The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PhilSGOC) has since stated that the logo as well as the mascot—which has also prompted laughter and criticism—are still the unofficial versions and that the official ones will actually be released in November 2018. We should remember to give that same excuse the next time our bosses don’t like whatever we submit at work.

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