Row over German EU identity

The German government has unveiled the identity for its presidency of the European Union, amid cries of embarrassment from the local design community.

The logo, created by student Kai Koester in 1994 and modified by German design group ADB, was chosen by the Chancellor last year.

The curved sweep is intended to symbolise a big E for Europe, according to a Federal Office spokesman. The enlarged EU in the word Deutschland shows that the union is more important than Germany, he adds, with the X symbolising a person.

However, Thomas Manss, founder of Thomas Manss & Company in Germany, says, “As a piece of graphic design I think it’s embarrassing.” He applauds the discovery that there are the letters EU within Deutschland, but says its execution is a missed opportunity. “You could misinterpret it, saying Germany is taking over the EU – it’s not very sensitive to the political issues.”

“From a technical and practical viewpoint it is totally unprofessional,” says an unnamed German designer. In Germany the X symbolises a vote, he adds, but in other countries it means to eliminate something. “Eliminate the EU?” he asks.

German-born Claudius Kenig, Wolff Olins director of European sales, is more positive: “It’s the correct thinking, but the message is over-complicated. Europe is bigger than Germany in terms of colour representation.”

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