27 Sep. 2006

Sinister Australian federal agency logos

I pointed out last year how incredibly sinister the then DIMIA's logo was. They don't use it a lot anymore, and will of course have jettisoned the old stationary etc when they changed to being DIMA, but I did find this instance via Google image search:

Yes, Australia, a writhing, twisting mass of human bodies. That's the Department of Immigration and Mulitcultural Affairs so you know. Yes.

Today, I noticed how sinister the Australian Tax Office's logo is:

Like every organisation, from the federal government to self-employed plumbers, in this country, the ATO feels the need not only to add the word 'Australian' to its name – I always like to point out that there is no need for this, since no-one's going to confuse what Tax Office they are – they, like DIMIA, have a logo in the shape of Australia.

Does one really want the ATO to represent Australia in this way? A jagged continent, hewn out of angular, bureaucratic letters, it is the perfect representation of the bureaucratisation of a landmass. This of course is perfectly appropriate for the ATO. Less appropriate is the fact that the twisted shapes of the letters put one in mind of thrash metal band logos. In particular, the initial A reminds me of the initial A of the Anthrax logo: