Why is it that most pharmaceutical drug logos are terrible?

At one point or another you have been the target of pharmaceutical ads that attempt to inspire you to run straight to your doctor’s office to ask for a certain drug. The ad asks “Do you ever feel like blah blah blah?” or “If you have experienced x, y, or z, you may want to talk to your doctor about [insert drug name here].”  Upon looking at the medication’s logo, have you ever thought to yourself, “How can I trust this drug when that logo is so awful?”

Pharmaceutical companies spend millions upon millions of dollars promoting each new drug they produce. What bothers us here at Marstudio is the fact that essentially none of those dollars is spent on proper branding that can accurately represent the product these companies have worked so hard to create. Most of the logos in this industry are very predictable, and have little to do with the actual function of the medication. The majority of the logos are either a swish, stroke or a squiggly line depicting, well, nothing. Generally they give the impression that no creativity, thought or time was put into the design, which makes us wonder: if they didn’t bother to put much effort into the drug’s marketing, what makes us think that the drug itself is any good? Is it as safe and effective as it is supposed to be? Most logos for drugs these days seem like weak attempts at whipping up a quick logo just to get the medication on the market as soon as possible. We assume that branding a consumable, body or mind-altering substance would warrant at least a small bit of a creativity to give it a better chance of instilling confidence in its users. Branding is all about the perception of the product, service or company and it should reflect the quality of what it’s representing.

Exceptional brands have exceptional integrity and a well-organized effort behind them. How much integrity can be behind some drug branding that would surely fail as a student project in any descent design school? There is bountiful design talent everywhere, and incredible designers and creative firms that would jump at the chance to create identities for pharmaceuticals. These drug companies are clearly failing to take advantage of that talent.

Provided below are examples of these horrendous pharmaceutical logo designs:


Spiriva is a treatment intended to help one suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Unfortunately a person suffering from COPD may not believe this cure to be the best fit for them due to the atrocious logo design. The branding of Spiriva is revealing exactly the opposite of what the drug is supposed to do by creating a stuffy and cluttered setting for the logo.


Brovana, also used to treat COPD, currently has a logo that is making us slightly dizzy. Does someone want to get a magnifying glass to help us read the words below the name? We’re having a little bit of a hard time and it hurts our eyes (which doesn’t help our COPD, by the way). The dots laying on the line connected to the “r” seem to be growing as they move right, which indicated a raise in blood pressure or heart rate, neither of which is a positive thing.


And Chantix, the “proven to work” pill is supposed to help someone stop smoking? This. Must. Be. A. Joke. Nothing about the logo design is appealing as it contains an accurate depiction of an actual cigarette, and a dreadful oblique font that becomes difficult to read with the cramped text accompanying it below. Those looking to stop smoking are most likely searching for a convincing reason to stop this habit and do not want to see a picture of their vice during this time of moving forward.


Cialis, the famous erectile dysfunction medication, does not seem attractive in the slightest bit to someone searching for a solution to this personal issue. Ideally, this logo should instill a sense of reassurance, confidence, and comfort but the color choices (green and yellow), according to tons of color theory research,  green represents envy, jealousy and a lack of experience. And yellow stands for hope, deceit, and anxiety. Also, what does the brush stroke swish have to do with anything? Better luck next time, Cialis.


Prozac should really take some tips from a professional for a complete redesign. Their current logo seems extremely outdated. The font is just awful, and the sphere (?) of an “O” is very retro. If their logo is still hanging out in the 90’s does that mean that their cure for depression is, too? It really makes one wonder why a simple thing such as a design cannot be updated but the medical pill is required to be.


The Fosamax pill is used by individuals who suffer from osteoporosis and other bone diseases. What do yellow bars behind the word represent? Bones? Isn’t this pill supposed to help strengthen bones not break them into segments? Give us twenty minutes. We’re up for the challenge of making these logos fifty million times better. Thanks for reading our rants. It’s just because we care!

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