Viral Valley People

[UPDATE] UW-Stout Grad Redesigns Iconic Company Logos, and Now They’ve Gone TikTok Viral

Emily Zugay’s purposefully appalling Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, NASA logos have to be seen to be believed

Rebecca Mennecke |

WHICH OF THESE IS BETTER? 2019 UW-Stout graduate Emily Zugay recently went viral after her atrocious redesign of national brands' logos went TikTok viral, garnering millions of views. (Submitted photo)
WHICH OF THESE IS BETTER? 2019 UW-Stout graduate Emily Zugay recently went viral after her atrocious redesign of national brands' logos went TikTok viral, garnering millions of views. (Submitted photo)

UPDATE 10/11/2021:  Emily Zugay and her viral designs will be featured this Wednesday (Oct. 13) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Over the weekend, she shared some behind-the-scenes snaps on her Instagram with this message: You’d better tune in this Wednesday!!! @theellenshow Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I will truly never forget it :,)

“I graduated college with a degree in design and I redesigned some popular logos I think we can all agree are ugly,” says UW-Stout graduate Emily Zugay in a Sept. 8 TikTok video that has garnered over 14.9 million views.

In the video, she pulls up the Starbucks logo, saying "I don't like anything about it. I don't like this green color. I don't even know who this figure is, maybe the president or something. The font is also just tacky and outdated." 

I just want to entertain people and have fun with what I am doing.

Trends come and go. I'd love to be here for the long haul and work on my career. I hope it opens up opportunities for me. 

Emily Zugay

UW-Stout grad + Viral Tiktoker

She uses her design background to reinvent the logo to feature a bright pink, teal, and coral redesign that has absolutely knocked viewers off their feet, using not only a tacky font and bizarre layout – but completely misspells the company's name: Starbucks Cofee (sic). 

Zugay, a 2019 entertainment design grad who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, intended the videos in which she redesigns iconic company logos and does a frankly terrible job at it, to be entertaining – to maybe garner a couple of chuckles. But now the world is captivated by her deadpan humor. 

Since her initial post, she has been approached by numerous national businesses, who now use her designs in their company logo. Check out this TikTok by the official Washington Post TikTok account, which posted this response to her video. 

The Washington Post used Zugay's redesign as their company logo on TikTok, and many other companies jumped on board, using the terrible designs as a marketing opportunity for their respective companies.
The Washington Post used Zugay's redesign as their company logo on TikTok, and many other companies jumped on board, using the terrible designs as a marketing opportunity for their respective companies.

“There are people who still believe it is for real,” Zugay said in a press release from UW-Stout. “I thought it would be fun to redesign logos terribly. I used words I picked up during critiques at my UW-Stout classes that helped explain why my designs were better. I had to keep my face as serious as possible. We have all been in a situation where there is somebody who thinks they are particularly good at a task, and they just might not be. I tried to become that person.”

Zugay, a 2019 UW-Stout grad, made these videos as a complete joke, but they've gone viral. And that's no joke at all. (Submitted photo)
Zugay, a 2019 UW-Stout grad, made these videos as a complete joke, but they've gone viral. And that's no joke at all. (Submitted photo)

A number of brands have reached out to Zugay to have her redesign her brands, including Tampax, Nascar, the Detroit Lions, Ocean Spray, Tinder, McDonald's, Adobe, NASA, Target, Starbucks Coffee, H&R Block, Apple, the NFL, Doritos, and Amazon

The Detroit Lions gave her a custom Detroit Lions jersey with "Emily Zugay" on the back for her work, along with free tickets to a game. And, the design has already made its way to tee shirts that you can purchase with the custom design on it. 

Famous boyband The Jonas Brothers also reached out for a redesign. 

“I just want to entertain people and have fun with what I am doing,” Zugay said. “Trends come and go. I’d love to be here for the long haul and work on my career. I hope it opens up opportunities for me.”

We reached out to Zugay in the hopes that she might redesign Volume One’s logo, but who knows if she'll have the time! 

Check out her full videos on TikTok at @emilyzugay


Here are a few more of her iconic redesigns: 

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