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Ivan's picture

CIA's "Terrorist Buster" Logo

terrorist buster logo

This is official ladies and gentleman. I'm not joking. It's from the CIA's website. Let's dissect it, shall we?

Who are the terrorists anyway? Let's try to describe them and find a fitting visual representation for them.

ghostbusters posterTerrorists are premeditated, politically motivated violent people who perpetrate against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. In other words overly happy yetis covered in Middle Eastern crude oil armed with Russian made AK47 weapons.

ghostbusters posterGreat, we've got the subject covered. Now how do we express the notion of busting? Busting... buster... ghost busters! Who's afraid of ghosts? Who's afraid of terrorists? Hey, we are talking to TV heads, aren't we? Let's borrow from pop culture, so they understand! Let's use the Ghostbusters logo and transform it into the Terrorist Buster logo.

If you think this is too simple, dare to say even primitive, think again. It's not about talking to the lowest common denominator. There is a hidden message encoded here. The CIA is trying to tell us something that they publicly can't. They are trying to suggest that terrorists are like ghosts. Everyone if afraid of them, but nobody has proof they even exist.

They are trying to tell you subliminally: People of the world — wake up, stop being afraid of ghosts!

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

olliesan1's picture
288 pencils
KellyR's picture
525 pencils

overly happy yetis covered in Middle Eastern crude oil armed with Russian made AK47 weapons

I almost thought it was Darth Vader at first - or a weird black Storm Trooper (is my inner geek showing herself again?)

dpc's picture
357 pencils

I would love to know how much this logo costed the american people.
Anyone know?!

Graphic, Web and Logo Designer from Pittsburgh, PA

Stack's picture
85 pencils

i bet it would take some work trying to track these documents down. But based on the inflated war budget and the greedy government bureaucracies who implement this crap, i would ball park in the range of $25,000 - 50,000. Thats what the republican in me is thinking....

DesignDaddy's picture
14 pencils

I hate to say it but it kind of makes the CIA seem a little "mom & pop shop-ish". Maybe that's the intent. To make it seem like some kind of grass roots movement with which the average citizen can participate.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” - Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” - Albert Einstein

Fraijanes's picture
273 pencils

Not all terrorist are armed, this way, and having a bunch of great staff of designers and people wanting to have an oportunity they get in the basics, maybe a cusin of someone did the logo, this logo is a sketch and someone doodle it in Illustrator and voil

We´ll always have Paris! Humphrey Bogart

Kilik's picture
80 pencils

3, 2, 1!

joshuatree0587's picture
70 pencils

Oh. My. God.

Waleed's picture
540 pencils

All government establishments are the same.. Instead of using modern phycology to convey the right message, they go and do something as amateurish as this.. What a pity..

Keale2's picture
1 pencil

This looks almost exactly like the icon I made for the zoo I work at.

SlowX's picture
44 pencils

The terrorists have won...again.

ReidDesigns's picture
1283 pencils

"There's something strange, getting on the plane. . . who you gonna call?
Terrorist Busters!"

Oh that's not a good one. . . some may find offensive!

I apologise!

"Try not, Do! or do not, there is no try."

green's picture
20 pencils

I think it's perfect. The United States government is like Microsoft: Unlimited resources and zero taste. Also, the ghost is a perfect representative for the foggy set of criteria that add up to "terrorist":
- comes from some "other" place
- is unholy. Believes in wrong things, or believes in nothing
- is formless, is hiding, or hiding something
- makes eerie noises, not english, that's for sure!
- no empirical data to support actual existence

The only thing that Logos R Us got wrong is that everyone knows ghosts are white... but wait a second, a white terrorist? Heresy!

I disagree with Waleed about the psychology angle, i think they've got it spot on. A ghost is legend, not real people with any valid reasons for violence. A ghost is the thing in the closet, and under the bed that every child fears. Manufacturing fear in it's citizens, and faceless, nameless enemies is agenda number one for that government.

Oh yeah, and WOW does that logo ever suck!

Waleed's picture
540 pencils

Sorry, but I don't see a ghost.. I see a poorly drawn robot, reminded me of the cartoon movie "Iron Giant".

Phycology usually gives you directions to the path to follow, that's why focus groups are used in the design of product marketing campaigns.. It is more expensive, but I don't think cost matters when it's against terrorism.

green's picture
20 pencils

i'll play along anyway. Ivan didn't SEE a ghost either, but when he made the initial post it was because he had instantly associated the crappy logo with the ghostbusters one. There is no ghost, Neo. Psychological...

green's picture
20 pencils

I just noticed that based on my lack of a profile pic, the CIA might think I'M a terrorist. I look awfully suspicious, though I am gray and the licorice-yeti-of-death is quite black.

toysoldier5's picture
1 pencil

didn't you see the knife?
terrorists brandish AKs and hack off the heads of our people.
i don't see the Ghost Busters connection so much.
the symbology is generally excellent and definitely powerful, combining the best of US pop culture with the international sign to stop.

graphikdzyner's picture
13 pencils

of overpaid crap.... when will (THEY_fill in the blank) learn??? Ridiculous.... that is almost as pristine as the new Olympics logo, quality....

Donateko's picture

I happened to be very familiar with this situation. I work as a Criminal Investigator for the United States Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) we are the Army's FBI, we are Federal Agents and all. The problem is that must GOVT. organizations won't out-source this kind of jobs, because they think one of their agents can do it (in Word or Power Point). Like Green said:

"The United States government is like Microsoft: Unlimited resources and zero taste."

The fact is that the agents are agents for a reason, they are good at investigating, interrogating, etc. and that's why they work in those positions. If they were great graphic designers, they would not be working for the GOVT. getting paid a mid-class salaries, they would be making good money as civilians. Also, the people in charge in these organizations do not have the most vague idea behind the purpose of good design; therefore, will settle for anything that is quick and cheap (in this case free).

And that is how you get a crappy logo like this one!!!

Donateko's picture

I don't know near as much about design as you guys do, but I do know when something looks bad. I've been trying to help my organization with its design needs, because although I don't know much, I think anything is better than this I volunteered my time and came up with this but I guess the person in charge of the current site was afraid of loosing his job or looking bad and turned me down. The good news is that when I went to his bosses' boss, he did take me seriously as I explained a little bit of the impact good design has not only in marketing, but in first impressions and in how people perceive your organization. So I have been task with coming up with a proposal of all the things I can change and show them a little bit of what I can do.

I hope to improve things a little, but remember guys, I am not a professional designer (look at my signature) so don’t beat me up too bad if the improvement is not that much.


olliesan1's picture
288 pencils

It may have a few issues, but your site is definitely an improvement. I think that first site will eventually give someone a seizure with those quickly rotating images on the home page.

Ivan's picture

Thanks for the great insight!

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