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The logo for “Be Best” allegedly designed by Melania Trump herself (image courtesy the White House)

Graphic designers the world over probably groaned at the news that First Lady of the United States Melania Trump designed the logo for her new “Be Best” initiative, which New York Times journalist Julie Davis reports came about because the First Lady likes “clean lines” and “wanted something that would appeal to children.”

The “new” Be Best brochure, left, and the FTC brochure from 2014, right, are very much alike (all images courtesy the White House)

The logo is part of a campaign aimed at “encouraging children to BE BEST in their individual paths, while also teaching them the importance of social, emotional, and physical health.” Cue eye roll. Many people find it hard to imagine the FLOTUS spearheading a campaign about emotional and social health when her partner, the President of the United States, regularly disparages and humiliates people, while constantly lying about issues both major and minor (CNN recently reported that Donald Trump had lied more than 3,000 times in 466 days).

Let’s remember that FLOTUS has an originality problem, so it seems only fitting that the Be Best pamphlet is an almost exact copy of a document published by the Federal Trade Commission in January 2014 h/t @RMac18Of course, this isn’t the first time she’s cribbed from the Obama administration, or event the second. Perhaps we’ll soon discover that she copied this logo, too.

Everyone is an artist and designer nowadays, whether we like it or not, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Melania Trump has thrown her hat into the ring.

Tell us what you think about the FLOTUS’s Be Best logo.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

35 replies on “Melania Trump Designed the Logo for Her “Be Best” Initiative”

  1. MLK plagiarized parts of his doctoral thesis. The media tells tall tales every day. The Washington Press Corp mocked Sarah Sanders. The American people own the copyright on any government documents and any First Lady that wants to use them can. This is about helping kids and the art community should be foursquare behind it regardless of which political party holds the White House. Let’s all grow up a little and encourage kids – especially the ones who don’t have a legacy college admission in their future – to Be Best.

    1. Encouraging kids is great, and I agree the article feels real quickly written and crazy opinionated…but that hoo boy is that logo a laugh!!!! it just looks like shit haha!

        1. It’s not bad. It doesn’t rise to that level. As for the lexical meaning, ‘Be best’ is vacuous thumbsucking. Just because you want to ‘help kids’ in some amorphous way is not an excuse for mindlessness.

    2. Dear Cristo52,

      This is a post about Melania Trump’s initiative. Why would you mention Martin Luther King’s plagiarism? What does that have to do with anything? I suspect that you image this to be a kind of contest in which there are people of color on one side and Trump and his ilk on the other. But this is not insightful reasoning. You don’t make her theft of other people’s intellectual labor okay by claiming that someone on the seeming other side of the divide did the same. What kind of morality or ethics do you have to do this? Why do you think of this discussion as a matter of getting scalps? How impoverished are you that you that you think like this?

  2. I think this Be Best campaign Is one of the great conceptual art pieces so far in 2018. FLOTUS for MacArthur Grant!

    1. Be bad grammar for sure. Be hierarchical. Be never enough. Be best or beware. Be-not yourself.

  3. Hrag and Owen ought to grow up and recognize that not everything is a reason or excuse to express their severe cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Could you find nothing more important to complain about?

  4. Fine with me. She is so poorly served by staff who are not making sources of material clear and/or credited etc. I think she has the worst job in the world, never expected it, and no matter how correctly and modestly she dresses, even for a meeting with the Pope some people/press mention and/ or post soft porn or other bad taste photos from decades ago, and she has to do public speeches in her heavily accented English. And raise a child in that extended disfunctional family.

  5. Surely I am not alone in thinking it should be “Be The Best”?
    “Best” is a superlative, and so it needs the definite article in there, right?
    Apart from that, it’s not even a logomark, it’s just a wordmark – where’s the visual element?
    Melania said she wanted something that would appeal to kids, and I would say that it certainly looks like a kid designed this identity. Only I don’t want to insult the creativity of kids all around the world.

  6. Be Absurdly Hypocritical while sitting next to the most prominent social media bully in the nation–your skanky husband.

    1. So you don’t applaud her being independent of same? Skank as defined by what? calling it like it is? Honesty to a Dem is bullying. Interesting

  7. It signifies that no matter your opinion you can be your best and that our best is comprised of a mix of mindsets…that all is required to be our best. Simple, effective message, unequivocally conveyed by subtle implication. I guess the writer (everyone’s a writer these days) and the negative voters didn’t get the message

  8. You know, if the First Lady had secretly hired one of the best graphic designers in the world to do this work, then kept it a secret and put her name to it, the author of this piece and all the other negative nabobs would still have hated it and ridiculed her for her ‘awful’ work.

    The left is as predictable as it is hateful.

      1. Maybe not, but it is particularly leftist to not only come out of the box wanting to find fault, but also be awfully snarky as well.

        Saul Bass could have designed something and, if the left thought the First lady had been the artist, the left would still have been negative and nasty.

        Protip: Not all artists are liberal left progressive and waiting with bated breath for the next criticism ridicule session against those who are not.

        1. Nevertheless, and regardless of my politics or anyone else’s, I think the logo in question is a crap job. I think we have enough crapification going on. That might be a conservative opinion.

    1. I hate Trump and always have, and don’t have strong feelings about Melania one way or the other, but I do agree with this comment. I don’t think it’s bad at all, and it really could pass for one of those casual looking logos that cost $50-500K. The whole article is the kind of thing that gives Trump-hating a bad name. We cannot afford that.

  9. Maybe, just maybe, all the crap, garbage and hate that is being written here will bring light to the serious problem of the USA having a really crappy public education system. Just for once, get your act together and all get behind the Be Best movement. THIS IS ABOUT THE CHILDREN AND NOT YOU AND YOUR PARTISAN BELIEFS. Make America Great by educating your children! Grow up!

  10. As Tina Turner once said, the phrase is “simply THE best.” Even “Be YOUR best” makes more sense. I guess she copied it from a Budweiser commercial. Bless her heart. Does no one have her back?

  11. I’ve seen much worse that you have paid homage to. This logo, simplistic and grungy as it may be, actually catches your eye and says “what is this”. I think that’s what logos are supposed to do. Small minds would give a partisan view towards art.

  12. “Perhaps we’ll soon discover that she copied this logo, too.”

    So will it still be ‘awful’ if “cribbed from the Obama administration”?

  13. Who is Hrag Vartanian?
    If any liberal FLOTUS made a logo from poo, he would hail it as high art with the holistic approach.
    I like the logo – the artwork is better than some of the abstract trash out there.
    This article is a journalistic disgrace – it is filled with malice. Editors will do anything today to get a retweet.

    And, @constance_walsh:disqus Walsh does not know that in logos grammar is unimportant.

  14. In typography design, there is something called kerning. It is the bane of every nascent graphic designer. They would lose points on kerning for this logo where the “T” seems to be running away from the rest of the letters. The spacing between the 2 “B”s and “E”s is also unmatched to a distracting degree. Yet the possible intention of a fast or casual exclamation is undercut by the rigidly identical formation of each repeated letter of the font. Without any reference to project, this logo has an amateurish look.

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