Outlook Magazine - Fall 2022


so bad it’s funny

Entertainment design alum Zugay’s satirical videos catch attention of international companies (and it’s intentional)


hen Emily Zugay ’19 takes on a new project but feels afraid of judgment, she remembers a quote

She also collaborated with Panera Bread last winter, designing graphics for a limited line of four reusable cups for its Ugly Holiday Cup Collection, a play on the popular ugly holiday sweater tradition. Zugay loves to entertain people and to tell stories through her art and design. In October 2021, she was invited to meet another famous entertainer and appeared as a guest on the “Ellen Show.” Zugay revealed a new logo for the show, taking the elegant, slender blue font and turning it on its head into what would feel comfortable as a magnet plastered on a 1960s olive green refrigerator. DeGeneres used Zugay’s logo on merchandise to raise funds for America’s Food Fund. “Meeting Ellen was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was an honor to have the chance to share my story with her,” Zugay said. Zugay chose to redesign logos because they are easily recognizable. “The average person didn’t need to have a design degree to recog nize how bad my redesigns are,” she said. “It luckily took off."

byAmerican economist Thomas Sowell, “The beauty of doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly. Only when you do something is it almost impossible to do it without mistakes. Therefore, people who are contributing noth ing to society, except their constant criticisms, can feel both intellectually and morally supe rior.” Wanting to ruffle some feathers and try some thing new, Zugay, an entertainment design alum, started posting satirical redesigns of some of the world’s most recognizable logos on TikTok in fall 2021. “Satire has always been at the heart of my con tent,” she said, never expecting the reception from viewers – her first four videos netted more than 100 million views – nor that com panies would flood her comments requesting that she redesign their logos too. “It feels very surreal,” said Zugay, who was a pet portrait artist in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Given the fortunate situation of my social media growth, I had to stop creating pet por traits due to my limited time and availability. I’d love to return to it someday though, as it was a great way to connect with some of my viewers on a more personal level.” Zugay has redesigned more than 50 logos, including Amazon, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Target. Recently, she’s revamped state’s logos, Disney, 7-Eleven, AT&T and Twitter. One of her favorite redesigns was changing the Detroit Lions to the Detriot Lines, using four brown lines to depict the National Foot ball League team.

EMILY ZUGAY ‘19 @emilyzugay

“This has been a dream come true. Even though the work I’mcurrently producing isn’t exactly what I pictured for myself, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have loads of fun every time I make videos or redesign something, and I think that translates into my work.”


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