1970's - IT ALL BEGAN WITH A DESIGN FAIL
Dating back centuries, the skull and cross bone image has long been symbolic of death across all cultures, which is why it was a logical design choice in the 1850's to label poison and other harmful substances to protect people.
But in the 1970's, Dr. Richard Moriarty with the National Poison control center made an amazing discovery: children were actually attracted to the skull and cross bones labeled substances, reminding them of fun things like pirates and adventure. While effective for adults, skull and cross bones had the opposite association to children, who are more at risk of ingesting harmful chemicals and substances.
After lots of research and testing, Dr. Moriarty discovered that children found a certain sickly shade of green to be the most repulsive, and after one child called it "yucky," the Mr. Yuk sticker was born. The popular skull and cross bones was changed to a yucky face, like the one you'd make if you were to drink something gross. While something that "makes sense" like the skull and crossbones might be an obvious idea, researching and understanding your entire audience on a deeper level is how you make design decisions that people may not "like" or enjoy, but that is acutely effective. And that's what matters.
2000's - WORSTOFALL & MR. YUK: CAPITALIZING ON A BAD THING
If the Mr. Yuk sticker was supposed to be the the epitome of disgust, of course Worstofall was drawn to it as a representation of our philosophy on design: don't be "good", be right. The Worstofall version uses a diamond, referencing that the most valuable assets to a brand might be something most people overlook.
Why would you want to associate with something that is meant to be disliked? Because if you are going to be Worstofall Design, then you have to go all the way. THAT is the definition of badass branding. Embrace what defines you no matter what it looks like.
Mr. Yuk is the perfect representation of our brand because he is meant to stand out, both by his color and stink face, and nobody else is going to use him. Mr. Yuk wouldn't work for everyone, but there is an equivalent Mr. Yuk out there for every single business. You might just need help finding it!