Co.Design

Font Fail: Pepsi Teams Up With Rape?

What a difference the wrong typeface can make.

It's hard to imagine an advertising error greater than this one: Pepsi partnered with Japanese clothing company BAPE (A Bathing Ape) to cross-brand Pepsi and BAPE's sub-brand Aape. Unfortunately, a poor choice in typeface choice ensued, and the Aape "A" ended up looking a whole lot like an "R." So Aape became Rape.

Pepsi x Rape! Live for now!

Of course, the inevitable question of "how did no one catch this?" has already stormed Reddit. I'd posit that, in this case, it might have been that the marketing message behind one of the largest soda brands and most respected fashion brands in the world may have actually been produced and proofed by a surprisingly small team of people. Even still, how did no one catch this?

See it here.

[Hat tip: Hypervocal]

Image Credit

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14 Comments

  • Spur Creative

    The other question is why would Aape allow Pepsi to change its wordmark?

  • jydog

    Wow.  People commenting are so sweet and innocent when they see the word "RAPE" they think "MUSTARD".   That's really cute.  And everyone thinking that mixing advertisement up with sex was an honest mistake, gosh, you people are just too generous.

  • tai

    this does not look like rape. only if r and a look alike which they dont. its either rrpe or aape

  • zedman2222

    I saw 'RAPE' in my first impression of those 4 letters.
    I also think of the plant 'rape', a mustard-based flower.
    or 'rapeseed'.

  • mckibillo

    I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and assume this was intended for the Japanese market.... correct? RAPE is most likely not the first thing that occurs to the average Japanese consumer passing by this image, seeing as how English is not their primary language.... so Fast Co, parochial much?

  • Kurt Texter

    My exact thoughts, given the incredible cultural difference, this is only a big deal because you are witnessing it within the United States.

  • Larry McAllister II

    The problem is, if we are reading the first A as an R, then the letter right next to it would also have to be an R, so it would say RRPE...

  • Mark Wilson

    I don't agree, in a practical sense. Your brain skims over middle letters in a word at first glance.

  • Larry McAllister II

    I can agree with that Mark, maybe I am thinking too much like a designer right now and not like someone who would just be seeing this at a quick glance.

  • shabani

    So... wtf? Only those obssessed with RAPE could see that A as an R. Clearly both As look identical... so why not RRPE?

  • Justine Arreche

    Completely agree with Subquantum, it's a short familiar word and you don't have to be "obsessed" with rape to think a simple typographic change would've fixed this. Furthermore, if you can't distinguish between characters in a typeface, it's not a successful means of communication at all. So, still a bad move either way you roll the dice. 

  • Subquantum

    "Only those obsessed with RAPE could see that A as an R?" Seriously? Our brains are hardwired to identify familiar patterns. 'Rape' pops out because it's actually a common/familiar word.