This Charger that Says 'Jews' Is Today's Tech Fail
"So one day, a customer calls in basically calling us a bunch of Nazis..."
Photo: Liya Hoshi
Liya Hoshi, a graphic designer from New Bedford Massachusetts, noticed something a little strange when she plugged in the travel charger she purchased from Amazon. The gadget seemed to come with a specific message.
She said it took her a minute to realize the logo actually read "iSmart"—but a very simple logo flaw caused it read more like "+Jews!"
"My first thought was that the designer must have been Jewish," she told Motherboard.
Hoshi snapped a picture of the design fail and posted it to Facebook and Reddit and shortly after the image went viral. Because the internet is the internet, many different conspiracy theories blossomed.
"While we were fortunate that most people agreed it was unintentional, we learned a powerful lesson of what not to do when creating a logo."
"The puns and illuminati jokes have been pretty funny," Hoshi said.
Hoshi also points out that she wasn't the first person to notice that the design was a little off. According to a Reddit comment from Kerbonaut2014, iSmart updated the logo over a year ago when someone else noticed the ambigram.
Motherboard spoke with RAVPower cofounder Allen Fung who confirmed that the design misstep was first noticed by a customer over a year ago and promptly corrected.
"So one day, a customer calls in basically calling us a bunch of Nazis, and we had no idea what she was referring to until she told us to look at our logo upside down at which point we realized that we royally screwed up. By then the news had already hit Reddit, and while we were fortunate that most people agreed it was unintentional, we learned a powerful lesson of what not to do when creating a logo."
Fung says small tweak in the logo solved the problem. "The main issue was that the lowercase 'r' looked like a 'j' when upside down. That and adjusting a few other small things helped. We never meant to offend anyone. Once we turned it upside and saw it we immediately fixed it."
Older models of the charger with the original logo design can still be found in circulation—and apparently also still be seen on the internet but for the most part this design fail turned into a viral win for RAVPower and its iSMART+ technology.