From below, there’s nothing beautiful about a bomb. It’s just a whistling dot against the sky. From a profile view, though, a bomb is a missile, covered in space-age fins and flanges, as sexy as any airplane or race car. It feels like it was born to be branded, if it did not seem tasteless to do so.
There’s little more tasteless than the branding initiatives of the world’s megacorps. So it seems appropriate that as a subversive side project, Benjamin Simon and Dirk Schuster of the German design studio Foreal decided to give a fresh coat of paint to some of the world’s deadliest bombs, with the idea that companies like Google, Adidas, Facebook, and McDonald’s had branded them. It’s called, appropriately enough, Corporate Warfare.
“Our initial inspiration was the beauty of military missiles,” says Schuster. So he and his partner mentally linked the powerful aesthetic of a military arsenal to the influence exerted by the world’s biggest brands, and went about the task of trying to find a specific type of missile that seemed to most suit each brand, from a McDonald’s-skinned ICBM to a Hiroshima-destroying Fat Man branded by Google. (“The proportions and its bulging roundness represent the incredible power Google has nowadays,” explains Schuster.)
Corporate Warfare feels like it must be trying to make a political statement, but that’s not the main point of the project, Schuster says. Rather, it was to see how the brand language of various major corporations could be stretched to accommodate something as massive and as deadly as a nuke. The fact that the design languages of these companies look right at home on a weapon of mass destruction is terrifying, but speaks to the brands’ ubiquity.