Logo Design News This Week (5.30)

Welcome to another Friday, the day each week when we take a look back at the news from the world of logo design. Here are the news items that caught our attention this week:

Howard Bison Logo DesignHoward University, based in Washington D.C.,  unveiled a new logo this week. The school’s old logo looked an awful lot like NFL football team Buffalo Bill’s logo. The new one doesn’t. Development of the new design began in 2014 and solicited input from students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders. The horns on the logotype is a bit cheesy, but effective—and not inappropriate for a college like Howard. But that icon is nice.

Derry City and Strabane council in Ireland has a new (and very expensive) logo. Town residents are upset that it cost £30,000. Yeah, that seems a bit high, but it’s a well-designed mark.

Kasich Campaign Logo DesignIt seems as if we post a brand new logo for a Republican candidate each week—sometimes more than one a week. And today is no different. On Tuesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich became the 16th person to enter the race and introduced a new campaign logo to inspire voters to listen to him. Or something. We like the bold, trustworthy font treatment. And the icon isn’t bad. This logo differs from most of the others already unveiled in its simpleness.

Runkeeper Logo DesignRun keeper, an app used by millions to track their physical activity, made a big change to their logo this week. Dropping the very fit and competitive running man icon, the company has adopted a new friendlier R icon that looks like it’s meant to be a jumprope or a shoe lace. The change is likely to appeal to the company’s core customers—women. We like the updated font, but that icon is horrendous. The way the lace is broken with odd angle cuts (where it intersects with itself) is annoying. And the orange handles on a blue rope just doesn’t work for our sense of style. And the icon doesn’t go with that font. Not a great update.

A nice write up of the recent change to the Mr. Coffee logo.

2016 All-star Game Logo DesignThis week the San Diego Padres unveiled the new logo for the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Compared to most all-star game logos, this one’s not bad. But it is crowded with all of the required elements: the MLB logo, the game’s name, a visual or textual reference to the stadium where the game is played, plus the host team’s logo and a date. This one’s got it all. And yet, we still like it.

And in other sports logo news, the Hartford Hawks have a new logo. So do the Milwaukee Admirals.

Did we miss anything you saw? Let us know in the comments.

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Start a Business: How to Name Your Startup

No doubt you’ve heard the amusing story about Chevrolet’s launch of a new model in Latin America. The car was popular in the US, so the launch team simply used the same model and name: Nova. In the states, a nova is an intensely bright star. But in Latin America, nova (or “no va”) means (doesn’t go).

A great story. But it isn’t true.

The Nova was launched in Mexico, Venezuela and several other Latin American countries and actually sold very well. And Pemex (Mexico’s gas company) sells a gasoline with the same name: Nova. No one associates the name with the idea “doesn’t go” (which they would actually say: “no funciona”).

But that doesn’t mean bad names don’t happen.

Name Your Startup Reebok IncubusIn 1997, athletic gear company, Reebok, launched a new women’s running shoe called the Incubus. When it was pointed out that an incubus is a male demon who visits women in their sleep to rape them, Reebok recalled 18,000 boxes of shoes and apologized for the mistake.

Worse, in 2002, Umbro, another sportswear brand, launched a new shoe called the Zyklon, completely unaware that Zyklon B was an insecticide used by the Nazis to exterminate millions of Jews. The company apologized and explained that the name was selected by a designer who didn’t know about the connection to the Holocaust (and apparently didn’t do the appropriate research).

Naming a new product is a process fraught with danger. And while you might not make a mistake as glaring as Reebok or Umbro, you might make one of these much more common mistakes when you brainstorm names for your brand:

Brand Naming Mistake #1: Picking a name that won’t grow with your brand.
Too often a company chooses a name that limits what they can do in the future. One example that hits particularly close to home around here is Logomaker, the name of our company. It’s a great name as long as our product is a logo. But if we want to also offer websites and business cards, it’s not a name that stretches to cover those products. Customers expect a company called Logomaker to make logos, not business cards.

The brand name Hot Point worked really well for the first electric iron patented in 1882. It also worked well when the company created the first electric ranges, changing the way people cooked in their homes. But the name works less well for the brand’s other products: washers, disposals, and freezers. A Hot Point freezer?

You’re better off choosing a name that suggests a positive attribute and can expand into other areas if needed. If you were starting a bus company, a name like Greyhound which suggests speed is better than USABus or LeBus. Another good bus brand name: Vamoose, which suggests escape. Names like Greyhound and Vamoose could be expanded more easily into other areas like air travel, taxis, or even overnight delivery. But USABus means just one thing: buses in the United States. It’s a name that limits location as well as expansion.

Choose a name that will grow with your brand.

Brand Naming Mistake #2: Choosing an abbreviation for your brand name.

Do any of those companies mean anything to you? The problem with abbreviations is that they don’t have an inherent meaning. If you know one or more of them, it’s because you use their products—though it’s more likely that you use one of their products and don’t even know it.

You probably recognize IBM in part because of their massive advertising budgets and products in the workplace. But what about NCR or EDS—both of which have been competitors of IBM. Those names simply don’t tell you anything about the company or its products. Does BSA stand for Boy Scouts of America or Birmingham Small Arms company? Is CVS a better name than Consumer Value Stores? Did you know QVC stands for Quality, Value and Convenience—all great brand attributes, but who knows this?

Choose a name that means something, not a name you have to add meaning to.

Brand Naming Mistake #3: Naming your brand for a list of partners.
This is a popular naming convention for law firms, accountants and advertising agencies. So what the difference between Scadden, Arps, Slate Meager & Flom and Freshfields Brockhaus Derringer? The names don’t give you a clue as to why you should choose one firm over the other. What kind of law do they specialize in? Would they even take my call?

Ad agencies are in the business of helping brands distinguish themselves from each other. And yet, many agencies simply take the names of their founders, rather than choose a name that might mean something. Can you tell by the name what kind of marketing service these agencies provide (they’re not all the same): Edelman, Grey, Weber Shandwick or Wunderman? Or even worse: JWT, FCB, TBWA, and R/GA?

You and your partners may have lovely names, but they’re not a good starting point for building a brand name that can stand on its own.

Brand Naming Mistake #4: Choosing a generic sounding, made-up name.
XypexChoosing a made up name for your brand isn’t always bad. If the word roots suggest a product benefit, go for it. Names like Blistex, Clearasil, Drano, Raisinets, Slurpee, and Terminix all suggest a brand attribute that customers are seeking (no blisters, clear skin, drains that work, raisins, a noisy drink and dead bugs). If you can come up with a made up name related to your brand benefits, go for it.

But then there are names like: Afrin, Altria, Brava, Clairol, Claritin, Clarinol, Detrol, Encana, Evora, Midol, Nexen, Onex, Plavix, Victrex, and Xypex (among hundreds of others). None of these names suggest anything, which means it will take a lot of marketing and time to attach your brand attributes and story to the name before it will mean anything to your customers.

Worse, you might end up with a name that sounds like all of the other made-up sounding names: like Atavis, Actos, Advaxis, Alimta, Amalthea, Anavex, and Atripia. Or Claris, Clarins, Claritin, and Claria. With a name like these, even if you spend the time and money to build a solid brand around your name, you still risk confusion with similarly branded names doing the same thing. It’s best to avoid names like this altogether.

Brand Naming Mistake #5: Choosing a name your customers can’t (or won’t) pronounce.
You may have heard of the brand, French Connection United Kingdom or as it cheekily abbreviates itself: FCUK. This kind of name is far too clever. Many publications won’t print the name and some potential customers will be offended by it. Most startup owners intuitively understand that names like this are risky.

But what about these brand names: Derecuny, W3LL, Xoom, L’Occitane or Xyience? Do you know how to pronounce them? If you heard them, could you spell them correctly? A name that is difficult to say or spell can be a challenge when customers search for you online. The fashion brand Hermés is pronounced air-mehz. The yogurt brand Fage is pronounced Fa-yay. Is it Lulu-lemon or LuLu-lee-moan?

Don’t make the mistake of choosing a hard to pronounce word when you name your startup.

Brand Naming Mistake #6: Choosing a name you can’t own.
McDonald Plumbing Logo DesignEven if your last name is McDonald and you are starting a business completely unrelated to fast food, you will always come second (or a hundred and second) to the hamburger giant. McDonald Construction. McDonald Plumbing. McDonald’s Rental Cars. All these are real businesses, but you’ll never find them online searching for McDonald. The fast food brand is just too big. Pick a name you can own.

Brand Naming Mistake #7: Choosing a name too close to your competitors.
In a crowded market, this can be a significant challenge. Take pizza brands for example. Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s offer a different product, but a very similar name. (And we didn’t even mention Big Mama’s and Papa’s or Papa Gino’s). Then there are names like: Pizza Hut, Pizza Corner, Pizza Inn, PizzaExpress, Pizza Ranch, Pizza Studio and The Pizza Company. Or chains based on locations: Boston Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, East of Chicago Pizza, Old Chicago and Rocky Mountain Pizza. Or Pizza companies that take the name of the owner, like: Ray’s, Gino’s, Jerry’s, Sammy’s, Porky’s, Dion’s, and Pat’s. We could go on.

Now think of a few battery brands. Each wants a name that suggests energy, power, and durability. Despite wanting to convey very similar brand attributes, there are some very different names: DieHard, EverReady, Energizer, Duracell, and PowerKing. Suggestive but different enough to create space in a crowded market.

When you name your startup, choose something that doesn’t sound like your competitor.

Need help with your brand’s naming project?
Avoiding mistakes is a start. But coming up with a great brand name takes time and work. If you need help, or just want a second opinion on the names you’re considering, ping us at support@logomaker.com (ask for Rob) and we’ll give you an opinion/or quote on a naming project.

For more tips on naming your startup, click here.

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12 Quotes for Startups and Small Business from Tom Preston-Werner, Founder of Github

Tom Preston-WernerTom Preston-Werner is the co-founder and CEO of the popular code repository, GitHub. But that wasn’t his first foray into starting a new small business. He also started Gravatar, a program for allowing users to create a unique avatar that would follow them on the web from site to site. The service was popular, but struggled to make any money, so Preston-Werner sold the company to Automatic. It was a successful exit, but he didn’t exactly walk away a millionaire.

Preston-Werner’s next company has been more successful, both in the number of users and its revenues. GitHub provides both private and public repositories and today has more than 9 million users and more than 21 million repositories. They claim to be the largest code host in the world. And despite being profitable, they’ve raised more than 100 million in venture capital to help the company grow.

Preston-Werner left the company after accusations of harassment and nepotism. However, he has said many things that are both inspiring and helpful to others who might want to start their own small business. Here are a few of our favorites:

“When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say wow that was an adventure, not, wow I sure felt safe.”

“Here’s another thing that’s interesting about not making a lot of money on something. It makes you a more clever person. When you don’t have money to throw at a problem, you have to come up with an intelligent solution to solve the same problem.”

“It wasn’t like we sat down and were like, ‘We’re going to quit our jobs and we’re going to build this company, and here’s who the clients are going to be, and here’s the revenue split, and here’s how the equity’s going to be.’ It wasn’t like that. It was just like, ‘Hey, let’s just do this cool weekend project, and maybe it will be awesome.’”

“We can all come up with great ideas and everyone has a million ideas for mobile apps that are going to change the world. The hardest part is sitting down and saying, ‘I’m going to do this, and it’s going to be hard but I’m going to keep doing it.’ So that’s the thing, it takes a large amount of mental fortitude to do it.”

“[This is] what I learned from Gravatar: If you’re going to do a side project that you think might become popular, then you’d better damn well be able to make money from it.”

“When you hire someone, ask how they are going to push the company forward. Because companies don’t do things, people do things.”

“When you sell a company, there’s four levels of money that you can make from it. When you sell a company, you can get new shoes, a new car, a new house or a new life.”

“Do it. You’ll learn more in a year as a founder than you will in a lifetime of working for a big corporation. Joining a young startup is similar, but not quite as wild a ride as being a founder. In either case you’re at the leading edge of the company defining what it will become. You have your fingers in a hundred different pies and get to work on the most interesting thing of all: something you’ve created.”

“Learn web programming. You can start with simple web pages written in HTML and then as you learn, start adding dynamic functionality with JavaScript. With this foundation you can branch out into web frameworks or graphic design or usability and have a really solid foundation for an entire lifetime of learning and making a living for yourself. At the same time, these skills lend themselves very well towards being an entrepreneur and helping to define what the future looks like. That’s pretty powerful.”

“As the solo founder of Gravatar, I didn’t have anyone to act as a sounding board for ideas. Because of this I made stupid decisions… without a second person to motivate me and contribute time to the project, I was constantly struggling to keep ahead of the traffic curve.”

“On raising VC money: Being a bootstrapped company, we were making money. We were hiring really well. We weren’t constrained so much by money but the ambitions that we had. What we wanted to achieve we felt could be done more quickly if we removed money as a limiting factor.”

“I think a vision statement should be one sentence and probably not more than about 10 words. That’s when you get a really compelling vision. It has to be simple enough, broad enough to be big, so big enough that it’s hard to do but narrow enough that you know what it means and how you can apply it.”

—Tom Preston-Werner, Founder of Github

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Logo Design News This Week (5.29)

Summer Fridays are among our very favorite days of the year. And not just because we take a look back at the biggest news from the world of logo design on those days. But that’s as good a reason as any other. Here’s what we noticed this week:

Yard Goat Logo DesignWhen the Hartford Yard Goats unveiled their new team name earlier this year, people laughed. Or complained. But the new logo unveiled this week has proved enormously popular—the team has already sold out of much of their initial gear. One Hartford police officer (the kind of manly man who might object to such a silly mascot) called the icon “cute” and said he wouldn’t mind wearing the hat. Apparently that reaction has been common. From a design standpoint, we like the icon (the lines a bit more complex than we would normally suggest, but it’s nice). The type treatment, however, is lousy. Some letters with curls (one assumes to mimic goat horns) while others end in solid serifs is just awful.

We noted this story late last year, but it looks like The University of Southern Mississippi has finalized their new logo. The evil eye carries the day.

Walker Campaign Logo DesignWisconsin’s controversial governor, long expected to run for president, made it official this week. And introduced a campaign logo. We’ve profiled several of the candidate logos in this column over the past few months. Some are okay. Some are bad. None are great. But Walker’s new logo is one of the better ones. We like the bold font and the use of American flag iconography. Welcome to the party, Governor Walker.

So this week the NBA proved they can’t tell a deer from an elk and asked Elk Mound High School to get a new logo. We don’t think these logos are all that close, but no high school in the world has the resources to take on the NBA, so the school’s logo goes.

Camborne Logo DesignCamborne, a small town in Cornwall, has a new logo. Now before we go into our usual complaint about how small town logos don’t do what small towns want them to do, let us say, we like this logo design. It’s bright, eye-catching, and contemporary. But because we’re not from Camborne or Cornwall, we haven’t a clue what that logo is. Are those things trains, or forklifts or some kind of mining equipment? According to the research for the brand redo, what makes Cornwall special is the rugged beauty of the area and the Cornish people. But the logo features neither of those things (not that it must). But it does seem a little counter intuitive that the logo does feature gears and some kind of ancient steam machine only tangentially attached to what makes Camborne special.

Comic fans saw a couple of new movie logos this week. Marvel’s X-men Apocalypse and DC’s Suicide Squad both got attention for their new designs. Roald Dahl too!

Google Bastille Day Logo DesignWe wrap up this week with a new Google logo celebrating Bastille Day, France’s version of America’s Independence Day, but with a bit more of a proletariat-versus-the-aristocracy vibe mixed in. Liberte!

What logo design news did we miss? Tell us in the comments.

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Will Robots Take Your Job? Probably.

As I mentioned last week, things have been pretty busy around Logomaker HQ for the past couple of weeks.

I recently spoke at 3 Things, a bi-monthly get-together put on by Objective, a Salt Lake web design agency. It was a small group this time, but fun. One of my co-presenters was Alan Martin, CEO of Sidewalk. Smart guy with a smart presentation.

For my presentation, I spoke a little bit about how when we launched Logomaker, we heard from lots of designers who complained that we were devaluing design. That they couldn’t compete against do-it-yourself tool. And that we were evil.

No doubt some designers lost work to our easy-to-use software.

But only designers who offered their customers logos and nothing else. Because a designer who could add more value than our logo design robot would have a significant advantage.

If all you do is what robots can do, then eventually a robot will take your job.

Here’s a version of the presentation I gave (edited to make a bit more sense without my narration). I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.

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12 Inspirational Quotes for Startups and Small Businesses from Kathryn Minshew, Founder of The Muse

Kathryn Minshew Startup Quotes

Like many entrepreneurs, Kathryn Minshew’s first attempt at starting a company ended in failure—not because the idea (a networking site called Pretty Young Professionals) wasn’t good, but because the founders disagreed on how to run the company. But she didn’t give up.

In 2011, she co-founded a new startup, called The Daily Muse (later shortened to The Muse) with $2,710 in funding from Indiegogo. Her new small business caught the attention of The Huffington Post and TechCrunch and had more site visits in its first month than PYP had in its very best month. Due in part to its success, much of the staff of PYP jumped ship to join her. The company was accepted into Y Combinator, Paul Graham’s seed fund/accelerator where the company got money, advice, and even more attention. They haven’t looked back since. Today The Muse has well over three and a half million monthly users and is growing fast.

Before starting The Muse, Ms. Minshew was involved with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (bringing vaccines to Rwanda and Malawi) and was a management consultant an McKinsey.

Throughout her career, Ms. Minshew has spoken on university campuses, has been interviewed by business magazines and has presented at conferences. She’s been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and Inc magazine’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. And The Muse was one of The Wall Street Journal‘s Startups of the Year in 2013. So it’s no surprise she’s had a lot to say about entrepreneurialism, startups and success. Here are a few things she’s said that we think other small business owners will be inspired by:

“Thinking big is only one part of being a successful entrepreneur.”

“Starting a business isn’t for everyone, and it’s not what you should do if you aren’t sure what else to do. It requires thick skin and the willingness to carry a great deal of stress, sometimes alone. It’s more often a life of failure than a life of success, and the majority of successes came after a long road of disappointment, and often shame.”

“Ultimately to get a sense of whether your idea is really going to be a fit in the broader market, you’ve got to get in front of people who don’t know you, who don’t like you, and ideally people who have no reason at all to be nice to you.”

“An ugly baby is better than no baby at all. If you wait and wait and wait for your product to be perfect before you release it out into the world, you will often never get there. I am a big supporter of the minimum viable product and taking something that is the simplest explanation of your idea and putting it into the marketplace so you can start to get feedback.”

“Someone once told me, ‘No doesn’t mean no; it means wait and try again.’ I think a perspective like that is critical in entrepreneurship, because you hear ‘no’ hundreds of times per day in the beginning. But ultimately, that can be your biggest opportunity: many of our most passionate backers at The Muse are people who told us no, in various ways, in the early days, and then came around.”

“Launching a start-up, you need to get a lot done quickly. Every day is different. Everyone pitches in with everything. It’s easy for the founding team to say, ‘We’re flexible. We all help out with everything!’ But when it comes to making decisions—that flexibility can spell inefficiency and disaster.”

“I like to feel very productive. I like to get a lot done. And it was very easy for me to wake up every morning and look at my inbox and just start going down the list and I could easily spend hours answering email, maybe taking meetings with people, and feel like I had a very productive day. But if I wasn’t accomplishing the things that moved us toward our most important [goals], then I hadn’t really accomplished anything at all.”

“When we were first starting The Muse and getting it off the ground, I pitched 150 investors in a row, of which 148 said ‘no’, and two said ‘yes’. It was not fun. People asked how did you not give up after the ninty-fifth person said ‘I don’t think this is a good idea, I’m not going to back you’? And the answer is that we were tracking things, we were watching the numbers, we were talking to users and that gave us the confidence to push forward and believe in the product.”

“You know, as most entrepreneurs do, that a company is only as good as its people. The hard part is actually building the team that will embody your company’s culture and propel you forward.”

“My best life hack is my co-founder Alex. She’s brilliant at all things productivity, and our friendship/professional relationship has taught me more than any other single source about how to be more efficient. So I guess my best tip would be to find an amazing cofounder.”

“People often feel like: ‘If I build it, they will come.’ Great line from a movie. Not so helpful in practice with startups. For the most part, if you build it, they won’t come. Unless you can figure out a way to get people to learn about your product in the first place, and then share it with others, it’s really hard to start the engine of customer acquisition.”

“When you start a new company, you have to do it all. Yes, all of it.”

—Kathryn Minshew, Founder of The Muse


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Logo Design News This Week (5.28)

Welcome to the dog days of summer, 2015 style. Ad agencies around the country have switched to summer hours, which means you’ll just have time to catch up on the latest logo design news before you head out to the beach, or the hills, or wherever you summer. Here’s the stuff that caught our attention this week:

Heidelberg Logo DesignWe spotted a new logo for German press manufacturer, Heidelberg this past week. The new logo features three colors which coincide with three “portfolio pillars”: services (yellow), equipment (blue) and consumables (green). All three colors are used in the logo’s initial letter which also forms an icon that can be used in other ways. The logo is a nice evolution from the previous mark—it’s slightly more readable and the initial cap makes a decent icon.

Mumbai Metro Logo DesignWe’ve never been to India, though we hope to have the opportunity some day, so we had no idea that Mumbai had a metro. In our defense, it’s only been running for a few years and it only consists of two lines. And, so far, none of the lines run underground. But the metro does have a new logo which isn’t terribly ground breaking or original, but we like it.

The story behind the Brooklyn Cyclones and their 15th anniversary logo.

Logitech Logo DesignWe noticed that Logitech has updated its logo, dropping the mouse/sunshine/eye type icon (to be honest we’re not exactly sure what it is) and adopting a logotype that works without an icon. For some products, the company will also drop “tech” from the typography. Overall, not bad. We’re in favor of dropping the icon, but that G is just a little off.

There’s a new Ghostbusters logo painted in front of the Tribeca firehouse known as Ghostbusters’ global HQ.

Kawasaki Logo DesignMotorcycle maker Kawasaki has a new logo and signage. The logo simplifies the typography a bit and apparently drops the stylized K icon. The company will be updating signage across the country with the logo reversed out of a black background and what the company refers to as Kawasaki lime green stripes underneath. The new logo is in part a celebration of the brand’s 50th birthday next year.

World of Warcraft is going to be a movie. Here’s the logo (maybe).

Atlanta United FC Logo DesignSoccer fans in Atlanta got a taste of what the identity of their new team would look like this past week when Atlanta United FC unveiled its logo this week. The thousands of fans at the unveiling party appear to like the new look. It appears to fit well with the two dozen or so new soccer logos we’ve seen in the past year. The gold color is an homage to the city’s Olympic history and represents a commitment to excellence. The black represents strength and power while the red represents pride and passion.

This is just wrong: A Tennessee law maker is calling for a refund for a logo that was developed for the state that he doesn’t like. Forget whether it’s a good logo or not (we’re on record saying its good). And forget for a moment that the state may have paid the agency, GS&F, too much (we’re fans of inexpensive and even free logos). What matters is that the design firm had a contract with the state to produce the work. It delivered. And the work is good. Therefore, the contract should be paid. We are often critical of design agency’s high prices and work. But Martin Daniel (the state representative) is dead wrong here. (In fact, people have talked more about Tennessee’s logo in the last four months than the past four decades. That alone is worth $40,000.)

Women's World Cup Google Logo DesignWe wrap up the week with this look at Google’s logo celebrating the US Women’s National Soccer Team’s incredible World Cup Championship win.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.


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Free eBook: Telling Your Brand Story

Telling Your Brand Story Free BookThings have been very busy around here the past few weeks, which means I haven’t had the time to write three posts a week, as is our usual around here. So what’s kept me so busy?

A little book project I’ve been working on. And I’ve made one of the chapters into a free eBook. It’s called Telling Your Brand Story and it includes 15 ideas to consider when writing your brand story. It also includes a whole slew of actual stories from successful companies and several prompts to help you figure out if each particular idea might work for you.

Want a free copy of Telling Your Brand Story? Click here.

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12 quotes for startups and small business from Thankyou Group’s Daniel Flynn

Daniel Flynn Startup QuotesEach Monday on our blog we profile a different entrepreneur and share a few things they’ve said about their success (and failures). Over the past four years, we’ve featured nearly two hundred founders from around the world. And we’ve profiled several who are deeply involved with charitable causes, but today’s profile may be our first Australian—certainly our first Australian founder of a business for social impact. To our friends down under, we’re sorry it took so long.

Daniel Flynn started Thankyou Water when he and two friends learned that 900 million people in the world don’t have access to fresh drinking water. At the same time, Australians spend more than $600 million on bottled water. It occurred to the group that they might take advantage of the latter in order to help the former. So they built their startup—a bottled water company that would donate a major portion of their sales revenue to providing water projects around the world.

When customers buy a single bottle of Thankyou water, they help provide fresh water to one person in the developing world for a month. Today, Thankyou Water is available in convenience and grocery stores across the country. In addition, Mr. Flynn’s small business has branched into other products—foods, soaps, and lotions—all providing funds for social impact.

Along the way, Mr. Flynn has been interviewed and spoken widely about his organization’s efforts (without a media budget, speaking out has been one of the few ways to share his brand’s story). Here are a few things he’s said or written that we think other small business owners will find inspiring:

“Find your why. Why do you do what you do? Why are you going to go down that career path or launch that business? From my experience the why needs to go pretty deep because when the going get’s tough it’s the only thing that will keep you there.”

“Most of my previous jobs have taught me how to not manage staff and how not to run a business. I know that sounds bad. All my jobs weren’t bad but I saw so many different management styles and decisions that were made that I knew later on I wouldn’t make… [We take] what we’ve seen hasn’t worked and pretty much do the opposite.”

“A good idea doesn’t guarantee success–everyone has one. The value is in the execution of that idea and that’s where your focus needs to be.”

“Leadership is learning. In front of more people.”

“If someone encourages me it means the world to me but when the opposite happens it is a challenge not to take it personally. The key is to not let criticism get to you. Stay focused on your goals and what you are meant to be doing. I once heard a great quote, which sums this all up: ‘If you live for the praises of men, you’ll die by their criticism’.”

“Always start with the thought: ‘If we had no limitations, we would…’. Then work from there and remind yourself everyday of those big objectives.”

“Rich isn’t a number on your bank statement, it’s when you realise that every moment you get with the ones you love are priceless.”

“A mentor once said ‘Dan, get momentum because when you have it you can ask for things you could never ask for without it. Once you have it, it’s your job to keep it going’… it was profound advice that definitely changed my focus.”

“Excuses just give you permission not to succeed–don’t make them.”

“Be bold, don’t let criticism or excuses hold you back. I love this thought that “Impossibility is only someone’s opinion, not a fact’.”

“If you don’t change the game, someone else will.”

“Without a strong foundation, you can build fast but you can’t be built to last.”

—Daniel Flynn, Founder of Thankyou. Group.

Photo credit: monthshot.

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Logo Design News This Week (5.27)

Happy Independence Day weekend to our American readers. Before you head off for a bar-b-cue and fireworks, be sure to take a few minutes to catch up on the latest news from the world of logo design. Here’s the stuff that caught our attention this week:

New Facebook Logo DesignThe biggest news by far was the almost-sublte change Facebook made to their logo. Most news items noted that you probably didn’t even notice the update. The changes are actually quite substantial, but because the basic letterforms remained so similar, many people did miss it. The biggest change is the new a. No longer a double decker letter, the new letter is supposedly more friendly and convivial. Maybe. And the typeface is a bitt thinner, making it more readable on mobil devices. Facebook did the right thing in not making a drastic change—but then the brand is really about social interaction with friends, not the logo. So even if they had changed things dramatically, you’d probably still check your news feed today.

UCI Logo DesignJust in time for the Tour de France which starts tomorrow, the Union Cycliste International (they’re the guys who set the rules, do the drug testing and strip cyclists of their wins) updated their logo. The new logo removes the bicycle wheel stroke from the old design and shrinks the flag. UCI also updated the type treatment so something a bit more serious. A timely, if somewhat boring update for an organization that cycling fans love to hate.

Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has a new logo. When you’re just a few months into a campaign and already switching logos, that can’t be a good sign, can it? And speaking of presidential candidates, people are having a little too much fun at Donald Trump’s expense. Check out the logos they suggest he use.

EU Safe Drug Logo DesignIn an effort to protect its citizens from unscrupulous criminals that would sell fake medicines, the EU has designed this logo to be used by reputable pharmacies and other drug sellers to represent that they are on the right side of the law and you can trust their products. The logo is accompanied by a message asking customers to click to verify their purchase is from a legal site. It’s a good idea, but if counterfeiters can copy medications, what’s to stop them from copying a logo (and website)?

No, police departments and other government agencies shouldn’t alter their logos to support social causes, no matter how popular or unpopular they are. Nor should they do it to support religious causes. Government agencies need to work with all people.

Jack Links Logo DesignJack Links, the jerky company, has updated their logo. The new logo is a big improvement giving the product a more up-market feel. The new design also adds some dimension to the typography and “bends” the icon with some shadowing. It’s definitely an improvement over the older logo. One criticism though, the logo feels meaner, or maybe hotter. Okay, a second criticism: the term protein snacks is off putting. It’s probably an attempt to appeal to low-carb dieters, but it sounds clinical, not delicious.

Sharks Anniversary Logo DesignAnd speaking of meaner looking logo, the San Jose Sharks are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new meaner looking shark logo. The logo has the original shark as well. We’d bet on the guy on the right. Check out that orange evil eye. The new design is intended to pay tribute to the team’s storied history. And in other sports logo news, the Toronto Rapters’ D League affiliate may have leaked their new logo this past week.

Google Canada Day Logo DesignAnd to wrap things up this week, Google wished all of Canada a happy Canada day with a new logo on their site this week.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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