Logo Design News This Week (5.17)

As usual, every Friday at Logomaker HQ we take a look back at the logo design news from the previous week. Here’s what caught our attention over the last seven days:

Lincoln Chafee Presidential LogoThe big news this week was a continuation of the news last week that Hillary Clinton had unveiled a new campaign logo (to go along with her official campaign). The Internet was filled with criticism and praise for the logo. But this wasn’t the only campaign logo news this week, which also saw an updated logo for Donald Trump (who hasn’t officially announced that he is running) in support of his quadrennial vanity project. And Lincoln Chafee has a logo touting his fresh ideas with a very stale design. Here’s a collection of all of the candidate logos that we’ve seen so far.

The Libertarian Party is holding a design contest to create their new logo. Here are the designs in the running so far—some really bad options and maybe two decent ones.

New LA Clippers Logo DesignLast week we showed you the cool new wizardless mark that the Washington Wizards unveiled. This week it looks like the L.A. Clippers are doing their own rebranding. And the reviews have been less than positive. Critics have noted that the new icon looks a lot like Microsoft’s Clippy, the icon used in their Office software to explain features and guide users. It’s not that bad, but it lacks the coolness of most of the new sports logos we’ve seen lately. But then, the clippers mascot is a sailboat. It’s not exactly the kind of mascot that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing players.

$50,000 for a new logo? That seems a little high when you can get a good logo for less than $50.

New Salt Dog Logo DesignA couple of other sports logos popped up in our news feed this week, including this one for the Lincoln Saltdogs who are celebrating their 15th anniversary. The new design is more aggressive but it doesn’t replace the team’s original mark which will remain the team’s official logo design. And while this isn’t a brand new logo, Sportslogos has a nice write up of the story behind the Buffalo Bisons, a triple-A baseball team affiliates with the Toronto Bluejays.

The delightfully named Mayor Butt thinks his city’s logo is ugly. And he’s right.

Pudgies Naked Chicken LogoEarlier this year a particular chicken logo (dirty bird) made the rounds as one of the worst logos ever designed. At the time we chose not to profile it because it was, as the critics claimed, provocative and offensive. This week we saw a chicken logo done right. We really like the look and feel of this rebrand. Pudgie’s Famous Chicken is now Pudgie’s Naked Chicken Company—a name that lends itself to offensive designs, but the brand didn’t go there. And check out how the brand is used in the pocket of the shirt at this link. Really nice design.

How many of these religious symbols can you name (not just recognize)?

Loch Ness Google LogoGoogle’s new logo this week celebrates Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. Eighty-one years ago this week, the London Daily Mail published the famous (and fraudulent) photo featuring the monster peaking out of the water’s surface. The logo playfully suggests that there is more to the story than we knew at the time. Funny.

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


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12 Quotes for Startups from Behance Founder Scott Belsky

Scott Belsky Startup QuotesScott Belsky is a celebrated entrepreneur and writer. He founded his startup, the creative portfolio site, Behance in 2006. The site allows designers to personalize custom websites to share their work with the world—and was purchased by Adobe in 2012 for more than $150 million. The site hosts over 30 million images and popular with creative companies looking for talent.

Today he is the Vice President of Creative Community at Adobe and an active advisor to other fast-growing startups like Pinterest and Uber. He’s been included in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”.

He is the author of Making Ideas Happen, about the creative habits of productive people and how to make ideas happen. He’s had a lot to say on the subject that will inspire other small businesses and entrepreneurs. Check out some of our favorites:

“Among idealists and visionaries, there is no shortage of good intent, but there’s often a shortage of discipline.”

“I don’t want to spend my time trying to get people to do something. Ideas never get made unless everyone makes it their business to do so.”

“While many of use spend too much energy searching for the next great idea, my research shows that we would be better served by developing the capacity to make ideas happen—a capacity that endures over time.”

“While the tendency to generate ideas is rather natural, the path to making them happen is tumultuous.”

“To envision what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is.”

“All great inventions emerge from a long sequence of small sparks; the first idea often isn’t all that good, but thanks to collaboration it later sparks another idea, or it’s reinterpreted in an unexpected way. Collaboration brings small sparks together to generate breakthrough innovation.”

“Everything in life should be approached as a project. Every project can be broken down into just three things: Action Steps, Backburner Items, and References.”

“Most ideas are born and lost in isolation.”

“You can’t rely on others—especially your managers and clients—to engage your strengths. In an ideal world, managers would constantly be thinking about how to best utilize their people—and clients would always unearth your greatest potential. Unfortunately, the reality is that bosses and clients are as worried about their own careers as you are about your own. You must take the task of marketing your strengths into your own hands.”

“Constant motion is the key to execution.”

“You cannot ignore or completely escape the deeply ingrained short-term reward system within you. But you can become aware of what really motivates you and then tweak your incentives to sustain your long-term pursuits.”

“Nothing extraordinary is achieved through ordinary means.”

—Scott Belsky, Founder of Behance

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Logo Design News This Week (5.16) The Hillary for President Edition

We’ve reached the end of another week which means it’s time to take a look back at all the news from the world of logo design and share the stuff that caught our attention. Here’s the biggest news from the past seven days:

Hillary 2016 Logo DesignThe biggest news by far was the unveiling of Hillary Clinton’s campaign logo as part of her announcement that she is running for president. It’s not that the design announcement is really big news. It’s that everyone made such a big deal out of it. The logo was designed by Pentagram. It’s not a bad logo, but given some of the campaign logos we’ve seen recently (which have been pretty good), it’s not exactly great. A red arrow pointing to the right? Those are the signals she wants to send? It feels harsh and jagged—not the kind of feelings this candidate wants to evoke. Though our guess is that if you like Hillary, you probably like her logo. And if you don’t like her, you probably don’t like the logo. After all, logos are more about the associations people have with the brand, not what the symbol actually is. It is, great for parody, however. Then there’s this. Vice President Biden of course is all about the parody.

And speaking of political logo news, Native Americans are protesting the Cleveland Indians’s Chief Wahoo logo.

Marco Rubio Logo DesignHillary wasn’t the only candidate to announce a new logo this week. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican, unveiled a campaign logo. And like his democratic opponent, it came under the same criticism as Hillary. The guys at Vox criticized the kerning, saying it wasn’t kerned. But to us it looks like the r and c are a bit over-kerned, making the rest of the logo look unlearned.

Bit.ly has a new logo.

New Milwaukee Bucks Logo DesignAs we hinted a few weeks ago, The Milwaukee Bucks introduced a new logo design this week. The logo updates the buck to look substantially more fierce (a trend in sports logos over the past few years) and very cleverly hides a basketball in the buck’s antlers. It also changes the triangular enclosure to a circle. And while the new icon is an improvement, the changes to the font are a step backward. According to the guys at Emblemetric, the Bucks join most of the rest of the NBA in adding a basketball to the logo—something that 73% of teams now have, compared to just 43% of Major League Baseball teams and only 13% of NFL teams with a ball in their identity.

Another sports logo of note: Army West Point got a new name and new logo this week. Some say its a little too close to Michigan State’s logo.

Washington Wizards Logo DesignThe Bucks aren’t the only NBA team with a new brand this week. The Washington Wizards introduced a new logo this week as well—giving up the wizard icon for, what else?, a basketball. Critics say the logo has lost its magic, and now looks like all the other logos. The wizard may be gone, but the new design features the Washington monument and the team’s striping from their current uniforms. Some have suggested that this is the first (next?) step in changing the team’s name. We think this is a really nice mark, very well designed. Unless you’re somewhat crazy and obsessed with hidden messages.

Scrapbook.com has a new logo. There’s an evolution of the mark at this link.

HP Enterprise Logo DesignHewlett Packard announced last year that they would be splitting the company into two pieces—one would stick with the computer and printer business the company is best known for and the other would take everything else. The second part is known as Hewlett Packard Enterprise and as of today, they have a new logo. It’s a green box. Actually we like this design, but we’re not sure it “expresses our renewed commitment to focus and simplicity”.

We really like this new bean-shaped logo for Green Mountain Coffee. The typeface is especially nice.

Baltimore Logo DesignLet’s finish up with a few new logos for municipalities, starting with this new mark for Baltimore which cleverly (or maybe a little too obviously) places the word “more” in the large B icon. From a design standpoint, it’s a big improvement over the last design, but it loses all of the oddity that helped the old logo represent the city in a unique way. The village of Penick has a new logo with a heart and date hidden in the roots of the tree. And the rebranding of the La Plazas in El Paso has begun.

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

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Start a Business — What Licenses Do I Need?

Business LicenseAs you plan the start of your new business, at some point you’ll need to think about which business licenses you’ll need. Depending on what kind of business you are going to launch, you may need to acquire a federal, state, or local license—or possible one or more of each.

You need a federal license if you start a business doing any of these:

• transport animals, animal products, plants, or biotechnology across state borders
• make, import, or sell alcoholic beverages at a retail location
• operate an aircraft or provide aircraft parts and maintenance
• manufacture, import, or sell fire arms or ammunition or explosives
• conduct a business engaged in wildlife activity (including import/export)
• operate a commercial fishery
• transport goods or cargo by sea
• mining or drilling for natural gas, oil, or other natural resources on federal lands
• produce nuclear energy, fuel or dispose of these
• broadcast by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable
• transport goods across state lines in an oversize or overweight vehicle

The SBA maintains a list of activities that require a federal license complete with links where you can apply. Click here if your business is involved in one of the activities above.

What about state business licenses. Do I need one of those?
HQ License
This question is a little trickier. Most states require licenses for some occupations, but it’s not consistent from state to state. Barbers and nail technicians, for example, are licensed in all 50 states. But massage therapists and plumbers aren’t (yet). Here’s a partial list of the kinds of businesses that may require a license from your state:

• accountants
• architects or interior design
• attorneys
• auto dealership
• banking and lending
• barbershop or beauty salon
• child care
• condominiums, timeshares, or coops
• construction contractor (or related business)
• debt collection
• electrician
• gambling
• home health care
• insurance agents
• massage therapist
• nurses
• plumber
• restaurant and eateries (includes food trucks)
• real estate broker or appraiser
• taxi, limosine, or other car service

Don’t see your business on the list? That doesn’t mean your free and clear. Every state is different. Some regulate certain tradesmen and professions, while others choose not to (though as more states see the potential for raising additional fee revenue, more businesses are being regulated). The SBA maintains a list of links to state licensing agencies here. Click the link to your state and check to see if your business requires a license. The requirements and fees associated with these licenses varies by state and occupation. Some licenses require several hundred dollars and as many as 2000 hours of supervised training before a license will be granted.

Don’t forget. You may need a local license too.
Many cities and counties require a license to open an office or retail location within their boundaries. This is usually a general business license that accompanies a visit from the fire marshal to ensure that your business meets minimum safety requirements. The cost of a local business license is usually quite low—$100-500 depending on the size of your business.

I’m starting a virtual company. What licenses do I need?
If you business is conducted entirely online and you don’t have a physical location, you may not need a business license. The same may be true if you are running a freelance design or writing business from your home. But be careful. If you run a business from your home and invite partners, customers, or others there for meetings or other events, your local government may determine that you are using your home as a business location (which may not be legal depending on your local zoning laws). So check with your local authority before deciding not to get a license.

What paperwork do I need to do—no matter what?
If you are serious about your business, you need to get a tax payer id for it—it’s called an EIN and it’s like a social security number for your business. You get this from the IRS. And you will definitely want to register your business with your state’s incorporation division. This will pay dividends when it’s time to file your taxes and insure your business against loss.
Photo credits: Tax plate 1941 and Supreme HQ Europe via photopin (license).

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10 Quotes for Startups and Small Business from John Huntsman Sr.

John M Huntsman Sr QuotesToday he’s a billionaire. And given his humble beginnings, John M. Huntsman certainly wasn’t a sure bet to become a successful entrepreneur—let alone a philanthropist who has single handedly funded one of the premier cancer hospitals in the world, a new home for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and a substantial endowment for Utah State University’s School of Business.

His father was an abusive school teacher in Idaho, where according to Huntsman, everyone was poor, his family included. Yet, he has always given back. When he was in the Navy, he donated $50 from his $320 monthly check to Navy Relief to help veteran’s families. That was on top of the $32 he tithed to his church. He says “the time to give away money is when you make it.” As his income grew, so did his giving.

In the early 1970s, his first startup was the Huntsman Container Company, where he invented the styrofoam clamshell boxes used to package eggs and McDonald’s Big Macs. After he sold that business, he started Huntsman Chemical, mortgaging his house and borrowing nearly $50 million to purchase a polystyrene plant. Over the next two decades, he acquired 36 more companies doing business in chemicals, natural gas, textiles, and carbon fiber. The company has annual revenues well north of $10 billion.

According to Forbes, of the more than 1,200 billionaires alive today, Huntsman is one of only 19 who have donated at least $1 billion to charity. So, while he has said a lot about business over the past 40 years, he says even more about our responsibility to make a difference in the lives of others. Stuff like this:

“Neither business nor philanthropy are for the faint of heart. You can’t be a wimp. Everybody seems to work against you. You’re fighting bureaucracy right and left, but you just keep pushing. I never take no for an answer. Every day, it feels like you have to fight. But you know what? It always works out fine.”

“There are very, very few entrepreneurs; most people give it a shot for a year or two, and then go to work for somebody else and say, ‘I’m an entrepreneur who didn’t make it.’ They are really not entrepreneurs. True entrepreneurs have to really forego almost everything; they have to put it all on the line. They have to go through tremendous downswings and still come back fighting and swinging. They have to know what it means to come out of the valley of death and still be successful and keep a positive attitude.”

“Always make your team around you feel like you are succeeding, even though you know way down deep, it’s a long shot. You have to be the fighter and the leader and the one who instills energy and hope in others.”

“Life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be fair. And as we go through life, I think we have to take an accountability of ourself and see, you know, who are we? What are our real values? What do we believe in?”

“Humans seldom have created anything of lasting value unless they were tired or hurting.”

“There are a tremendous number of people who want to work for a company where there is fairness and upward mobility, where employees are heard, and where people look out for one another.”

“Engaging in activities devoid of difficulty, lounging in risk-free zones, is life without great meaning.”

“Wealth isn’t always measured in dollar signs. We each have time, talent and creativity, all of which can be powerful forces for positive change. Share your blessings in whatever form they come and to whatever level you have been blessed.”

“Too many people think that they have to die with their bank full of money. I tend to think the other way. If I die poor, it’s humanity that will have benefited. Of course, it’s not just how much you give away. It’s ultimately how many people you helped, particularly how many who couldn’t otherwise make it without you.”

“America is a charitable country, but we need to be more gracious. We haven’t yet begun to do what we have the capacity to do.”

—John M. Huntsman, Philanthropist & Founder, Huntsman Corp.


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Logo Design News This Week (5.15) The College Logo Edition

As always, Friday here on Logomaker’s Small Business blog means we take a quick look back at the logo design news from the previous week. Here’s what caught our attention:

Bike New York Logo DesignLet’s start with a new logo we really like—Bike New York, a non-profit that promoted bike education throughout the city. The new design is a nice step forward for the brand. The icon is a not-so-subtle bike crafted from the letters NY. And the typography underneath is very nice. Pentagram, who designed the logo, borrowed the color scheme from New York’s green bike lanes and gray streets. The only shame is that the shape of the letters have the bike facing backwards, rather than forward. A lovely logo.

Can you draw Apple’s logo? Most college students can’t.

Radford University Logo DesignEvery once in a while we come across a category that has two or three new logos in a single week. Television stations and minor league baseball teams are the two we see most often. Colleges too. And this week, we set a new high-water mark for logos for a single category in a week—six new designs for colleges and universities. Let’s start with this mark for Radford University. The old logo used to feature a sort-of icon abbreviation of RU. The new logo is just a simple (and nice) type treatment. Cincinnati Christian University LogoCanadian University College has changed its name to Burman University and got a new logo in the deal. Hawkeye Community College has a new chair-looking logo. Brand New give a positive review to this new logo for Cincinnati Christian University (though the kerning is a bit messed up). And while we mentioned this logo for Southeast Missouri State University last month, it’s set to roll out starting next week. Lastly, we may have missed this earlier this year, but The University of Tennessee Chattanooga also has a new brand.

When it comes to the rings, the Olympics doesn’t mess around.

Lexmark LogoLexmark, the printer company, released a brand new logo design this week. Gone is the red diamond that the company has used for years. In is a new green shutter design. The new mark feels a bit more friendly, though we prefer the previous type treatment, which is bolder and stands out better. Moving it out of the word mark and making it a free-standing icon, makes the logo weaker—a feeling which matches the new flimsier font. According to the brand team, the new icon suggests “opening and expanding possibilities”.

Condors Logo DesignAmerican Hockey League team, The Bakersfield Condors, has a new logo. Actually, it’s pretty much the old logo with a new color scheme. Which is a shame because the team missed a great opportunity to simplify and modernize the complex lines on the icon. The team has plans to announce a secondary mark later this year.

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



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7 Quotes for Startups and Small Business from Ugly Doll’s David Horvath

David Horvath QuotesIn 2001, David Horvath sent his overseas girlfriend, Sun-Min Kim, a letter signed with an ugly drawing of a big-eyed monster called Wage. A few weeks letter, his girlfriend sent him a hand-sown, plush doll of the same character. When a friend saw the doll, he asked David for 20 to sell in his new store. Kim went to work and the 20 dolls sold out in a single day. A second batch of forty more dolls sold out in two days. 1500 dolls later (all sewn by Kim), the couple decided to start factory production.

Two years later, the couple set up a booth at a toy industry show in New York and they were bombarded with orders. Since then, Horvath’s startup, Pretty Ugly (we love the double entedre) has generated more than $100 million in sales. And the dolls have evolved into more than 260 characters, comic books, action figures, and apparel. They’ve even created a special series of KISS (the rock band) ugly dolls, Star Trek dolls, and a Batman doll.

Not only are the dolls popular with kids, they’re also popular with the toy industry and were awarded the Specialty Toy of the Year in 2006. Here are a few things that Mr. Horvath has said about the creative process that other startup entrepreneurs might be inspired by:

“I always say if someone from the future travels back in time to tell you that your lifelong dream will fail 100%, and you still go for it anyway, it will work.”

“Don’t try to look at what anyone else is doing. You can easily fall into the trap of looking at the hot thing and trying to replicate it. You’re never going to get a breakthrough. If you follow your competitors, you’re always going to be behind them on the path. You need to push out and find your own way.”

“Your mind effects the universe and it also creates it. Your thoughts absolutely determine your reality. How you generally feel inside and what thoughts you generally carry in your head is what’s going to keep coming at you.”

“Don’t chase after the hot thing. If it’s hot, somebody has already done it. You have to come up with something from scratch… There’s a big difference between making a better product and building a brand. Better products work great, but a brand means something to people.”

“Don’t listen to anybody. Just draw. And throw away the erasers. There are no such things as mistakes.”

Horvath’s advice to follow through with your idea: “You don’t need a push. You need to be quiet… Stop telling us about this plan or that plan. Shhh!! Zip it! When you tell us, the odds of doing it go WAY down. Down to zero actually. Don’t tell a soul…but SHOW everyone when you’re done… Actually, don’t show us. We’ll see it. If you have to show us, it means we didn’t see it and you have to try again. So be quiet. Just finish it. Then shut up and get back to work.”

“You have to plan for ultimate success from the first day. You don’t want to play catch-up later.”

—David Horvath, Creator, Ugly Dolls

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Logo Design News this Week (5.14)

Welcome to Good Friday, which means Spring Break, the Easter holiday, Passover, or just a beautiful spring Friday. How ever you celebrate we wish you a great day and weekend. And as always on Friday, we take a quick look back at all the logo related news from the past week. Here’s what caught our attention:

April Fools Bengals Logo Design UpdateThe week of April Fools is a dangerous one to write about new logos as the not-quite-a-holiday features lots of silly and fake news, some of it including logos. Like the announcement on Twitter from The Cleveland Orchestra that they were updating their logo. The new logo looks exactly like the old, taking the opportunity to poke fun at the Cleveland Browns who “updated” their logo earlier this year by unveiling a virtually unchanged design. Across the state, the Cincinnati Bengals had the same idea and unveiled their own logo update (shown here).

New Utah Jazz court pant uniformNot to be outdone, the Milwaukee Bucks announced a new color scheme and teased a new logo at their April 1st Game. Alas, people are guessing that was a joke. But the real Bucks logo may have leaked online two weeks before the planned launch (this one, we’re pretty sure isn’t a joke). Here’s a pretty good wrap up of all the sports team April Fools jokes this year—we particularly like the Utah Jazz’s fashion forward choice of 3/4 court pants to replace shorts for the 2015-16 season. Nice!

SportsLogos.net, where we see a lot of sport logo news has a new logo themselves.

New Kings Collge Lion Logo DesignAnd speaking of sports logos (we’re pretty sure the rest of these are real), King’s College in Pennsylvania got a new logo this past week. To be honest, we’re not impressed. It looks a little amateurish. We’re not fond of the font choice—the pronounced serifs are a little much, but the icon just feels not quite ready for prime time. And the North Platte Community College also got a new logo design. This one is a bit heavy on type. Another logo that’s just so so.

Check out what Pentagram’s Michael Bierut has to say about logo design. And speaking of Pentagram, lots of people not liking their new logo for the New School. We count ourselves among them.

Snapple has updated its logoNew Snapple Logo Design. The last time they did this was 2007. The new logo goes back to their first logo in angling the word mark. But the typeface is considerable different—the “a” and “e” are now open and the serifs are squared at the top. We like the new look as it’s a little more playful (in keeping with the brand’s personality) than the previous look. We especially like the hand-drawn sun/star burst. It adds some of the personality back that the last revision removed from the mark.

It’s on. It’s off. It’s back on. The single sailboat logo that the city of Minneapolis was set to adopt last week before backing off is back on track. Given how many twists and turns this saga has gone through we may have another update next week when the final vote is taken.

Akwesasne Mohawk Logo DesignWe will be the first to acknowledge that Native American design sentiments may not match our own. But wow, this logo for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is bad. Start with the eight-bit purple characters (yes, we get that those represent woven elements), but why are they cut off at the edges of the logo? And the complex detail of the partridge makes the logo difficult to reproduce in many mediums. What’s with the long wooden thing behind the typeface. The whole thing feels unfinished, heavy, and cheap.

The upcoming Marvel movie, Deadpool, has a new logo.

Eiffel Tower Google LogoThis week we leave you with this great Google logo design that celebrated the 126th anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower at the 1889 Paris World Fair. The tower was hated by many Parisians of the day including Charles Garnier (who designed the incredible Paris Opera) . But it proved so popular that it was never taken down. Thank goodness.

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

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Michael Bierut on Logo Design

Michael BierutEarlier this week we came across this video of award-winning graphic designer Michael Bierut talking about design and specifically the power of logos. Beirut is a partner at Pentagram—a design powerhouse—and the winner of more than 100 awards for his work. He knows his stuff when it comes to logo design. Here’s what he has to say in the video (emphasis added by us):

“I don’t want to over emphasize logos in the world. I think that, basically, if you act with intelligence and integrity and consistency, you’ll develop a brand—whether you’re a person, or a non-profit institution, a small organization, a giant corporation.

What’s fun about logo design, what makes it so interesting, what makes it hold so much power for all of us, I think, is two things. One is that there is something very primitive about it, right? I mean, many of them are just such simple marks. They are not farther evolved much than hieroglyphics, or marks on cave walls from millions of years ago.

And what happens, too, what makes it interesting is that they get invested with meaning. If you take something like the Nike swoosh or the Target target or any symbol that represents a big company, a lot of what we see when we look at that logo isn’t really happening in the logo. It happens in our own mind… it’s inherently participatory, it’s inherently interactive. You’re taking all the experience you’ve had with that product or with that institution or with whoever that symbol represents and you’re imposing it on to very simple shapes that really have no inherent meaning at all.

So it’s a delicate thing to manipulate—very hard to talk about with clients sometimes because it’s confusing. They’ll want a new logo, then you show them the logo, and they say it doesn’t mean anything. I want a logo like Nike’s. But the Nike guys, when they were shown that logo, they wanted an Adidas logo, that’s what they wanted. They wanted three stripes, and instead they couldn’t have three stripes because another shoe already has three stripes. Here’s something you can have, it’s this thing that looks like a chubby check mark.

Now people think it means something. It didn’t really mean anything then, except what it came to mean because of everything that Nike did to support it. Not just the advertising, but the experience you or I or anyone else has had wearing those shoes, doing something athletic and taking some satisfaction out of it and coming to associate it in some vague way with that particular brand. So there is a kind of magic and a kind of joy in it that make it fun.”

We love the way he describes the process of logos coming to mean something over time, rather than being infused with meaning at the moment a designer conceives it. While a logo design can hint or suggest an idea (for example, an eagle icon might suggest soaring, flight, or even America; while blurred lines might suggest speed or distance), logos take their meaning as they are associated with a product or company and customers have experiences with the brand. Well said, Mr. Bierut.

Watch the video yourself:

Michael Bierut: The primitive power of logos on Vimeo.

And you can see a sample of Mr. Bierut’s work in this interview conducted by DesignBoom.

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12 Quotes for Startups from IDEO Partner, Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley Startup QuotesTom Kelley is one of those behind-the-scene creatives whom you may not have heard of, but you’ve almost certainly seen his work. As the General Manager at IDEO, he has worked with innovative teams on numerous design projects: a portable defibrillator, a new shopping cart, a bike/walker combination for seniors called the Trikka, the PillPack designed to change the way people take pharmaceuticals, and an innovative store design for Walgreen’s, among hundreds of other unique inventions.

Mr. Kelley is the author of three books on creativity and innovation: The Art of Innovation (a behind the scenes look at IDEO’s processes), Creative Confidence (about how anyone can be a “creative”), and The Ten Faces of Innovation (a profile of the different personalities who promote creativity). He has spoken at TED and is an Executive Fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and the University of Tokyo.

As one of the world’s experts on creativity and design thinking, Mr. Kelley has had a lot to say about innovation and creating new opportunities. Here are a few things he’s written or said that we think will inspire entrepreneurs and small business owners in your startup:

“I used to think that to make something happen in a corporation or in the army, you had to be at the higher ranks, to be a general. But you just need to start a movement.”

“Fail often so you can succeed sooner.”

“The key element of the art of innovation is treating life as an experiment—living with the idea that you need to continuously try things as opposed to just sticking to the knitting.”

“Ultimately it comes down to passion. It’s about doing the things you love, because it’s no secret that if you do something you love, you will be better at it.”

“The history of discovery is full of creative serendipity.”

“If you leave out the emotional content, you may have the best specifications in the world but people may not buy your product or service. Does the Apple IPod have better specs, or better data storage per dollar spent than other MP3 players? I don’t think so, but it speaks to emotion.”

“Noticing that something is broken is an essential prerequisite for coming up with a creative solution to fix it.”

“Cool technology alone is not enough. If it were, we’d all be riding Segways and playing with robotic dogs.”

“Good companies embrace a culture of mini-failures.”

“Identify every barrier that keeps people away from your offerings, especially for first-time customers. Then systematically tackle each one, using a combination of simplicity, clear communication, and customer-centered design.”

“…find the silver lining in every cloud. Setbacks aren’t problems, they’re opportunities.”

“Organizations should allow serendipity to happen, because I believe that all of the magic is at the intersection of disciplines now.  You cannot win the game just by having better engineers or better marketers than the people down the street.  You can’t win. Someone is always going to come along who is better.  The magic is at the intersection between anthropology and engineering and marketing or whatever, where you cluster things in a different way, and you say, ‘Hey, here is something people need that they didn’t know they needed.’”

—Tom Kelley, Author and General Manager, IDEO

Want more quotes? Here’s Ed Catmull on creativity and Roger Martin on design thinking.

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