Logo Design News This Week (4.30)

It’s Friday and if you’ve been here before, you know the drill. We’re taking another look back at the biggest news from the world of logo design over the past week. Here’s what we noticed:

Cooper Hewitt Museum Logo DesignCooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian’s design museum, has a new logo. It’s a very nice typographical solution that uses a new, proprietary font. We’re partial to big, thick, easy-to-read lettering, so we like this solution a lot. Though if your only exposure to the museum was the logo, you might not be able to figure out what they do (or that they’re even a museum). On the other hand, the logo isn’t supposed to tell or sell, just represent. And this logo does that nicely.

The Toronto Blue Jays think the Creighton Blue Jays’ new logo is “identical and or closely related” to their logo. We think Toronto needs to get its eyes checked.

No Limits Texas Logo DesignUsually you start with the city, then add the racetrack, but the Texas Motor Speedway did it the other way around. There’s a new town sitting on the 1,500 acre grounds. More than a hundred people already call it home. And this week the town got a new name and logo—No Limits, Texas. The new logo features pistons and the Speedway globe that you might expect if you were a fan of the track (which would seem to be a prerequisite if you want to love there).

Gregg’s, the British baker, suffered an unfortunate logo mishap when Google displayed a fake logo created by one of the brand’s haters. Though they fixed it quickly, thousands of customers saw the logo with a terrible tagline.

Green Party Logo DesignIn an effort to create more positive awareness, the Green Party introduced a new logo this week. The logo has yet to find a home anywhere outside of the linked page and social media, but we’re guessing it will be ubiquitous soon enough. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be a logo for a party that wants to be taken seriously. The thick rounded letters and almost hand drawn icons feel amateurish. And while we understand that the simple design is to allow party members to co-opt the design for their own use by adding other elements, this will likely cause even more identity problems down the road. We’re looking forward to seeing how this plays out over time.

This seems like important logo news: The View has a new logo. Yeah, we’re joking. About the importance, not the new logo. That’s real.

Chicago Public Schools Logo DesignA couple of school districts unveiled new logo designs this week, just in time for school to start. First the Chicago Public Schools introduced a student designed logo meant to symbolize how the schools help a student to grow. Not too far away, the Lansing School District also has a new logo, this one features a globe (that’s what they call it—it looks like a bowl of water to us), graduation cap, and the Lansing skyline. School board members love it.


Anna Ancher Google Logo DesignNo new Google logos spotted in the United States this past week, but we liked this new logo design spotted in Denmark celebrating Danish artist Anna Ancher’s 155th birthday.


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

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Logomaker Customers Make a Big Difference with CharityWater

Forgive us for this rare, non-logo design or startup related post, but this news is worth sharing…

Logomaker Water ProjectRoughly 18 months ago, we joined with our logo customers to raise $10,000 to help build a well for a village in Ethiopia. Now, a year and a half later, we’re happy to report that the village of Hizaeti in Ethiopia has a brand new well that is providing clean drinking water to approximately 300 people. (It takes that long to finish the project.) Click that link above to see the project details.

Thanks to everyone in the Logomaker community for making an enormous difference in the lives of these people for years to come!

And if you missed your chance to help, it’s not too late to make a contribution to CharityWater (just click this link).


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The Science of How Your Logo Design Works: Familiarity and Cognitive Ease

Brain Science Explains How Your Logo WorksWeve written before about the science behind logo design and how your logo may be able to change the behavior of your customers (check out those posts here and here). And while those studies are fascinating, there is other research in behavioral psychology that helps to explain why logos (as well as other design elements and branding) work.

In the book, Thinking Fast and Slow, author Daniel Kahneman writes about cognitive ease, a phenomenon in which easy-to-recognize images and easy-to-pronounce words create positive emotional reactions in the people who see or hear them. Whats more, the more often a person sees an image, the more they like the image. According to Kahneman, repetition induces cognitive ease and a comforting feeling of familiarity.

The author then shares an experiment that ran at the University of Michigan and Michigan State, where researchers printed an ad in the school’s newspapers that included several Turkish or Turkish sounding words like, kadirga, saricik, biwonjni, nansoma, and iktitaf. Some of the words were shown just once or twice, others were shown as many as 25 times.

When the mysterious ads ended, researchers sent questionnaires to the readers of the newspapers asking whether the words meant something good or something bad. The words that were presented more frequently were rated much more favorably that the words that had been shown only once or twice. And the finding has been confirmed many times using Chinese ideographs, faces, and random shapes.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the effect occurs even when the repeated words or pictures are shown so quickly that the observers never become aware of having seen them.

Evolution of Logo DesignWhy does this happen? Researchers link this effect to our biology (and it extends to other animals as well). From the book: To survive in a frequently dangerous world, an organism should react cautiously to novel stimulus, with withdrawal and fear. Survival prospects are poor for an animal that is not suspicious of novelty. However, it is also adaptive for the initial caution to fade if the stimulus is actually safe. The more that nothing bad happens, the more the stimulus becomes a signal for safety. Over time we even seek out those things that become most familiar.

So what does this have to do with your logo design or any logo you might see?

We often talk about using your logo as often as possible and as consistently as possible. The more your customers see your logo and associate it with a safe or positive experience, the more it creates “cognitive ease” and familiarity. The more familiar your logo becomes to the people who see it, the more likable it is. And the more likable your business or product will be. This may even be true when customers aren’t aware of having seen your logo.

A familiar logo design almost certainly means more customers and a healthier business for you. So what are you doing to make your logo more familiar to potential customers?


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7 Quotes for Your Business Startup by Harry Gordon Selfridge

Harry Gordon Selfridge Startup QuotesHarry Gordon Selfridge was born in mid-nineteenth century rural Wisconsin. He is best known for his founding Selfridge’s Department Store on the west end of London’s Oxford Street. This startup was a huge risk as the country had never seen a store of its kind and the market had not been tested for such an American concept. Selfridges was the first retailer of its kind in the UK. The business model was based on Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago where Selfridge had worked for 25 years—rising in the ranks from stocking product to junior partner. He didn’t have a lot of formal education, so his success can only be attributed to his drive and work ethic.

When it came to marketing acumen, Selfridge was ahead of his time. “Only _ More Shopping Days Until Christmas” was a promotional scheme born out of his head and went on to become a staple in retailers’ annual holiday ads even more than a century later. Selfridge lived and breathed the concept of “the customer is always right” and the quotes we share below seem to capture his overall approach to business and success. Some are extremely poignant considering Selfridge ran his business through a World War and the Great Depression. Here are seven things he said that we think will inspire other startups and entrepreneurs:

“There are no hard times for good ideas.”

“The boss says ‘Go’; the leader says ‘Let’s go!’”

“People will sit up and take notice of you if you will sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice.”

“Honesty always pays. Honesty alone will never build a business… but the policy of honesty, of scrupulous integrity, will—other things being reasonably equal—always win in the race for success.”

“Get the confidence of the public and you will have no difficulty in getting their patronage.”

“Treat [the customer] as guests when they come and when they go, whether or not they buy. Give them all that can be given fairly, on the principle that ‘to him that giveth shall be given’. Remember always that the recollection of quality remains long after the price is forgotten. Then your business will prosper by a natural process.”

“Whenever I may be tempted to slack up and let the business run for a while on its own impetus, I picture my competitor sitting at a desk in his opposition house, thinking and thinking with the most devilish intensity and clearness, and I ask myself what I can do to be prepared for his next brilliant move.”

—Harry Gordon Selfridge, Founder, Selfridge’s Department Store

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Logo Design News This Week (4.29)

We’ve been away for a few weeks but the arrival of Friday means its time for another update of logo design news. We’re hoping to cover a few of the items from weeks gone by that we might have missed while vacationing. Here’s what recently caught our attention that we thought was worth sharing:

Houston Logo DesignThe City of Houston has a new logo to help promote the region as the best place to live and work. The logo design appears to have a different background depending on the use. It’s a nice design as far as it goes, but as we’ve written many times before, it takes more than a logo to make a city desirable. The new logo is accompanied by a cool new website that promotes job opportunities offered by its members and compares the city to others around the United States. The city of Coeur d’Alene also has a logo, though not nearly as praiseworthy.

More Texas logo news, University of Texas football coach Charlie Strong has removed the longhorns logo from his team’s helmets, saying they need to earn the honor of wearing the logo. Nice.

2015 Allstar Game Logo DesignThe 2015 Major League Baseball All-star Game will be played in Cincinnati and as is always the case, the game has its own logo that will be used to promote the midsummer classic. We dig the “old-fashioned” look of the logo, especially inclusion of the mustached mascot and the old style hat. Really like this design.

More sports logo news: Emblemetric takes a look at the SEC’s “anti-modern” logo.

World Trade Center Logo DesignThe World Trade Center has a new logo that several writers have described as confusing, but that has some really nice design elements that add meaning to the design. The angle on the top of the logo is set at 17.76 degrees paying tribute to the height of the new One World Trade Center building. The five black lines represent the five buildings that make up the center and the three white spaces represent the memorial beacons. The two lower blocks represent the fallen towers. And of course the three top blocks form a very obvious W, which represents both the site and the shopping center. A really nice design tribute and logo.

Logo Removal Service is willing to take the logo off your t-shirt (or bag or umbrella) and replace it with something more arty.

It's Not Warming Logo DesignLogos can be effective for raising awareness. So well-known designer Milton Glaser (of I  NY fame) has created a new logo to raise awareness for global warming. Playing off the retort from critics that the planet isn’t warming and hasn’t for more than 15 years, the logo agrees that the planet isn’t warming, but it is dying. The logo is available as a button and purchases go to create more buttons for sale, that’s it. No bigger organization. Just a logo to raise awareness.

A couple more random items. First a proposed new logo for the Washington Redskins (may not be safe for work) and is this a logo rip-off? We don’t think so. And Reebok is offering a free one year membership to CrossFit to the person who gets the biggest Reebok logo tattoo.

Google Meteor Shower Logo DesignThis past week was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. And Google celebrated with a logo video that showed shooting stars moving across a desert sky. You can watch the whole video here. Among the other Google logos we missed while away are Brazilian Father’s Day, Swiss National Day, and Robot Taekwon’s 38th Birthday. Check the links to see the logos.

Did we miss anything? Let us know.

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13 Pieces of Advice for Your Business Startup from B. C. Forbes

Robert Bertie Charles Forbes Writing at his DeskWe know the Bertie Charles Forbes (1880 – 1954) legacy simply by the name of the magazine he founded. The financial writer got his start in his home country of Scotland where he launched his career as a journalist after graduating from what is now the University of Dundee. He was a reporter and editor for newspapers in both Scotland and South Africa before immigrating to the United States in 1904 when he was 24. Once in New York City, Forbes continued in journalism and eventually landed a columnist position with Hearst as the financial editor of the morning paper. He held onto that column until 1942 while he pursued other editor positions, including of his own financial magazine startup, Forbes, in 1917.

Forbes published several books and received many honors over the years, including being recognized as a champion for 50 years of free enterprise and good business morals. His magazine survives today as one of the premier resources for financial and business information and rankings.

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”

“The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.

“Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.”

“Uncertainty hurts business. It annoys individuals.”

“Difficulties should act as a tonic. They should spur us to greater exertion.”

“Madame Curie didn’t stumble upon radium by accident. She searched and experimented and sweated and suffered years before she found it. Success rarely is an accident.”

“What would you call America’s most priceless asset? Surely not its limitless natural resources, not its matchless national wealth, not its unequaled store of gold, not its giant factories, not its surpassing railroads, not its unprecedented volume of cheap power. Is not its most priceless asset the character of its people, their indomitable self-confidence, their transcendent vision, their sleepless initiative and, perhaps above all, their inherent, irrepressible optimism?”

“Remember, diamonds are only lump of coal that stuck to their jobs.”

“A business, like an automobile, has to be driven in order to get results.”

“I have known not a few men who, after reaching the summits of business success, found themselves miserable on attaining retirement age. They were so exclusively engrossed in their day-to-day affairs that they had no time for friend-making…. They may flatter themselves that their unrelaxing concentration on business constitutes patriotism of the highest order. They may tell themselves that the existing emergency will pass, and that they can then adopt different, more sociable, more friendly habits. [But] such a day is little likely to come for such individuals.”

“Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.”

“Success is finding, or making, that position which enables you to contribute to the world the very greatest services of which you are capable, through the diligent, persevering, resolute cultivation of all the faculties God has endowed you with, and doing it all with cheerfulness, scorning to allow difficulties or defeats to drive you to pessimism or despair.”

“Few marks are made in the world’s history by eight-hour-day men.”

—B.C. Forbes, Founder of Forbes magazine

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Logo Design News This Week (4.28)

Thanks to an overdue summer vacation, there won’t be a news update this week or next. Until then, we’ll post some startup quotes from B.C. Forbes and Harry Gordon Selfridge.

Or check out a few of the many Logo Design Updates we’ve posted over the past four years.

We’ll see you again in a fortnight.



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8 Quotes to Inspire Success for Startups, from W. Clement Stone

W Clement Stone Startup QuotesW. Clement Stone was an entrepreneur and business man of the 20th Century (1902–2002). Stone got his first paying job as a newsy in Chicago when he was only six. His father had died in debt three years earlier leaving his mother and he to support themselves. From these humble beginnings, through two World Wars and the Great Depression, Stone found sustained success. As a young man, he turned $100 in savings into Combined Insurance Company, which eventually became a multibillion-dollar insurance empire. New York Times columnist Douglas Martin described Stone as “a short man with a pencil-thin mustache… He wore patterned vests, vibrant suspenders and sometimes spats, and he said he always tried to keep a smile in his voice.” That smiling voice was no doubt a byproduct of Stones “Positive Mental Attitude” philosophy of which he wrote three books.

He donated millions of dollars to Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign and it is reported that Nixon later said nobody had given him more than Stone had, or asked for less. Stones most memorable quotes have to do with the positive attitude gospel that he preached and lived his entire life. Here are a few things he said that might inspire other entrepreneurs and startup owners:

“All I want to do is change the world.”

“Like success, failure is many things to many people… failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order and prepare to try again.”

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman—not the attitude of the prospect.”

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”

“Every great man, every successful man, no matter what the field of endeavor, has known the magic that lies in these words: every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”

“Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.”

“Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.”

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

—W. Clement Stone, Founder

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Logo Design News This Week (4.27)

It’s time for this week’s look back at the news from the world of logo design. Here’s the stuff that we noticed:

Foursquare Logo DesignFirst up this week is the new logo released with the redesign of Fourscore’s app. And it’s a really nice update. The icon combines the letter F and a map pin to make a distinctive mark. The rest of the logo is made up of capital letters, unlike so many other tech companies that like to use lower-case letters, which people tend to think are “nicer”. The end result is a really strong logo design (some have compared it to a super hero’s logo). Now the trick will be to recreate the app in a way that supports the logo.

The hubbub over the new logo for AirBNB hasn’t died down this week. We won’t link to any more stories (see our wrap up from last week), but the internet can’t seem to get over the idea that the design represents a certain part of female anatomy. Which is really only the case if you are predisposed to see that kind of thing in the first place. We completely understand how no one on the design team thought of the connection, because we didn’t when we saw it either. We still like the logo and hope AirBNB sticks with it.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Logo DesignThe Louvre is in the process of opening a second museum under their brand moniker and they just released a new logo to help with branding. (This whole idea smacks of crazy doner funding requests.) From what we’ve seen the new logo design doesn’t appear to be well-liked. This seems to be a missed opportunity to connect the new museum with the old—after all, why call it the Louvre if not to make the connection? But perhaps the museum director wants none of that. In which case, he got exactly what he asked for.

The New Jersey Turnpike is suing a Florida Pizza Shop over their very similar logo design.

And here’s a great write up about the development of the Hartford Whalers fantastic logo.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games Logo DesignFrom our chair here in Edinburgh, we’ve seen a lot of news about the Commonwealth Games that just opened in Glasgow. Google noted the start of the games with a new logo shown in British Commonwealth Countries.


Did we miss anything? Let us know.

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12 Inspiriting Quotes for Startups from Entrepreneur Pete Cashmore

Pete Cashmore Startup QuotesStill under 30 years old, Pete Cashmore is a Scottish-born internet entrepreneur who currently splits his time between his home Scotland and his headquarters in Silicon Valley. He founded what has become one of the most visited blogs in the world: Mashable.

Cashmore started by writing a weekly column which focused on social media and technology, but the blog expanded over the years to cover business, entertainment, US and world news, as well as hot topics. Mashable describes itself as “a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation” and it all started from Cashmore’s Aberdeen home in 2005 when he was just 19. As one UK source reports, today Cashmore employs more than 120 people to maintain the site that receives 25 million monthly visitors and has more than six million social media followers (3.7 of them from Twitter).

Cashmore has been included on lists such as Inc.’s “30 Under 30”, The Huffington Post’s “Top 10 Game Changers” and Forbes’ “Top 25 Web Celebs” because of how he formulated a way to profit from social media. Today, his net worth is nearing $100 million dollars.

Here is what Cashmore has to say about being an entrepreneur:

“We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”

“Execution really shapes whether your company takes off or not.”

“The talent that has to be learned is finding out what someone’s passion is and setting them up to realize that. You don’t get the best work from people if you’re guiding them versus them guiding themselves.”

“The idea that you could change the world from your bedroom was pretty compelling to me.”

“A lot of people start out with an exciting thing and they want to take over the world. But really, the people who do take over the world have a good plan of how to get there and the steps along the way.”

“Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible.”

“I don’t want to be normal. I want to be something else.”

“Long-term goals are dangerous. They limit you. They hinder you from reacting to new conditions.”

“Talk to people no one else is talking to.”

“I’m sure [entrepreneurialism] can be learned, but for a lot of entrepreneurs it seems to come from their character or early, early experiences. Personally, I’m just not good at obeying authority figures.”

“Keep investing, keep investing.”

“I think there’s a huge advantage to those who are early adopters on any platform (Twitter, Google Glass, etc.).”

—Pete Cashmore, Founder of Mashable

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