10 Quotes for Startups and Small Businesses from Lady Martha Lane-Fox

Martha Lane-Fox Startup QuotesThanks to some advice from her grandfather, Martha Lane-Fox may have been destined to be a serial entrepreneur. She founded a dating agency while at school that crashed when other students didn’t want to share the personal information she needed to make the business work. After graduating from Oxford, she joined a consulting firm where she worked with several IT and media companies.

In 1998, she co-founded Lastminute.com which ended up being far more successful than her match-making idea—today the company claims to book a holiday (or vacation as we say on this side of the pond) every 15 minutes, a theatre ticket every 26 seconds, and a spa break every three minutes. Not bad. In March of 2000, she helped take the company public, raising £571 million. That was two weeks before the dot.com crash. (Though it was rough going, the company survived and was later acquired by the owners of Travelocity.)

In 2005, Lane-Fox co-founded Lucky Voice, a chain of private karaoke bars in London. She also serves on the boards of Marks & Spencer, Channel 4, and mydeco.com. In 2012, she launched Go ON UK, a charity that works to bring digital technologies to everyone in Britain. A year later she was appointed to the House of Lords, where she advocates for sharing the benefits of technology with all classes. Last year she was made the Chancellor of Open University.

Martha Lane-Fox has been the “face” (or at least one of them) of Britain’s Internet for almost two decades. As such she uses her position to advocate for her favorite charities, and a bigger investment in online access for Britain’s subjects. Here are a few things she has said that we think startup owners will find inspiring:

“I think this notion that it’s the individual and the cult of the entrepreneur troubles me somewhat. I don’t know many entrepreneurs that don’t have an amazing team around them and I was incredibly lucky that I have always had a great team around me.”

“Brands that respect you as a person and make you feel like you are you, and that you, rather than they, have control over you, will be the ones who are successful.”

“Everyone battles inner demons and confidence can sometimes be one of these. I might appear confident with all that I have accomplished, but I just wake up and switch my brain on to confident daily… no matter who you are, you have something valuable to contribute so make sure you believe in yourself.”

“I can’t imagine anything worse than giving up. My energy comes from people around me, doing things, creating a business and working with various charities through my foundation. These are the things that make me feel better.”

“Creative people around the world are eulogising about the importance of learning to code. The geeks truly have inherited the earth.”

“‘For goodness sake Martha, just don’t be an accountant—at least be a bookie, then you will be your own boss and you get to work outside’. This brilliant advice was given to me by my grandfather when I was fifteen and pondering what to do with my life.”

“What’s the point of having a plan if it’s not ambitious?”

“Don’t worry too much about planning every moment of your life if you’re just starting out. Everything that happened to me happened serendipitously. It’s about building networks of people and using that for the basis of working hard and building your experiences.”

“I am constantly struck by how the traditional definition of an entrepreneur falls short. If you look in the charitable sector there are thousands of extraordinary entrepreneurs who face many of the same challenges as their commercial counterparts—constantly raising money, working on shoe string budgets, obsessed with the quality of the product for their users.”

“…I think the one thing I have tried to keep in my head all the time is ‘JUST ASK’. It sounds so easy but it can be hard to do… No one has screamed with laughter or rolled their eyes even when I think I have sounded dumb… I realise that I am in a very lucky position but I urge you to just ask over anything in your life that feels scary or unlikely—if you ask with politeness and humour I am pretty sure the worst that will happen is someone says ‘no’.”

—Lady Martha Lane-Fox, Co-founder of Lastminute.com

Photo credit: The Times.

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Logo Design News This Week (5.26)

Here’s this week’s round-up (actually it’s a two-week, double portion) of the biggest news from the world of logo design. See something we missed? Let us know in the comments:

Jeb Bush Campaign LogoWe saw some big political news (that surprised absolutely no one) when Jeb Bush announced that he was running for President. Of course, his campaign released a logo to go along with the announcement—a logo very similar to the designs Bush has used for his last several campaigns as Florida’s governor. It’s not an awful logo, but that didn’t keep critics from saying it was. Or noting that the logo lacks a certain last name that might be Kryptonite to some voters. Like many of the designs used by candidates for President, whether you like a logo or not appears to depend as much on your politics as your sense of design.

Captain America has a new movie due next year. And the logo got an update this week.

Spotify New Green Logo DesignSpotify changed the color of its logo and fans don’t seem to like it much. The change to the icon design is intended to help it compliment a new color scheme used by Spotify on desktop and mobile user interface. The company says the “broccoli green was tired and needed an upgrade. We won’t say that one is better than the other. It’s not. It’s just a different green—one that users aren’t as familiar with, so they aren’t as comfortable with it yet. Give it a few weeks.

Every year, Logo Lounge unveils a report on trends in the world of logo design. Here’s the report for 2015.

New Australian Retail Council Logo DesignHey Australia, your National Retailer’s Association updated their logo this week. The previous logo was a boring blue box with initials. The new logo is more clear about the organization’s name and adds an icon “that talks to the idea of leadership and advocacy. It is made up of a collection of parts that together make a whole. This represents the association’s voice being stronger in the industry when heard as one.” We’re not real big on this kind of brand bollocks. It’s the kind of thing agencies make up to sell a logo. But no one who sees the logo will get this “deeper” meaning. Having said that, it’s a nice update. And the Brits did something similar.

Good question: Who pissed off all the mascots? We’ve noted the trend toward meaner sports logos several times in the past few years.

Updated BBC Newsbeat LogoThe BBC’s news service targeted at people under 25, called Newsbeat, has a new logo. It’s another example of an animated logo, which we’ve seen a lot of recently. We’re officially declaring a trend (take note: Logo Lounge). But it’s a good step forward. The old logo’s distressed fonts looked trendy and outdated (dangerous territory for a logo aimed at under 25s). The company says the design’s movement is triggered when a “beat” is reached. To us it looks a bit like a scroll on a mobile device. Or a slot machine.

At first glance it looks like a Wisconsin high school ripped off the Milwaukee Bucks logo. But when you look closer, there are a lot of differences. Kind of like the difference between and elk and a deer. We don’t think the Bucks own the rights to all forward facing deer-like animals.

Steve Ballmer Unveils LA Clippers Logo on ConanIn sports logo news, the Los Angeles Clippers unveiled a new logo this week, but it’s been
around for a while longer than that—we told you about it six weeks ago. So what’s new this time? Steve Ballmer went on Conan’s late night show to unveil it and apparently most people hate it. Did they not notice it six weeks ago when people started showing it around? Why the hate now? Some say steals the colors and idea from the Chicago Cubs. Others say things that are much worse. We say, meh. It’s still the Clippers.

If you like terrible logo design, you can’t do much better than the designs used by hard rock bands. Here’s how bad presidential candidate logos would be if they mated with hard rock band designers. And they’re pretty bad.

New TVLand Logo DesignTVLand, the US cable channel that broadcasts classic television shows from the 50s-90s, has updated their logo. And they say it is supposed to appeal to Generation X.  We understand why much of their programming appeals to Gen X, who grew up watching it, but for the life of us, we can’t see why the logo is supposed to appeal to them (or us, as the case is). Actually, we’ll miss the television icon, which was tweaked in the last redesign just three years ago, and is now completely gone.

We’re still on record liking the new Tennessee logo. But this doesn’t sound like a positive development.

VA Democrat Logo DesignVirginia’s democrat party unveiled a new logo this week. And while the font and colors feel pretty good, the idea to use the state as the hole in the A simply doesn’t work well. The way it bleeds into the V bugs and because the state’s southern border isn’t exactly horizontal, it makes the the icon feel a bit tilted. Close, but not great.

Sorry, Lord Damon Thomas. Hobart’s coat of arms isn’t a logo. And it isn’t better than the town’s recent design update.

New Mini Cooper Logo DesignBMW’s cool little Mini brand is getting a logo update. The new logo is cleaner and simpler than the previous version, but stays true to the design of the previous mark. The change is to help Mini move upmarket into a more expensive vehicle class.

Magna Carta Google Logo DesignWe were going to show you the popsicle logo Google did to celebrate the summer solstice. But it isn’t nearly as cool as the logo the company put up to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta, which combines two of our great loves—history and logo design.

Now your turn. What did we miss?


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Logo Design News This Week (5.25)

If you’re here for our weekly round up of logo design news, you’re out of luck.

We’re taking a few day off to sit in the sun and ride our bikes.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing here for you…

Learn more about creating your own logo with our Beginner’s Guide to Logo Design here. Or, check out a bit of the science behind how your brain “sees” a logo with this killer infographic.

Want logo design news? Here’s last week’s update.

We’ll have a big, double portion of news for you next week. See you then.

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How to Create a Letterhead by Adding Your Logo to a Microsoft Word Document

One of the basic tools of a business is the letterhead. And if you need something with fancy design or colorful headers and footers, you might be want to contact a good designer for their help (this will likely cost between $99-150 or more).

Logo on LetterheadIf you don’t have that kind of budget, or just need a document with your logo at the top to act as your letterhead, then you can probably do the work yourself. Simply follow the steps below and you’ll have an electronic copy of your letterhead to begin using today. PC instructions are immediately below. For Mac instructions, scroll down.

How to add your logo to Word for PC.

1. First you need a logo. If you already have one, make sure you have a high-resolution copy of the .JPG file of your logo design. If you don’t have one, click this link to make one with our easy-to-use logo maker. Once you’re done, purchase the high-resolution files and download the medium and small .JPG files from your account.

2. Now open up Microsoft Word and open a blank document. For a standard-sized letterhead, you’ll want to choose an 8½ x 11 document, but you can use any size you’d like. Double click near the top of the page to open the header or, using the “Print Layout” view, select the “Insert” tab, then select the “Header” button. You may need to change the header space (not the margins) to accommodate the logo you will place in the header. The amount you add to the header will depend a bit on your logo, but about an inch should work for most headers. If you want a second page without a logo, insert a second sheet and in the “Page Layout” tab, choose “Different First Page”.

3. Add your logo. While the header section is selected on the first page, insert your logo by clicking on the “File” tab, then “Picture” and then “From File…”. The file you need to select is the JPG of your logo. While your logo is still selected (you can see the four corners of the file box), you can resize it to fit the area in the header. If you press the “Shift” key while you resize your logo, it will keep the correct proportions. Then choose “Position” and then “Alignment Left” relative to the page, and “Alignment Vertical” relative to the page. If you’d rather see your logo on the right side of the page, choose “Alignment Right” relative to the page.

4. Lock the logo into place by clicking on “Lock Anchor” in the same menu, under options and make sure “Move object with text” is not checked. Then in the tab “Wrap Text” click the options “Behind Text”.

5. Add your address information. You can add your address to the header or the footer. If your logo is aligned to the left, place your address information on the right side of the header. If your logo is aligned to the right, type your address information into the left side of the header. Or, open the footer and place the information there where it might be less crowded.

6. Save the file as “Letterhead.dot”. You should now save the file as your letterhead as either a document or a template. With a document, any changes you make by adding text will be added to the file. So to save your file as a template, choose “Save As” and then change the Save as Type: to Document Template (.dot). Type the file name: “Letterhead” then save the file into your templates folder or to your desktop.

How to add your logo to Word for Mac.

1. First, you’re going to need a logo. If you already have one, make sure you get a high-resolution copy of the .JPG file of your logo design from the designer who created it. If you don’t have a logo yet, click this link to make one with our free logo maker software. Once you’re done, purchase the high-resolution files and download the medium and small .JPG files from your account.

2. Open a Word Document. From the “File” menu item, choose “New Blank Document”. You can choose any kind or size of document, but you may want to stick with a standard 8½ x 11 document for this exercise.

3. Add your logo. Double click near the top of the page to open the header. The click in the header, and from the “Insert” menu item, choose “Insert Photo” then, “Picture from File”. Browse and select the JPG of your logo file, then click “Insert”. Depending on the size of your file, you may need to adjust the size by selecting one of the corners of the file and dragging it to the appropriate place. If you hold the “Shift” key while you drag, the file will maintain the correct proportions.

4. Adjust the position. Click the “Layout” tab, then using the margin adjustments, move the logo up or down to place it properly within the header. Larger numbers will place the logo to the right, smaller numbers will move it to the left.

5. Add text. You can add your company address and other information by clicking off the logo file, then clicking the “Text Box” button. Then place your cursor where you would like the box and click to place it. Add the relevant company information in the text box. You can shift the placement of the text box using the left/right keys while the box is selected.

6. Save your file. Once everything is in place, save your file as a template, by choosing “Save As” from the file menu, then choosing “Word Template (.dotx)”. Add a good name—we like “Letterhead”, then click “Save”. If you save your file to your templates folder, you can choose your letterhead template when you open a new file in the future. Otherwise, simply double click the file wherever you have it saved to open it.

Another Option.

If all this feels like too much work, or if you need a stack of printed letterhead to use in your business, you can take your Logomaker logo and have our print partner create your letterhead for you. Simply click this link to get started.

Your letterhead will be a great way to share your logo with customers, partners, and others. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Let us know how your letterhead turns out in the comments below.

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11 Quotes for Startups and Small Businesses from Meebo and Honor Co-founder, Sandy Jen

Sandy JenSandy Jen is one of the three co-founders of Meebo, the instant messaging service, social chat service, and ad platform that launched in 2005, grew to 250 million monthly users, raised $70 million dollars, then was acquired by Google before the product was finally shut down in 2013. Since then Jen and her Meebo co-founder Seth Sternburg are working on their second startup, Honor, an online service that connects in-home caregivers with seniors who need help.

After building the first iteration of Meebo and seeding in on a couple of websites, the founders were out of money and in a desperate attempt to get some free publicity, they posted a description of Meebo on Digg, then went to bed. The awoke to more than 600 diggs and a server crash. They never looked back.

In the world of tech startups, women aren’t exactly rare, but a female CTO is. And in part because of her success in a role traditionally filled by men, she has been a popular advocate for more women in tech. Jen was awarded a Techfellow Award for Engineering Leadership and was named one of 2009’s visionary women in tech by Fast Company magazine. Here are a few things she’s said that may resonate with other startup founders:

“Really talented people rarely advertise themselves, at least not as much as we’d like them to. You must court them. There is a lot of competition, so this could mean being flexible with hours or remote work options. And once you decide to hire someone, you have to welcome them with open arms.”

“It seems counter-intuitive but one piece of advice I would give people with ideas, wanting to start something, is to share the idea as much as you can. Get it out there and get feedback because if you work in a vacuum you’re not going to understand how to adapt quickly… the more the idea is out there and the more you can iterate on it the better the idea gets.”

“Regardless of whether you’re starting a social tech company or selling the newest form of slap bracelets, it’s going to be difficult. You’re going to doubt yourself. I sure did. You’re going to have brilliant ideas, and you’re going to poop out some of the worst ideas known to man. The best way to manage all of that is to have a partner. It’s lonely when you’re struggling on your own, and it’s even lonelier when you achieve success and there’s no one to party with.”

“You can’t figure everything out! …I think as entrepreneurs, we have an itch to create something interesting and we are hungry to make it successful.  Part of that is being able to fix things that are broken. But sometimes, as we’ve learned, it’s just luck, chance, or good/bad timing.”

“We actually quit our jobs… because we were so excited about [the opportunity]. That’s one of the things that I tell entrepreneurs. There [are] a lot of them hedging bets: ‘Maybe I will do it on the side.’ But if you really want to go at it, you should just do it, you shouldn’t try to draft out a business plan or try to do this or try to do that, too much research, you should just build it and go.”

“Don’t just give up the power of decision because you think you’re under-qualified. I strongly believe that founders have a lot more chops and know-how than they give themselves credit for, and oftentimes they defer to those with more experience on paper. You’re a leader and it’s your job to make sure your company is headed in the right direction; heed advice of course, but always trust yourself.”

“If you’re really tired you can’t be productive… I will kick my employees out sometimes from work early and force them on vacation if I have to to get them to have more balance.”

“I think the lowest points are when we’re struggling to create a product but we’re vastly under-resourced, which pretty much happens a lot in the start-up world…  It takes a lot of discipline and we’re getting much better at it. However the struggle to create a really awesome product with limited resources is always going to be a challenge.”

“You can have as much influence and networking and friends in high places as you can, but if you don’t work hard you can’t really get there.”

“My advice to… you is this: chill out. There are lots of things to stress about, but there are many more things that you’ll miss if that stress consumes you.”

“The toughest thing was actually figuring out how to hire, how to evaluate people, how to build a culture for the first 12 people in the company, and also getting over the fact that you’re interviewing people who have been in the industry for 20 more years than you have, and they’re expected to report to you, because you’re the founder and you’re the boss.”

—Sandy Jen, Co-founder of Meebo and Honor

Photo credit: Women 2.0.

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Logo Design News This Week (5.24)

It’s Friday again and that means it’s time to take a look back at all the news from the world of logo design from the past week. Here’s the stuff that caught our attention. Did we miss anything?

New Late Show LogoDavid Letterman officially retired from late night TV last month and Stephen Colbert is set to take over his spot in the nighttime line up later this fall. So The Late Show with Stephen Colbert got a new logo in anticipation. The new logo won’t easily fit on the Ed Sullivan Theatre marquee and dominate Broadway the way the old, bright yellow logo did. But it will probably work better as an onscreen “tag” than the old logo did. The real difference, of course, isn’t the logo, but the changes that will inevitably occur on the show itself—a real life demonstration that updating a brand is more than updating a logo.

The new Tennessee logo we told you about a couple of weeks ago has gotten a lot of criticism both for the design and the cost. Now a few graphic designers are pushing back. We stand by our original assessment. The logo is good, if a bit overpriced.

Enterprise Florida LogoTwo years ago Florida unveiled a new logo to promote the state as a great place to do business. That logo was widely criticized as “sexist” for including a tie. We think that critics were stretching the definition of sexist a bit, but whatever. This week the state abandoned the tie and has adopted this new F arrow mark to represent the state’s business interests. The icon isn’t as strong (by being more inclusive, it represents almost nothing), but the type treatment is significantly better. Overall it’s a better design.

The city of Hobart has a nice new logo, but it will cost about $200,000 to roll it out and that is causing some heartburn for the city council.

New Alitalia Logo DesignItalian airline, Alitalia, updated their logo a bit this past week. This is a good example of a brand evolution. The type has been tilted to the right, the A is larger and more dominant while the red triangle has been given some color variation. The design team also added a gradient to the logo overall. We’re not a big fan of the gradient or the venetian blind pattern on the triangle, but overall the logo is more dynamic. It’s not a bad evolution.

Cebu Pacific Logo DesignIn other airline logo news, Spice Jet got a new hot and spicy logo “to woo the youth”. And Filipino airline, Cebu Pacific Air, also also unveiled an updated logo this week. Their new icon is a streamlined, much cleaner version of a bird in colors representing “the Philippines’s land, sea, sky and sun”. And the new font treatment is better as well. They’ve gone all lower case, which gives the brand a friendlier feel. It’s a nice update.

New Publicis LogoIt’s been 15 years since we last walked out of Publicis as an employee. We love their logo and still have it embroidered on a favorite jacket. Time to throw it out. Publicis is updating their logo to pay homage to its original design. We like the last one better. The change is to help separate the ad agency from the holding company, but we’re not sure this won’t create a bit more confusion—at least for those who pay attention to ad agency logos.

Don’t mess with a rugger’s logo.

New Oculus Logo DesignVirtual reality (and Facebook-owned) company, Oculus, got a new logo this week. We love the simplicity of the new design (it’s very much the kind of logo of which people say, my kid could have come up with something better). Simple shapes and single colors are the marks of a good design—and while this feels a little race-tracky, it’s a versatile design. But the previous logo was also good, and we’re a bit sorry to see the eye go. Whether going from an eye to an even simpler icon is a good move or not? Time will tell.

Tell us what we missed in the comments:

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Logo Maker versus Logo Designer : A True Comparison

In the last week or so, we’ve seen a new logo-oriented infographic making the rounds (part of which is shown below—we’re not linking to it because these falsehoods don’t deserve to be shared). This one purports to compare do-it-yourself logo makers with a real live designer. And often, the software comes out looking bad in comparison.

But it’s almost completely wrong.

Now we admit, we have a definite interest in this kind of thing. Our logo maker software is the world’s most popular do-it-yourself logo design software. Which is why this kind of thing bothers us.

But let’s look at the facts…

False Logo InfographicThe infographic make a couple of ridiculous comparisons. The process of registering to use the software (which takes less than a minute) is compared to the process of choosing a designer (which can take weeks). And, contrary to the truth, the infographic mentions that with a logo maker there is no legal contract and that your information may be made public. This is false. In order to use our Logomaker, everyone agrees to a legal contract and because you are doing the work, there is no confidential information to be shared publicly.

On the other hand, not all designers will sign an NDA and there is no guarantee that a designer won’t share the details of your business. It happens.

The infographic states that Logomaker software is complex and hard to understand. Again, blatantly false. Our software is designed to make it easy to create an amazing logo in about ten minutes. Try it and see for yourself. Post your logo and tell us in the comments how difficult our software was to use. We’ll bet it was significantly easier than working with a designer.

Another odd comparison says that Logomaker uses templates while the designer does original design work. It’s true that you get to pick from almost 10,000 icons and 50 fonts on our site. But it’s not always true that a designer will present you with original artwork. Check out a few examples of work that designers copied here and here. And design contest sites are notorious for presenting stolen artwork as original. While the great majority of designers are honest and do good, original work, the fact of the matter is, there are no guarantees.

Again, the infographic falsely says there is “no option to optimize the logo as per your need”. We’re not sure what that even means, but with Logomaker, if you can’t make the optimized changes you want, our service team will help you. And we’ll do it within 24 hours, while working with a designer can take days.

Lastly, the graphic claims a DIY logo may not be appealing. Yeah, may not. But it may. In fact, because you design it yourself, you’re in control. You decide what looks good, not a designer. And you don’t have to buy or download anything you don’t like. If it doesn’t appeal to you, you can delete it.

Are there times you should hire a designer for your logo? Yes, absolutely. Here are a few reasons you would consider hiring a designer.

Infographics like this are silly. And completely wrong.

If you’re looking for an infographic about logos that is both interesting and actually true, check out this one. It’s awesome. And based on real science. Feel free to share it on your own site.

And if you’re looking for a great option for creating a low-cost logo for your business, try our logo design software.

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10 Inspiring Quotes for Startups and Small Business from Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of Trendhunter.com.

Jeremy Gutsche Startup QuotesJeremy Gutsche is the founder and CEO of Trendhunter.com—the world’s most popular “cool” hunting website. His startup helps people identify coming trends so they can capitalize on them with new products and services. And it is immensely popular, with well over two billion page views since its launch. Each month, members of the site read and explore another sixty million pages.

Mr. Gutsche hasn’t always been a trend hunter. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he was a management consultant and a director for Capital One, running an innovation team and experimenting with new products.

He’s been called one of the most sought after keynote speakers on the planet. He’s also the author of two books, Better and Faster (which the quotes below are taken from), and Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change. Check out some of the things he’s written and said that will inspire other startup owners:

“To counter complacency, you must exhibit insatiability.”

“No matter what business you’re in, to thrive you must fight the presumption that you know your customer. Also you must push yourself to challenge ‘certainties’.”

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. And it’s an unreliable guide to the future.”

“Intentionally destroying your business model, products, and services can feel uncomfortable and even painful, but destruction enables unrestricted creativity while providing flexibility and depth.”

“Past success creates barriers that both you and your customers must overcome. To innovate, you need to break free from past success.”

“You need to go where the opportunity will be next, not where it is.”

“If you want people to love what you stand for, you need to create products that are irresistible to a specific group.”

“You don’t need to find a big idea; you can find a little idea that can be made big. Think of something fractional, smaller, simpler, or more focused—all with underlying growth potential.”

“To find a remarkable new idea, you need a fresh way of thinking.”

“Be curious.
Be willing to destroy.
Be insatiable.”

—Jeremy Gutsche, Author and Founder of TrendHunter

Photo credit: Speakerpedia.

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Logo Design News This Week (5.23)

Welcome to the weekend. As long-time readers of our logo design blog know, this is the day we take a look at the latest industry news and tell you about the stuff that caught our attention. Here are the new logos we saw this past week:

Atlanta Hawks PacMan LogoThe NBA had some big logo design news as the Atlantic Hawks unveiled their new logo. Last week, we showed you the secondary logo. This week we show you the primary logo, which is a reworking of the Pacman logo the team began using in 1972. The logo was actually recycled during the 2014 playoffs.

In other NBA logo news: that new LA Clippers logo we told you about a few weeks ago? Some people are saying they’ve stolen the EA Sports NBA Live 06 logo. The look pretty similar, but we doubt this is a case of copying.

GPAC Logo DesignStill sports logo news: we got our first look at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game logo this week when it was unveiled in Toronto. And we got our first look at the new logo for the GPAC logo this week as well. The GPAC is the Great Plains Athletic Conference and features sports powerhouses like Doane College, Midland University and Mount Marty College. And yes, that was snark.

Our final bit of sport logo news: Jerry Dior, the creator of the Major League Baseball logo died last month.

New ihop Logo DesignAmerica’s favorite pancake chain, iHop unveiled a new logo. Our first impression is that this is love child of a logo and an emoticon. The second is that it slightly resembles the chain’s Rudy Jr. smiling pancake meal.The official press release says the company is putting smiles first and the old logo wasn’t happy enough. But others have pointed out the the new logo is a bit like a creepy clown or Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live. Yeah, we see that. The new logo is the first update the company has seen in more than 20 years.

Apparently Uncle Sam thinks you can keep outlaw bikers from using their own logos if you make it illegal. Seems to us, someone doesn’t understand why they’re called outlaws in the first place.

Les Republicans Logo DesignWe go France for our next item: France’s right wing party, led by Nicolas Sarkozy and formerly known as the Union for Popular Movement (UMP) is now called The Republicans (seems like a decent name for a right-leaning party). And the party has a new logo that makes a nice, subtle reference to France’s flag. French design sensibilities are a bit different from those on this side of the pond, so we can’t comment on how appropriate the new design is. We don’t love it, but then we’re not French.

Perry Campaign Logo DesignBack to the states, but in keeping with the political theme for the moment, we noticed this new logo to represent the just announced Presidential campaign for former Texas Governor, Rick Perry. Departing from the “campaign look” of his many competitors (at last count 10 republicans and 4 democrats), his logo looks something more like a minor league baseball crest—something you might see on a baseball cap. It’s not awful, but the P icon in the center feels a bit weak, which might not be a good message to send with your logo, even subtly.

And in case you haven’t had enough political logos yet, here’s critique of all the logos for the declared candidates so far in the US Presidential race. Unsurprisingly (it’s Bloomberg after all), Hillary’s logo is the only one with a thumbs up.

Did you see some logo design news that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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9 Quotes for Startups and Small Business from Chipotle Founder, Steve Ells

Steve Ells Startup QuotesWhen Steve Ells decided to go to the Culinary Institute of America after graduating high school, he did it because he thought it would be fun. He had no idea it would put him on the path to creating America’s best-known, fresh-food startup, Chipotle. And while the food was popular from the start, initially he had a difficult time raising money to expand operations—13 venture capitalists said no.

Then after preparing lunch for several McDonald’s executives, the burger giant invested $50 million into Chipotle, providing the capital Mr. Ells needed to fuel the company’s expansion—to almost 500 stores when the company went public and more than 2,000 stores today and $2.2 billion in sales. That’s a lot of burritos.

The menu hasn’t changed much in 20 years. And that’s been a key to the company’s success. Over the past few years, Mr. Ells has shared some of his thought on Chipotle’s success. Here are a few things that might inspire other entrepreneurs:

“We want to do just a few things better than everyone else. We just do things we think are right.”

“So many people told me it was not a good idea to a start a restaurant, especially a fast-food restaurant. There was so much wrong with it—it was too spicy; everything was done by hand, from scratch. Everything was wrong. But that’s why customers liked it; it’s different, in the right way. If you have an idea, just go for it. If everybody is telling you that it’s wrong, maybe that’s an indication that it’s an original idea.”

“There were very few moving parts. We served just a few things, burritos and tacos, and it was put together very simply with plywood. It had a very funky, raw look to it. Of course it also had a low investment cost. And so what resulted was this restaurant that was, in fact, quite replicable.”

“Pick the right message. I thought we were going to get customers excited by telling them there were no antibiotics in our meat or no growth hormones used to raise the animals or no RGBH in our cheese or sour cream. Well, that’s not a very appetizing message. So now we have a marketing program that’s about why better ingredients make for better-tasting and more healthful food.”

“I have very high expectations—including high expectations of myself… We need the best people we can find to make sure the experiences we’re providing are the best they can be—and all of that starts with having high expectations.”

“I’ve had twenty years to make changes and not much has been tweaked. Part of what makes Chipotle work is its focus. By focusing on doing just a few things—and doing them right—we can do them better than anyone else does.”

“You need to be polite, hospitable, smart, ambitious, curious, happy, respectful, honest, presentable, conscientious, motivated, infectiously enthusiastic and have high energy. We can teach you the skills to work in our restaurants, but you really can’t teach these characteristics. By the time you’re an adult, you either have them or you don’t.”

“I remember feeling a little guilty every time I opened a Chipotle. I felt guilty because I wasn’t following my true passion [of opening a fine restaurant]. But that eventually went away. And I realized that this is my calling.”

“You know, I hate to borrow Apple’s tag, but think different. Really. From the very beginning. I didn’t know what the fast-food rules were. I got my training at the Culinary Institute Of America, and then I opened up a fast food place according to fine dining rules.”

—Steve Ells, Founder and Co-CEO, Chipotle

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