11 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs from General George S. Patton

Patton Quotes for StartupsThe late war general may seem like an unlikely source from which to pull inspiration for your start-up, but then you realize that the rules of success are the same, regardless of arena. In order to succeed on the battlefield—whether that battlefield is literal or figurative—takes a focused and relentless approach involving strategy, calculated risk, allies, discipline, and yes, courage. Patton had a colorful personality and used colorful language, but his leadership and ability to inspire troops is unquestionable. That’s why this week we reapply his longstanding quotes to the entrepreneur. Here are a few of the things he said that we think will inspire anyone building a startup:

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

“You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals.”

“If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn’t thinking.”

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

“Always do everything you ask of those you command.”

“There is only one sort of discipline: perfect discipline.”

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

“There are three ways that men get what they want: by planning, by working, and by praying.”

“Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”

—George Smith Patton, Jr., United States Army General

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Logo Design News This Week (4.33)

As regular readers of the blog will know, Friday is the day we take to look back at all the important happenings in the world of logo design. Here’s the news that caught our eye this week. Check it out:

New Southwest Logo DesignLet’s start with two new airline logos. First Southwest Airlines introduced a great new logo that harks back to some of the airline’s traditions. The new logo introduces a new friendlier feeling type treatment and a multi-colored heart icon. (The airline used to use a heart in its logo back when it played on it’s hub at Love Field, and the company’s stock ticker is LUV). We really like this logo and the way the advertising is playing off it with the tagline: “Without a heart, it’s just a machine” which plays off the airline’s friendly image. The new plane design (livery) is also great. We really like this work.

New Frontier Airlines Logo DesignAnd things seem to happen in threes. So Southwest wasn’t the only new airline logo this week. China Eastern Airlines launched a new logo design (their new design is a swallow made up of the letters C and E). And Frontier Airlines changed up their logo this week as well—going back to the icon (but not the logotype) designed by Saul Bass about 40 years ago. The low-cost airline is reportedly trying to put a friendlier face on the brand famous for stingy customer service. The new font treatment doesn’t quite match the icon, but the new logo on the whole is an improvement.

Bristol Aerospace Logo DesignAnd while this one isn’t an airline or even a new logo launched this week, it is related to the industry and we did see it for the first time this week. What’s more, its a really nice logo. BrandNew takes a closer look at the Bristol Aerospace Centre logo design and various marketing support materials. We really like this design.

Brian Chesky, AirBNB’s CEO, is okay with the press his new logo has received (even though so much of it was negative).

Meanwhile, a logo contest site asked its designers to create a new logo to replace the Hershey logo that has gotten so much bad (and undeserved) press for its kiss icon. But the suggested improvements are bad. In some cases, really bad. We’ll stick with the company’s design, thanks.

We have a few thoughts about the recent trend to compare logos to poop and genitalia here.

New Moscow Metro Logo DesignIs this the new official logo for the Moscow Metro system? The Art. Levedev Studio says that it is (and The Moscow Times appears to agree). This redesign is more of a subtle reworking of the old logo found around the city. In the studio’s own words the new logo “looks as if it never changed.” That’s what it looks like to us too.

The South Australian government’s attempt to create a logo for its free range egg producers has (here it comes) left egg on its face. Producers don’t like any of the options.

Another logo controversy as a logo contest in Portland falls flat. And which Portland bureaucracy has the best logo? Lots of mostly bad choices there. Our question is, why do they have so many different logos? Seems like an opportunity for a brand unification project.

Google Tolstoy Logo DesignWe wrap up this week with a look at the new Google logo celebrating Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday. The logo was an interactive design that scrolled through images representing Tolstoy’s books including War and Peach, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Click here to see it in action.

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

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More Logo Design Science: High- and Low-Level Information

How and why does a logo work?

Is there any logo design science that can help us understand exactly what is going on?

We’re fascinated with the way a logo can trigger certain responses in the people who see them. To see what we mean, here are a few logos stripped of their brand names. If you have lived for more than a few days in western society, you can probably identify these logos and the products they represent without any trouble (or help):

Coca-Cola Logo Design No Type


MasterCard Logo Design No Type


Heineken Logo Design No Type


You got them, right? But more than just recognizing which brands they represent, you also remembered certain things about them. Maybe positive, maybe negative. Two of them may have made you crave a drink. As you were looking at the nameless logos, you may even have recalled an ad, a song, or an experience that you had with each brand.

But how? Or rather, why?

Even logo design experts, who know a lot about creating design and marketing, don’t always understand the psychological effects that a design can have, and how their designs are actually perceived and interpreted by our brains.

Like our ability to quickly recognize new things in our environments, humans have evolved mental short-cuts related to the kinds of information we perceive around us.

In his book, Smart Thinking, scientist and author Art Markman writes about the different levels of information that we encounter in everyday life:

“Psychologists call simple visual information like the colors, shapes, and sizes of objects, low level information. And conceptual information, high-level information.”

The way we first perceive a logo design takes advantage of what Markman calls “bottom-up seeing” because our vision uses the low-level information we gather by seeing the world around us. Stuff like a red background and curving white stripe. Or a red star floating on a green background.

Imagine someone visiting Earth for the first time. They might see a red can with a curving white stripe, but have no clue what it is, what it is for, or anything else about it. They simply perceive a pattern they haven’t encountered before and are either curious or cautious (or possibly both) about this new thing.

That is the limit of low-level information.

But once we have become familiar with a particular color pattern or logo design and the products and brand attributes that it represents, we switch to what brain scientists call “top-down seeing” where what we see isn’t guided by shapes and colors, but rather thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Top down seeing plays an important role in the way we gather new information. From the moment we open our eyes, we are being guided in part by what we know already. As a result we are likely to gather new information in a way that is related to the way we think the world works.

As we are exposed to logos again and again, we switch from seeing low-level information to interpreting them using conceptual information, because our vision and thoughts are guided by existing high-level knowledge to interpret the world.

It’s a conceptual process that humans have evolved to help them interpret the world around them and survive.

In the modern world, this has consequences beyond survival. Sometimes it makes us miss important information. Each time we find ourselves in a familiar place, part of our brain shuts down, looking only for new information, and missing things that we aren’t expecting.

In his book, Markman compares a baseball broadcaster who knows virtually everything about the game he is watching. He notices all sorts of subtle aspects of the game that a non-expert misses. Things like whether the infield is playing in or back, the speed of the pitch, or whether the pitch is high or low. What the broadcaster knows helps determine what he looks for and sees.

But the broadcaster doesn’t notice the kinds of things a young girl attending her first game might notice: things that are unimportant to the game, like the Cracker Jack salesman in the isle, or the color of the shirt the guy in front of her is wearing. She doesn’t have the top-down knowledge to know what she should be focusing on. She sees all kinds of things the broadcaster misses (and vice versa) even though they are at the same game.

The lesson here is that knowledge (or the lack of) can trap you into a certain way of seeing. And that is something a smart marketer or business owner can use to their advantage.

The first time a customer sees your logo design, they don’t know what to expect. The color and shape may communicate some basic information, but they don’t have any high-level knowledge about your brand. You can change this by making sure their experience is overwhelmingly positive. Same thing with the second time they see your logo. And the third.

By using a logo consistently as a part of a larger, positive brand experience, your customers will associate the low-level information of your logo (icon, shape, color) with the high-level information (great experience) of your brand and seek your product out.

That is part of how (and why) a logo works.


Photo Credit: The logos without names are from an art project that stripped names from iconic logos to reveal their basic forms (low-level information) by Dorothy.

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10 Quotes for Startups and Entrepreneurs from Bill Rancic

Bill Rancic Startup QuotesThe name William “Bill” Rancic should sound familiar to you. Rancic impressed Donald Trump in 2004 and became the Season 1 winner of NBC’s The Apprentice. He went on to write You’re Hired: How to Succeed In Business And Life while pursuing new entrepreneurial opportunities and charitable causes. Today, Rancic is a highly sought after motivational speaker on entrepreneurship and business.

Prior to taking on Trump in the boardroom, Rancic graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University and founded his first startup, Cigars Around The World, as a young entrepreneur. The monthly online subscription-based retail company became a multimillion dollar enterprise.

“The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need to have an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars start-up money. It can be done with an idea, hard work, and determination.”

“I’m a big fan of small business ownership. I think it’s the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it.”

“Keep your word. Honor commitments, and they will double back to honor you.”

“One important lesson is this: It is okay to try and [then] fail at something, but it isn’t okay to not try. Parents need to encourage their kids, and it all starts in the home.”

“The most successful entrepreneurs tell you they have a great team. Lots of small-business owners let ego get in the way. Many people helped me along the way. You’ve got to remember the people who were loyal to you, and don’t forget them when you become successful.”

“Keep your options open. And remember, where there is no risk, there is no reward.”

“There are no secrets to success but working harder than the guy next to you, thinking smarter than the guy next to you, and wanting it just a little more than the guy next to you.”

“Start small, think big, and aim somewhere in between.”

“Learn the rules of the game and reinvent them if they don’t apply.”

“Stick to your principles but always keep an open mind.”

—Bill Rancic, Entrepreneur and Author

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Logo Design News This Week (4.32)

It’s Friday again and time for another look back at the week’s news from the world of logo design. Here’s what caught out attention:

2024 Washington Olympic Logo DesignThe Olympic Games has been a rich source of logo designs featured on this blog over the past four years. So we start with the newly announced logo for the group that is working to bring the Olympics to Washington D.C. in 2024. Like so many others, this one includes bright Olympic colors, but then breaks to mold by leaving off torches, rings, and other games symbolism. That doesn’t mean the logo is well loved, as demonstrated by the comments in the linked article noting it looks like the White Castle logo, a lego logo, or our personal favorite: the World Series of UNO.

We’ve seen companies launch a new logo then announce that, on second thought, they are keeping the previous design after all. Usually it takes a few days. But Nationwide Insurance did it after 16 years. Good bye blue box, hello eagle. Farm Family Insurance also got a new logo.

New Cincinnati Cyclones Logo DesignThe Cincinnati Cyclones hockey team unveiled a new logo this week to the tune of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. The video is here. According to the team’s official announcement, the new logo has “helped us take a major step forward in the sports and entertainment landscape.” Whatever that means. While it’s a relatively nice design featuring a Capital C with a cyclone spinning in the middle, it’s a bit generic. We don’t love the way the cyclone has been trimmed on the left and right. But it’s certainly an upgrade over the previous mark. (And it’s not hockey, but the Tulsa Roughnecks soccer team got a new logo too.)

It seems that the trendy logo controversy these days involves native american symbols. So it was no surprise that another media outlets is refusing to print the name of Washington’s NFL football team. In addition, the New York Daily News has replaced the Redskin’s logo with a plain red button with gold and white stripes whenever the paper needs to show the team’s icon.

New Coachella Valley Arab Logo DesignUnlike the Redskins, Coachella Valley High School gave up its mascot which was a clownish depiction of an Arab bedouin. For now the name stays, though the logo has been updated to a somewhat less offensive icon featuring an arab in head dress. We understand how some/many might be offended by the old logo, but the new design isn’t much of an upgrade. We predict it won’t be long before this new logo is also seen as offensive and the school will go back to the drawing board for yet another new logo design (and this time a new name as well).

Coachella isn’t the only high school dealing with this situation. Up the coast in Oregon, the Dalles High School has shed it’s Indian moniker and logo and is adopting a new name and icon—the Riverhawks. They are still considering several design options for the logo, which can be seen at the link above.

New Volvo Logo DesignAutomaker, Volvo, unveiled an updated version of their logo this past week. The new logo removes some of the once-trendy chrome effects, as well as a few lines, and shrinks the name in a way that makes the design simpler and a bit more elegant. While the change is small, we are somewhat surprised at the reduction of the company name in the logo—that’s something you don’t see often in logo relaunches.

This seems like big logo news: Abercrombie & Fitch has announced they will eliminate their logo from apparel sold in their stores by spring of next year. Hipsters everywhere will need to update their wardrobes.

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

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The 2014 Logomaker Scholarship Winner

Logomaker ScholarshipOn the heels of last weeks post about the positive difference Logomakers customers helped make in Ethiopia, comes another announcement about how Logomaker is helping someone closer to home.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Logomaker Scholarship is Matthew Winship, a non-traditional student studying digital media/multimedia technology at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Mr. Winship was selected from more than two dozen applicants in part because of his essay about the importance of design in representing a business, and how a logotype can convey subtle messages. We were also impressed by his artwork.

Were thrilled to be able to help support Matt in his quest to work in the world of design and look forward to seeing how he makes a difference in the future.

Congratulations, Matt and good luck!


If youre interested in applying for next years scholarship, check out the details here.

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10 Inspriational Quotes for Startups from Entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson Startup QuotesSometimes it’s all about timing. Perhaps some would say it’s always about timing. It certainly gets a lot of credit in the case of entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson who followed business trends and queues from the trade show industry into casino ownership and development.

The Boston native started a trade show for the computer industry in the early 70s, just as personal computer brands like Microsoft, IBM, and Apple (let’s hear it for Macintosh!) were taking off. Paired with the PC boom and Adelson’s branded, computer trade show hosted the most successful trade show in history up to that point and it took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The trade show’s success at the Vegas casino/hotel enticed Adelson’s entrepreneurial mind and it didn’t take long before he purchased his own casino (Sands) in the 80s. After figuring out a successful business model for casino ownership, he built his own concept for a casino which is how Las Vegas got the $1.5 billion Venetian in the 90s. Adelson’s ability to foresee opportunity at the right time has put him as a frequent visitor on the list of the world’s most wealthy people. He currently sits at #10. Here are a few things he has said that we think will inspire other entrepreneurs:

“I’ll tell you the secret, but nobody ever follows it. Just do things differently. Just do things in life the way other people don’t do that. Change the status quo. And then you’ll succeed.”

“Achievement is the motivation of entrepreneurs.”

“Create a vision. Identify it and go for it.”

“Describing entrepreneurship you have to say that risk is reward and reward is risk.”

“The report card for a commercial enterprise is making money.”

“I formed an opinion that if I did things differently than the way everybody did it that it would add value to every effort I made.”

“It’s unfair that I’ve been treated unfairly—but it doesn’t stop me.”

“You take care of the customer with the best product and service you can make and profit follows you like your shadow.”

“For me, businesses are like buses. You stand on a corner and you don’t like where the first bus is going? Wait ten minutes and take another. Don’t like that one? They’ll just keep coming. There’s no end to buses or businesses.”

“I look at every business and ask: How long can this last? How can I identify the status quo and change it?”

—Sheldon Adelson, Casino Owner and Entrepreneur


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Logo Design News This Week (4.31)

Welcome to the final day of the work week, which is when we traditionally take a look back at the biggest news from the world of logo design. Check out what we found this week:

New Genesis Band Logo DesignFans of the 80s band, Genesis, have plenty to celebrate recently with the announcement earlier this summer that the original members of the band got back together to film a BBC documentary (these guys hadn’t played together since 1975). This week the band announced the release of a new “R-kive” of the band’s music spanning 40 years. And they unveiled a new logo that will presumably appear on the cover art of the new CD collection. The announcement was made on the band’s Facebook page, then quickly picked up by fans around the world.

Instagram, the photo app owned by Facebook, has a dedicated group of fans that love to recreate the app’s logo design and share it. Some are really cool.

Granite School District Logo DesignLast week’s round up of new school district logos just released for the new year missed one. Granite School District in Salt Lake City also has a new logo. Unlike those earlier logos, Granite skips icons with students and graduation caps and simply uses an icon representing the mountains that look over the district. Nothing ground breaking or terribly original, but a nice look.

Looks like Dublin is going to get a new logo design (for €20 million) to help improve its image. Yeah, we’ve covered this topic many times. Probably won’t work (and we’re not convinced it’s even needed) but we’ll be watching for it.

Horse Racing Logo DesignHorse racing in Britain is big business. Just ask the guys manning the desks at Ladbroke’s. And, of course, Dick Francis. And the British Horseracing Authority, the body in charge of all that racing, has a new logo, created last month and seen this week here. And while the logo isn’t exactly great (it feels a little dated), it is a huge improvement over the older version. The icon is nice but the lettering is terrible, especially the shape of the B and the kerning of the H and A.

The first European Games unveiled their logo and we immediately had to ask, is Azerbaijan really part of Europe? Okay, we get that its right next to Georgia, but it’s also east of Iraq. You learn something every day.

Hershey Company Logo DesignThe Hershey Company, makers of so many delicious-to-eat things unveiled a new logo design and as seems to be the thing lately, has taken some criticism for the new kiss icon, which some people think resembles, um, poop. We won’t link to their comments, because, grosss. We also doubt this will occur to many of the brand’s fans, who will naturally recognize the kiss, but what is the Internet for, if not criticism? We like the logo, though we wonder about the repetition of word Hershey. Doesn’t the big name tell us that this is the Hershey company? Feels a little weird.

Althea Gibsons Google Logo DesignWe really like this new Google logo celebrating tennis great Alethea Gibson’s 87th birthday. Gibson was the first African-American player to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U. S. Open. During her career she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments. She was the first African-American player to ever compete at Wimbledon and at one point was ranked #7 in the world. At one point she also became the first African-American to join the women’s professional golf tour. Yeah, she should have a logo.

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

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Does Your Logo Convert? Sell? Tell a Story? Probably Not.

This past week, we came across an article written by a graphic designer who asked, “Does your logo convert?” The idea is that a well-designed logo, designed by her company, will convert non-customers into regular buyers.

She’s not alone in this kind of thinking. We’ve seen other articles where an expert argues that your logo is “a visual cue that tells a story of the brand’s culture, behavior, and values.”

The thing about these kinds of claims is, they’re just not true.

Yes, your logo is a visual cue.

No your logo can’t tell a story.

At least not without a lot of marketing support.

Don’t believe us? Check out this logo for Hexteria. What story does it tell?

Hexteria Logo Design

Is it a story about cancer research and providing cures for patients who can’t afford them? Is it the story of a brand that provides a safe place for witches and druids to meet? Is it an app that helps with speed reading?

What does this logo sell? Is it a wart-remover? Investment products? A video game?

You don’t know because you’ve never seen this logo before. And not only do you not know its story, you don’t know the product, where it’s made, or anything else about it.

It can’t sell or convert because there’s no context.

And it won’t have a context until a customer can connect it to some kind of experience. A visit to the Hexteria store where you can sample their products. Or a doctor’s prescription for Hexteria that cures your head ache. Or an advertisement on TV that shows you the sports fans who drink Hexteria.

Logos aren’t sales people. And they’re not advertisements.

Let’s look at the problem from the other side. Often companies update their logos and change the elements of their visual branding in order to change or improve their story. Wal-mart tried this in 2005.

They wanted to shed the old logo which represented a store that sells inexpensive products to people without much money. It stood for cheap. The new logo would represent a store where smart people would save money buying premium products. They wanted a brand that stood for value, like Target.

So they tossed out the old logo and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new one:

Walmart Logo Before and After

So how did the new logo affect the brand?

Well it didn’t suddenly attract more upscale buyers or sell more products. It didn’t change the news stories about employees with low-pay and no benefits. And Walmart’s stock price dropped almost 20% over the next two years. More importantly, did your impression of Walmart change when the logo changed? Is it more positive than it was ten years ago (before the supposedly friendlier logo)?

Of course not, because Walmart’s story isn’t in the logo. It’s in the store experience.

If logos could tell a story, then this redesign would have worked wonders. The new logo was supposed to be a metaphor for “shoppers being smart for taking advantage of affordable, quality products.” But the Walmart experience didn’t change.

The new logo came to represent the same story that the old logo used to “tell”.

Your logo represents a customer’s total experience with your brand. Not just the colors on the sign, but the way a customer is greeted, the price they pay, the cleanliness of your store or office, the quality of your product, the look of the menu or business cards, the way you answer the phones, and virtually every other thing you do in your business.

That’s what a logo does… and it can’t do it until after the customer has experienced the rest of your brand.

There are a lot of things a great logo design can do. It can look professional. It can be a visual trigger to help customers remember your product. And it may even be able to change behavior (in some cases). But logos don’t sell. They don’t convert potential customers into buyers. And they don’t tell stories.


Note: the Hexteria logo above was created in about five minutes with a made-up name and  our easy-to-use logo maker application. It is not a real company or product. Want to try creating a logo yourself? Click here.

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12 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs (and Startups) from Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie Startup QuotesWe’re pulling inspiration from another early 20th Century, Scottish-born icon: Andrew Carnegie. After moving to the United States, Carnegie became a savvy investor using whatever expendable income he had from his minimal wage. Investing in the railroad paid off for him and he was able to use earnings from the stock market to go into business for himself. What resulted was the creation of his legacy as a wealthy steel tycoon, a visionary entrepreneur, and ultimately, as a philanthropist.

He may not have been the most respected employer (he lowered steel workers’ wages which prompted a strike), but he must have learned a valuable lesson about people because his later years were totally dedicated to a philanthropic crusade. Carnegie was still investing, but this time it wasn’t in the stock market, it was in people and neighborhoods. He sold his steel business and built public libraries. Literally thousands of libraries around the world were able to open their doors because of Carnegie’s financial support.

Here are a few things he said that we find inspirational:

“I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”

“Do your duty and a little more and your future will take care of itself.”

“There is little success where there is little laughter.”

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

“You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself.”

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”

“He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.”

“Concentrate your energies, your thoughts, and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.”

“Concentration is my motto—first honesty, then industry, then concentration.”

“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”

“The secret to success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.”

—Andrew Carnegie, Steel Tycoon turned Philanthropist

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