15 Inspirational Jim Rohn Quotes to Guide your Success

Jim Rohn Startup QuotesWe’ve all heard the saying “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Do you know who said it first? The late Emanuel James Rohn called himself an Idaho farm boy who made it to Beverly Hills and it all started out working as a stock clerk for Sears. A public speaking opportunity for the Rotary Club changed the trajectory of his life and by the end of his career, he was known worldwide as a major motivational figure. We could attribute to him the credit of unofficial founder of the personal-development industry as we know it. Some of the most familiar self-help icons today have named Rohn as their inspiration, including life coach Tony Robbins and the author of the Chicken Soup book series, Jack Canfield.

For more than 40 years, Rohn conducted seminars and personal development workshops on the basic human behaviors that most affect personal and business performance. You may be surprised to find that some of the most familiar quotes you’ve heard about entrepreneurship or success and personal growth actually came from Rohn. Here are a few of the things hes said that will inspire owners of startups and small businesses:

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

“Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

“Don’t join an easy crowd. You won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform and achieve are high.”

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”

“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized—never knowing.”

“The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become a millionaire in the first place.”

“You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.”

“The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them.”

“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.”

“You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.”

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”

—Jim Rohn, Author, Speaker, Personal Development Expert


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Logo Design News This Week (4.19)

We’ve come to the end of another week, which means it’s time to take another look back at the news from the world of logo design. As we come to the beginning of summer, new logo announcements have slowed just a bit as brand managers leave for a few days at the beach. But we’ve stayed valiantly on to share this update with you. Take a look at what we saw:

New Disney Channel Logo DesignThe biggest news by far this week was the announcement of an updated logo design for the Disney Channel. And it’s a good one. Where the old logo made primarily of Mickey Mouse’s head might lead a viewer to think she was about to watch cartoons, the new logo brings the channel’s logo more in line with other Disney properties, shrinking the large Mickey  icon into a small dot on the I in Disney. This new logo is more appropriate for the various kinds of programming the Disney creates beyond cartoons. A solid improvement.

Who created the Pepsi logo? Nobody knows but it might have been Bayard Wootten.

New Google Logo Design Before and AfterThe other big logo design news was an update that almost isn’t. Google made a tiny (and when we say tiny, we may be exaggerating that a bit, it’s not really noticeable until you see the logos on top of each other) update to their logo this week. The update moves the second letter G over one pixel and the letter L up and over one pixel. The letter E must be feeling left out. This change is so trivial it’s a surprise anyone even noticed—and yet it has been mentioned hundreds of times in the press this week. Despite the change, Google’s logo remains pretty bad from a design stand-point, but highly recognizable from the consumer’s stand point. Which in the end is exactly what a logo is supposed to be.

Equally Wed, the magazine that supports marriage equality celebrated its fourth birthday with a new logo design.

Earlier this yearConstantine College Logo Design we told you about the dust-up at Constantine College which unveiled a new logo only to be told the image on the logo was the face of Hadrian, a different Roman emperor. So it was back to the drawing board (quite literally) for a new logo for the school, which they unveiled this week. The new logo features several icons associated with the Roman empire, but not Constantine. All of which is too bad, because the first logo featuring Hadrian was a much more memorable design. It’s too bad a pesky professor knew just a little too much about history and spoiled (or saved, depending on your standpoint) the logo.


A nice tribute to designer Massimo Vignelli, who died this week. Vignelli is famous for designing the old American Airlines logo and the Mobile logo, among many others.

Candian Hockey Championship Logo DesignThe Canadian Hockey League unveiled a new logo for the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup. The new logo features the cup (a trophy that goes to the winner of the champions of the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junion Hockey League) standing on a rampart as part of a shield with another rampart. Clearly someone wants us to notice the connection between the game held in Quebec and the walled city’s ramparts. Message received.


A cool collection of imaginary baseball stadium logos. The stadiums are real, the logos, unfortunately, are not.

Rachel Carson Google Logo DesignTragically, Google decided not to honor fallen soldiers this year with a logo for Decoration or Memorial Day—Come on Google! But they did post this logo honoring Rachel Carson who is known as the author of Silent Spring and for her campaign to eradicate DDT use through out the world. She saved bald eagles from extinction, but critics argue she has harmed millions of African children by vilifying an effective mosquito killer. So there’s that.

Each week we post our round-up and wonder, does anyone even read this stuff? If you read and like it, will you let us know with a comment? And if we missed anything, let us know that too!

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6 Things Your Brand (and Logo Design) Can Learn from Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga Lessons on Branding and Logo DesignLove her or hate her, there’s no arguing with the fact that Lady Gaga knows how to get attention. Lots of it. Her Monster Ball Tour played to more than two and a half million fans and grossed close to a quarter billion dollars. She’s had three #1 hits on the Billboard Charts—her song, “Born This Way” debuted at #1 and stayed there for six weeks (something only four other artists have managed to do). In 2011, she claimed the top spot on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list (replacing Oprah).

When it comes to getting noticed, Lady Gaga is doing a lot of things right.

But this is a blog about logo design and small business. So why the stuff about Lady Gaga? Well, chances are that you’ve got a company or product that needs to be noticed. Wouldn’t it be great to some “Gaga-like” attention for your brand and logo?

So we wrapped our minds around what it is that makes Gaga so successful at creating attention for herself And we discovered a few things that might apply to your logo and brand.

Here are six things Lady Gaga does that you can apply to your logo and brand to start getting more attention, more fans, and make a real impression with your customers:

#1. Get Noticed.
There are literally tens of thousands of bands playing in clubs and venues around the world. But only about 50-70 of them have hits on the Billboard Charts or songs playing on the radio at any given time. And you think your competition is tough.

Most of those bands play the same songs as other bands. Or they play songs that sound like the hits on today’s charts. They write and play music that sounds like the stuff they hear on the radio. They’re trying to break out by doing the same thing as everyone else. Which generally doesn’t work.

Then there’s Lady Gaga.

She writes her own music and creates her own (wild) outfits. She sees every appearance in public as an opportunity to make an impression. She is always doing something new and shocking (that’s her brand). And she does it brilliantly.

Now, how can you apply that to your logo design or brand? Think about the ways you stand out from your competitors. What makes you different? Now take that difference and use it to get attention. Do you offer a guarantee that your competitors can’t match? Does your product have a feature that no one else offers? Do you solve a problem in a unique way? Use the things that make your brand different to get attention.

Wait, you say. My brand isn’t wild and shocking. And I’m not different from my competition. We provide the same service. Even our prices are about the same. How does this apply to me?

If that’s truly the case, then you need to do the hard work of creating a difference (even if it’s just a perceived difference, and not real). Plenty of other companies with boring products do it. A few stand out because they make the effort to stand out. Like Gaga.

Want an example? Check out the English Cut, a custom suit maker on Saville Row. To stand out from their competitors—all of whom offer the same product and many of whom have been around for a hundred years or more—they started a blog. Can you think of anything duller to write about than fabric and hemming techniques? Surprisingly, they’ve found interesting things to say for nearly a decade. Is your industry really any more boring that theirs?

You may not be able to wear crazy costumes or count on photographers following you to the grocery store, but you can find ways to get noticed.

Lady Gaga Find an Audience for Your Brand and Logo2. Find an Audience and Create Fans.
Lady Gaga didn’t start out with millions of fans. After she launched her first album, she went on the road, playing small gay clubs in New York and doing out-of-the-way shows in Europe. She jumped at the chance to open for a reunion tour of New Kids on The Block—not exactly a gig the hot artists were looking for at the time.

Lady Gaga has credited many of those early fans for her phenomenal success. What’s more, she connected with them on MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook. She posted exclusive videos and interviews on her social pages to reward her fans, and they responded to the attention by buying her records and spreading the word.

Well, that’s great for Gaga. But what about your business?

Once you start getting attention from a few customers, you need to connect with them. For small businesses in a retail setting, this may mean getting to know them, offering solutions that are customized to their needs, and simply being friendly. For a business online, that means being available by email, on Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook. It means creating new content on your blog and posting interesting stuff (related to your business) for your fans to read and respond to. It means giving them something extra that your competitors don’t do.

When Pete and Laura Wakeman started opening Great Harvest bakeries across the western United States, they had the idea of offering a free slice of bread to every customer who came through the door. Giving customers a thick, warm slice of bread smeared with butter or jam, created a host of fans of the company and helped the company grow. Today, there are hundreds of bakeries in the towns where Great Harvest has stores, but only one of them is known by their fans for offering a free slice of bread.

Without fans, a pop artist is a nobody. The same is true for your business.

Lessons from Lady Gaga Make an Impression3. Make a Memorable Impression.
One thing is for sure, when you see a Lady Gaga show, you can’t easily forget the spectacle. If you haven’t seen her, jump over to Youtube and watch one of her videos. We’ll wait.

So what did you think? Pretty wild right? For some of us over 45, it’s more than wild, it’s a bit weird. Like Madonna on steroids, then turned up to eleven.

It’s a big show of costumes, lights, smoke, dancers, amazing stage design, and music.

And it’s hard to forget.

Your brand (and logo) need to be just as memorable. When customers come to your website or your store, you need to create an experience for them that is unforgettable.

When Robert Stevens started his company Geek Squad, there were literally thousands of other companies providing computer support. So to make his company more memorable he did a few things that his competitors didn’t. His employees wore a “geek” uniform complete with white socks and black shoes (an idea inspired by the real-world 60s-era geeks in the movie Apollo 13). He put them in uniquely painted VW beetles (an idea inspired by the Batmobile)—all to help them make a memorable impression.

In fact, Stevens never thought of his company as a technology company, but rather as a hospitality business. And everything he did in building the business was aimed at creating an impression customers wouldn’t forget.

Now what about you? Are there parts of your customer experience that you can turn into an experience? Are there things you can do for your customers that will surprise and delight them?

Branding Advice from Lady Gaga: Be authentic4. Don’t fake it.
At first, this one may not make sense. After all, what is Lady Gaga without all of the media created sensationalism? Or without the crazy fashion shows and hoopla?

Well, actually she’s a very talented, classically trained pianist. After graduating from high school, she attended CAP21 (Collaborative Arts Project 21)—a musical arts training conservatory. She was one of 20 students granted early entry. She writes her own songs. What’s more, she reportedly practices the piano every day.

Even though the stage persona she has created is contrived, she is, underneath it all an authentically good musician.

This is the most important lesson you can learn from Lady Gaga. No matter what you do to get noticed and make an impression, be authentic. Deliver on the promise of your brand.

If you’re a solo-entrepreneur, don’t pretend to be a bigger company. Don’t promise services or products that you can’t deliver. Don’t make claims that aren’t true.

Be the real thing.

5. Have a Message.
One of the things Lady Gaga’s fans love most about her is her message to them that it’s okay to be different, to be freaks. Little monsters, as she calls them. After all, no one is more freaky than Lady Gaga. Here’s what she said about this in an interview:

“…some friends of mine from New York, they all came out to see my show in New York. And they all said to me, ‘Gaga your fans are all of the misfits. They are all of the kids in school that everybody makes fun of. All of the weird kids, the artistic kids, all the bad ones. ’ And I love that, because that’s who I was. We’re all together and they get it. It’s our own little world. Whether I’ve got a #1 record or nobody knows who the hell I am, I’m going to still make music.”

She built on that theme in a speech at the SXSW conference:

“Any person that has a talent that they believe in, no matter how crazy the idea is, you never know where that crazy idea might lead you,” she said. “Sometimes things that are really, really strange and feel really wrong can really change the world.”

Last year she used her fame to publicize her struggles with weight gain—posting unflattering photos of herself and urging her fans to do the same. Her purpose was to help fans overcome their insecurities, to “inspire bravery” and create a little compassion for people who struggle with similar issues.

The effect was an even deeper connection between Gaga and some of her fans.

Like Lady Gaga, once you have the attention of your fans, you need to have a message. Great brands do this really well. Think of any brand: Nike, Disney, CNN, … What’s the message they communicate?

Nike: Athletic accomplishment
Disney: Magical experiences
CNN: The news where ever it’s happening
Old Navy: Trendy clothing at a low price

And what about a small business. Does this work for them?

Take Logomaker as an example of a small business: we do one thing pretty well—provide easy-to-use software that helps small business owners make their own logos. That’s it. All the other stuff we do (from our weekly logo news updates to our posts on Twitter) is designed to inspire those small business owners to take their new logos and succeed at their dreams.

What’s the message you communicate with your brand and logo design?

Branding Advice from Lady Gaga The Work Is Never Done6. The work is never done.
Lady Gaga started working on her brand way back in 2005, when she left her music conservatory. She performed in nearly empty clubs and venues in underground New York developing her act. She worked with other musicians and learned from them.

And now that she’s rich, famous, and one of the most powerful women in music, she still gets up every day to practice the piano. She understands that every time she steps out in public is another opportunity to get noticed, liked, and remembered. When asked by Rolling Stone magazine about the days she is tired and just wants to take a little time to herself, she said she tells herself, “Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.”

Lesson for your small business? Tell yourself the same thing. Every day you get up and walk the walk. Get noticed. Create memorable experiences. Share your message with your fans and be authentic.

The work is never over.

Note: astute readers will notice that most of this advice is more about creating a brand, than creating a logo design. True enough.

But your logo is the visual entry point to your brand. The feelings and experiences you create with your customers are very closely associated with your logo (as opposed to the look of your waiting room or your Contact Us page. When customers think of you, what they are generally picturing in their minds is your logo.

Of course, many of these messages can apply directly to your logo—choose a design and font that stands out and gets noticed. Use it consistently over time to create a memorable experience for your customers. Always use your logo as an identifier when you communicate anything. And when it comes to making your logo work for you, the work is never done.

Can you think of other lessons from the life of your favorite celebrity that applies to your logo or brand? Tell us about it.

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13 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs and Startups from Lauren Maillian Bias

Lauren Maillian Bias Startup AdviceAuthor, entrepreneur, and startup advisor Lauren Maillian Bias has accomplished a lot for a woman still in her 20s. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in International Trade and Marketing. At 19, Bias founded a boutique winery that found international attention as an award-winning product. She served as the COO of the winery from inception through the brand’s acquisition in 2011.

Bias is now the Founder and CEO of a strategic marketing and branding consultancy (Luxury Market Branding) and keeps busy by involving herself in variety of other startups, as a key note speaker, and author. Her latest publication, The Path Redefined: Getting to the Top on Your Own Terms, compiles advice and lessons for the business owner and entrepreneur.

“My best advice for an entrepreneur at any stage is to maximize your resources early on to gain as much traction and credibility as possible before seeking funding. The farther along you take your company with outside capital will ensure you the most control and equity stake as you grow.”

“A great brand delivers what it promises and has customers and employees who believe in what the brand stands for and are proud to wear it, use it, and enjoy it.”

“Work harder than expected, do more than you’re asked, always be genuine.”

“Build a culture where people want to work–empower your team to treat your company as if it were their own–give the players on your team a reason to become vested in the growth of your vision.”

“No one gets to keep their place if they aren’t pulling their weight.”

“You stand out naturally when you consistently exceed expectations.”

“Reinventing yourself obviously requires resilience. More importantly, reinventing yourself involves honesty, transparency and excellent communication.”

“After failure and the accompanying humiliation, when the dust settles, no one really cares about what happened–it’s an event that lasted for a blip in time when viewed in hindsight—but everyone will care about how you handled the situation… It speaks to your character, integrity and intelligence.”

“You can’t always go with what you think will be most profitable, you have to stop to consider the impact of your decisions on your company’s long term vision and mission–never undermine your integrity. “

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone to gain valuable insight and perspective and learn from the challenges of navigating unfamiliar territory.”

“Stay consistent in the quality of your goods or services. People will go back to what they know they can count on, don’t let them down.”

“Make sure that your clients know that you respond to the demands of your consumer. If you want your customer to come back, give them what they want!”

“So often, companies forget to say a simple Thank You for your business. Wish your clients Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, and a great New Year. It may sound unnecessary, but trust me from past experience: customers in every industry want to feel that you care about them outside of your business transactions with them.”

—Lauren Maillian Bias, Founder and CEO, Luxury Market Branding

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Logo Design News This Week (4.18)

Hey everybody, its Friday and that means its time for another wrap up of logo design news from the past seven days. Some weeks most of the news we see is the long tail of follow-up reports to the news we reported last week. That was certainly the case this week. But heres the rest of the stuff we saw worth telling you about:

New D&D Logo DesignLordy, lordy, look whos forty! Its hard to believe, but four decades have passed since the first game of Dungeons and Dragons was played. To celebrate the game got a new logo for its birthday. We like the upgrade and especially the new dragon shaped ampersand. Apparently the game updates the logo with every new edition. Watch for games with the new logo later next month.

If youve been near the Bullsboro water tower recently, youve probably noticed the new logo on it. Heres the story.

Food Lion Logo DesignGrocery chain Food Lion got a new logo this week. And while the logos not bad, this is definitely a case of the logo design not matching the mission of the brand, which was announced at the same time: Easy, Fresh and Affordable…You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day! The logo feels like something taken from old English heraldry, while the mission is more feel good. 

We saw several reports this week that some old Apple computer signage with the original rainbow logo were going to auction. Bids start at just $10,000 for this piece of tech history.

Newton Apple Logo DesignMore apple related logo news, though maybe not what you would expect given the previous story. The City of Newton, North Carolina has a new logo design to represent the town and it prominently features an apple. Get it? Despite having no connection to Isaac Newton or the Cambridge lawn where he sat when the apple dropped out of the tree inspiring his thinking about gravity, Newton uses an apple in their logo. Actually, the design firm that did the work says the apple represents forward thinking and innovation, you know like the computer company. We like the design, but think the associations are all wrong here.

Interested in the trends affecting logo design this year. Check this out.

Merckx Cycling Logo DesignOkay, this next link isnt really news, but looking at all these cycling logos makes our heart sing and our legs long for a ride up the neighborhood canyon. From the article: The physical constraints imposed by the bicycle doubtless also concentrate a logo designer’s mind. A traditional frame is made of steel tubes one inch in diameter–there is only so much usable surface area. Long waterslide decals on the down tube and a badge on the head tube are the norm. The Eddie Merckx logo shown here is a particular favorite—we remember wearing this very logo on our first cycling cap as a kid. Love.


Small town pays $15,500 for a new logo. Could have paid $49 for a do-it-yourself logo. Some people will never learn.

Superman vs Batman Logo DesignFilming has begun on the next Warner Brothers superhero movie featuring both Superman and Batman. And this week we saw a new logo for the film that combines the marks for both heroes. The movie itself wont be out for another two years, but the logo is ready for prime time. Fans will likely love the new logo, but some have noted that theres nothing really surprising here—just the two logos mashed into one. Some people are so hard to please.

Google Rubics Cube Logo DesignAs usual, we end with a look at one of the new logos used by Google during the week. This weeks favorite is the logo celebrating the Rubics Cube. This was more than a logo, but an actual solvable puzzle that one of our Facebook friends with too much time on his hands managed to solve in about 200 moves. Now thats an innovative logo design.

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



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11 Inspirational Quotes for Entrepreneurs from Bob Parsons, Founder of GoDaddy

Bob Parsons Startup QuotesDespite his notoriety and success today, serial entrepreneur Robert Parsons came from humble beginnings. He grew up in Baltimore’s inner city and almost flunked out of high school. A stint in the marine corp, where he received the Vietnam Gallantry Cross and a Purple Heart, put him on a more productive path.

Parsons’ first startup began in the mid 80’s after teaching himself how to write computer code. He wrote a software program for his personal use and it dawned on him that if his software was helpful to him, it would help others. Parsons Technology was born and eventually sold to Intuit, Inc. in 1994 for $64 million.

Parsons took the money from Parsons Technology and founded his second startup, GoDaddy, in 1997–the #1 domain name registrar worldwide and still privately held. Today, Parsons remains as Executive Chairman. He is estimated to be worth almost $2 billion. Here are a few of the things Bob Parsons has said about his entrepreneurial experience that we think other entrepreneurs will find inspiring:

“Theres an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: ‘The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.’”

“Any company has got to reinvent itself again and again.”

“Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new.”

“Almost nothing works the first time its attempted. Just because what youre doing does not seem to be working, doesnt mean it wont work. It just means that it might not work the way youre doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldnt have an opportunity.”

“You got to go down a lot of wrong roads to find the right one.”

“When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.”

“No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you dont look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.”

“You need to know exactly where you stand in a business at all times. Measure everything, because everything that is measured and watched improves.”

“In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what youre doing as anyone else, provided that what youre doing is legal.”

“I look for people who are doers and decision makers. I look for people who are implementers and are not afraid to get things done.”

“Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.”

—Bob Parsons, Founder and Executive Chairman of GoDaddy

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Logo Design News This Week (4.17)

Its Friday, which gives us two reasons to celebrate. The weekend is almost here and its time to take a quick look back at the news from the world of logo design for the past week. Heres the stuff that caught our attention:

Orlando City FC Logo DesignOrlando City, one of Major League Soccers future expansion teams (hey are now playing in the USL Pro League), has upgraded their logo as they prepare to make the jump to the top Soccer League. (The team actually had its beginnings in Austin Texas, six years ago.) The new logo is a big improvement—a shield with a clean lions head, rather than the messy three headed beast that has been on the uniforms of the past. The new logo is now featured on the team’s website and other promotional materials.


Some Chicago Cubs fans held a contest to create a new logo for the Cubs and in the process demonstrated how superior the existing logo is. In our experience, design contests just don’t deliver the goods. If you want to save money on a logo design, youre better off doing it yourself.

Italy Olympic Committee Logo DesignItalys Olympic Committee is one hundred years old, so why not celebrate with a brand new logo? Their last logo was just ten years old, so this one may not have a lot of years in it either. The new logo is described as innovative, but in tune with history and tradition, it will add value to our system. We like the left side a lot—Olympic rings the shield with Italys name and colors. But the right side of the logo just feels out of balance. We get that this is the name of the committee, but we wonder, does it improve the logo? Were not so sure.

Help Camborne choose a logo.

New Royal Enfield Logo DesignMotorcycle enthusiasts are sharing the news that Royal Enfield, the worlds oldest motorcycle maker, has updated their logo recently and the new logo has begun appearing on bikes in stores. (Little known fact: Hagrids magical flying motorbike in the Harry Potter movies was fittingly a Royal Enfield.) Fans of the brand are said to be a bit hesitant to embrace the new look.


Looks like the Seadogs have a new (and not very good) logo.

New ACC Logo DesignThe ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) has a new logo but theyre not quite ready to do the official unveiling until after Memorial Day. However, they were willing to leak the new logo to a few sports reporters, who dutifully shared it on twitter. Were not huge fans of the new logo (or the ACC). They basically took the old logo and italicized it. Some fans say they ripped off the Big East. And they added a slash to the  We like the comment from Brett McMurphy, who wrote: It’s like other logos, except it’s kind of in italics and stuff. It’s a logo. The ACC had a logo before and now it has a new logo. Someday it will probably have another new logo, and everyone will freak out about it then, too.  That’s what people say when they don’t like your new logo but don’t want to offend the fans. 

The Winnipeg Rifles have a new logo.

Google Sendak Logo DesignLast, but not least, Mothers Day always brings us a new Google logo and this year was no exception. But this week also brought great Google logos celebrating Keith Harings birthday and Maurice Sendaks birthday. And while we love our mom, this year were going with the wild things.

Did we miss a logo design that you noticed? Let us know.

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When It Comes to Your Logo Design, Which Is It—Patent, Copyright, or Trademark?

Circle R SymbolEvery few weeks we come across someone who needs more information about how to legally protect their logo design, but isnt sure what to do.

Making matters worse, when they ask what they should do in an online forums, the advice they get is often completely wrong. We recently read a question from a new business owner who wanted to protect his logo. The advice he got was to print out the logo, put it in a sealed envelope, mail it to himself, then keep the sealed envelope so he could dramatically open the envelope in the middle of a future court case and reveal that the logo was his!

Thats horrible advice.

And if thats been your strategy so far, it wont work. Heres what you need to do:

To protect your logo, you need a trademark or servicemark (trademarks are generally used for products, while service marks are usually applied to services).

You should not copyright or patent a logo design. Patents are for inventions, copyrights are for artistic works like books, paintings, and architectural blue prints. Neither is appropriate for a logo used in commerce.

As soon as you have your logo, you can start using a small TM or SM symbol next to your logo everywhere you use your logo. (Most companies use the TM.) This indicates that the design belongs exclusively to your business and that you intend to register a trademark in the future. Using the TM gives you some common law protections for your logo. There is no limit on how long you can use the TM or SM symbols before you have to register your trademark, and some small companies simply use this low-level of protection for their logo forever.

Others prefer to file for a registered trademark, which is sometimes called a circle R and looks like this: ®. This gives your logo design additional protections under the law. You can not use this symbol unless the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted you a registered trademark for your logo design.

Here’s how the USPTO says it:

If you claim rights to use a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim of a “common-law” mark.  No registration is necessary to use a “TM” or “SM” symbol and you may continue to use these symbols even if the USPTO refuses to register your mark. Those symbols put people on notice that you claim rights in the mark, although common law doesn’t give you all the rights and benefits of federal registration.You may only use the federal registration symbol “®” after the USPTO actually registers a mark, not while an application is pending.  And it may only be used on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the federal trademark registration and while the registration is still alive (you may not continue to use it if you don’t maintain the registration or it expires).  Although there are no specific requirements on where the symbol should be placed relative to the mark, most businesses use the symbol in the upper right corner of the mark.”

Because of the expense involved , many small businesses dont take the last step to formally register their logo unless they are growing or have money to spare, but its a good idea if you can afford it. (In addition to attorneys fees, the USPTO charges a non-refundable fee of several hundred dollars which is not returned if the trademark isnt granted.)

Do you have a logo that need a trademark? Start using the TM immediately then consider whether your budget and plans for the future justify registering a trademark for your logo design.

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Logo Design News This Week (4.16)

The end of the week is here and that means its time for our weekly look back at the news from the world of logo design. Here’s what we saw over the past seven days:

Codecademy Logo DesignCodecademy, the online coding school where anyone from a seventh grade student to a 50 year-old business owner can learn how to write code, launched a new logo this past week. The logo, which is a nice improvement over the old logo (which wasn’t all that bad) was designed by Pentagram. If you want to learn more about the process, the company posted a lengthy description of the whole thing here.

Logodesign.com has been relaunched as a directory where you can search for and connect with logo designers to work on your project. If you’re a designer and want your work featured there, you can sign up here.

New Bolsover Logo DesignEvery time we see this happen, we shake our heads. Yet another town is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars (or in this case £750,000 pounds) in order to showcase what makes the town great and attract more visitors. But much of the investment goes into a new logo and website, which, let’s be honest, won’t do much more than the old website and logo did to attract visitors to the town. Bolsover gets a new logo! One of the overly optimistic town council members said, “We’re really pleased with the logo, which reflects our local heritage, while giving Bolsover a modern new look. I hope visitors to the town like it just as much as we do.” Yeah, let’s hope. Because hope is really all this strategy is, after you forget about all the wasted dollars. Pretty good logo though. And here’s another example closer to our home.

There’s been a lot of controversy lately about sports teams that use Native American names and imagery. USAToday has a nice recap of the problems.

New Netflix Logo DesignWe noticed this a week or so ago, but are just getting around to posting it now. The trend towards flat logos has claimed another victim. Netflix has been quietly rolling out a new logo design, one that preserves the shape of the old logo and font, but drops the shadow in favor of the trendy flat look. Reports say that no one at Netflix really wants to talk about the new logo, which is no surprise given the botched roll out of Quikster. We actually like the new logo, but the loss of the drop shadow means losing some of the “Hollywood” that the old brand image had.

Using a logo design trademarked by someone else can be a costly mistake.

New IFC Logo DesignIFC, which used to be known as the Independent Film Channel and is now known more for off beat comedy updated their logo and slogan this past week. The new logo is supposed to emphasize that the channel doesn’t take itself seriously. We like the tagline (though we would generally not pair it with a logo) and suppose the logo works fine on television. But it’s not a favorite. Another logo from the entertainment world that everyone has been looking forward to seeing: Big Brother 16 finally has their logo. And it’s as bad as we imagine the show is. Seeing this, we’re trying to figure out how we missed Big Brother seasons 2-15?

Instapaper, the inspiration for popular app Pocket, has a new logo. We like the app and think the logo is a nice step forward.

New WorldPay Logo DesignWe really like this new logo for WorldPay, the payment gateway company once owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland, but divested during the financial crisis. The new symbol is a loxodrome that was inspired by the data trails made by money traveling around the planet. Or at least that’s the design rationale for using a cool icon. The new logo also switches to a more friendly lower-case typeface and separates the two word parts by color.

Israel Google Logo DesignLastly we finish with this Google logo design that celebrates Israel’s Independence Day. If you didn’t see it, you can be forgiven because is only appeared on Google’s home page within the borders of Israel, which we suppose helps cut down on any criticism the company would have received for posting it.

Did we miss a logo design that you saw? Let us know.


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10 Inspirational Quotes for Startups and Entrepreneurs from Jonah Peretti

Jonah Peretti Startup QuotesInternet entrepreneur, Jonah Peretti, has been on the scene for the last decade, co-founding companies like the Huffington Post and creating the reblog concept made popular by companies like Tumblr. He seems to have refined the idea of curating and compiling content in a form that makes it easily shareable. As one biographer was able to summarize, Peretti has been called a viral marketing hotdog by The New York Times, the poster boy of guerilla media by AlterNet, and a computer-whiz by The New Yorker.

He left the Huffington Post after it was acquired in 2005 and turned his full attention to launch his latest startup concept, BuzzFeed. The site of “shareable listicles” has been forecast to see revenue in the ballpark of $120 million this year.

“The biggest misconception people have is that quality is all that matters. The truth is that quality helps, but there’s a ton of high-quality things that don’t go anywhere.”

“Generally, if you show people a project and they immediately want to tell someone about it, there’s a good chance it will be contagious. If the initial reaction is unenthusiastic, those things usually aren’t contagious.”

“If you value having an impact and reaching a large number of people, you have a benchmark for doing a good job.”

“Being interesting and thought-provoking isn’t necessarily correlated with being popular.”

“People don’t do good work when they feel like losers and are second-class citizens within their own company.”

“What I never liked about [SEO] was that you’re essentially trying to understand how a machine works or a robot works. What I love is understanding how the human mind works and what gets people excited and what gets people inspired, and what makes people want to share something.”

“You don’t want everyone to see a piece of content. You want the people who are really excited about the content to see it.”

“A lot of web companies will take a short-term approach and sell to an incumbent and don’t end up living up to their full potential.”

“I did parallel entrepreneurship, which was very hard to do. It was hard to keep your head straight and know which ideas were with which company.

“I think a lot about how ideas spread, how information spreads, why is it that something you’re really proud of and you spend a lot of time creating sometimes doesn’t go anywhere, and something that you kind of do on the side, on a lark, ends up getting shared and passed around and having this big impact.”

—Jonah Peretti, Founder of BuzzFeed

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