How we’ve changed over the years
Since we launched our first website twenty years ago, The Logo Factory has undergone many revisions, face lifts and overhauls. Here’s a look at the major incarnations of our logo:
And our website home pages:
1996 – 1998: The Freebie Years
The original Logo Factory as it appeared as part of Steve Douglas‘ personal portfolio site. That website was a 10 MB freebie given away with a $39.00 per month dial-up internet access account. The Internet was in its infancy, Google didn’t exist yet and the major search engines were AltaVista and Infoseek. Both featured ‘on the fly’ indexing so search engine results could be manipulated quickly and relatively easily. Douglas’ site rose to number 1 on all search engines for the phrase “logo design” and demand quickly swamped his kitchen-table roots. At first – realizing that publishing pricing was a no-no with designers – Douglas handled each RFP personally.
1998 – 1999: Into The Corporate World
The first official site on TheLogoFactory.com domain. It was a fairly simple endeavor, but it would remain the core infrastructure of any subsequent version. The site featured a logo gallery, order forms and client access pages. Due to bandwidth concerns of the day, logo images were much smaller than what we can get away with now. No longer able to personally handle RFQs due to the volume – while still cognizant that designers frowned on publishing pricing and flat rates – we set up an auto-responder that sent pricing lists to potential clients’ e-mail accounts.
1999 – 2000: Nothing Succeeds Like Excess
We publish our flat rate pricing on our website. There is a flurry of hate mail from designers but it dies down quickly. Expansion of logo design articles and technical tutorial library. Site became very popular with designers. Galleries were expanded to feature full-size images and thumbnail galleries, unchanged to present. First version of Logos in a Box is launched. Taking our lead, logo templates become standard fare with many design companies and remains so to this day. We shuttered the site a few months later, realizing that the stock logo business model was at odds with our primary focus. Taking a “if you can’t beat ’em” approach, we’d relaunch Logos in a Box a decade later.
Then let it die on the vine again a year after that.
2001 – 2002: The Purple Years
Affectionately known as ‘the purple site’ this version of our website featured a clickable Flash intro complete with sound. That led to (thankfully) short-lived sub brand FlashWurx which featured a weirdly distorted version of our house. Introduction of the Daily Logo (which was never really Daily,) and the Daily Logo Archives (the original thumbnail gallery was so bandwidth intensive, it kept blowing up our server – this is where we kept design examples that had been culled in attempts to speed things up.) For its day the site was a bandwidth hog – heavy with graphics – to address complaints from others on our shared platform, we had to move our domain to a managed private server (MPS.) The days of freebie and cheap hosting were over.
2003 – 2008: We Lose Focus
Extensive use of flash logo animation. This site was around for almost 5 years, and as a result became unfocused and ‘cluttered’ as new material and features were posted, bolted on and crowbarred into sections that were often confusing. Chat and search functions were added. We launch our first studio blog in September of 2005. The site has grown to over 800 pages, is over-linked and confusing to navigate but our logo design examples see incredible traffic spikes. In 2006, we officially celebrate our 10th birthday and designed a nice anniversary logo to mark the occasion.
Trouble is, the ten year itch has also kicked in, and we begin to get bored with our original “look and feel.” As we try to mix things up, our brand will become cluttered and unfocused. Undeterred, we experiment with all sorts of new logos, treatments and tweaks – even tried weird 3D houses and stuff:
2009 - 2015: Getting Caught Up With CMS. Losing Out On Responsive
For the first time in fifteen years, we changed our logo to the version we’re more-or-less using now. Designed some sweet stationery for the occasion. Some decent presentation folders too. Our site is converted to a CMS platform and streamlined, with a slightly less confusing navigation system and hierarchy. Our logo design gallery is converted to a simple thumbnail & slide version. That’s easier for users to navigate (and also makes it less convenient for people to knock-off artwork.) We miss the boat completely on ‘responsive’ design, and our entire site would need to be converted post haste. We’ll work on this mobile-friendly version for months – and if you’re reading this, it’s finally gone live. Speaking of the boat that we missed, seems we were the only ones.
2016: The Factory Floor grows up
We’ve always called our client preview area The Factory Floor. Not entirely sure, but the name has stuck with us since 1996. Over the years it evolved from simple HTML pages featuring images generated through projects to a self-contained CMS into which clients could log in. It’s always been a dog’s breakfast in terms of design to be honest, but now our Factory Floor has gone and grown up. Even has it’s own dedicated web address, TheLogoFactory.design (how cool is that) and of course, it’s very own logo:
2017: The move is complete
Over the past year and a half we’ve been culling our (now) legacy blog into features that are still interesting, relevant or of importance for historical reasons. To do so, we’ve had to split our studio blog into several categorized sections: so you think you know logos (trivia and new logo releases,) design tutorials (technical and stylistic,) opinions and ramblings (thoughts on design,) branding tips (for company owners & entrepreneurs,) Logo Go Round (news.) We’ve finally shut down our old blog location for good, moving the remaining posts into a dated blog archive. That completed a massive website rework we began in July, 2015. Our new studio news feed can be found here.
What does the future hold for TLF? Who knows. We’ll probably announce it here though.
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