Where have we been? MIA on the blog and spotty on social media because of an extensive site overhaul and redesign.
I’m always loathe to talk about a new site build unless it’s pretty damn close. Helps avoid embarrassing episodes like this, where I announced a new design in the works back in 2011 – shortly before the stampede to responsive themes blew that up. Worse, a new site has YET to see the light of day and we’re still clunking along with a version that becomes more of a joke each passing day.
Let’s check some boxes –
Is our current site responsive? Uh-uh. Not even remotely. A kiss of death that.
Is it easy to navigate? Far from it – I have to use the Google to find things and I put the bloody stuff there (that’s what comes with bolting on features across several CMS installations.)
Is our current incarnation clean? Nope. A bit of a clown shoe vibe more like, which was cool and all for its day, but it became long in the tooth right around two years ago.
Functionally, the site is a mess. The overall menu is nasty – image based as opposed to text – and confusing as all get out. There’s too much overlap on sections. To top it off, the top logo is on the right side of the page (I wanted to be different) which apparently confuses people all to hell. The search feature on anything but the blog doesn’t work, something I discovered only last week. Which means, by the way, that it’s never worked since we first started rolling out this version in 2009 (An aside? I do wish that the kind folks who e-mailed me to tell me that periods go inside parenthesis could have also pointed out the busted search field while they were at it.)
Anyhoo, we’ve been laying low on the blog front and social media for a couple of months – preferring to spend any available time working on a new site – and those efforts are now starting to pan out. In fact, version 9.0 of our site (who’s counting?) is about 75% done and humming away on our development server, looking pretty decent, if I do say so myself. Here’s the home page in all its glory…
After almost two years, internet dust-ups, petitions, caterwauling and general gnashing of teeth, Canada finally has a logo for its 150th birthday. Despite all the pearl-clutching, it ain’t half bad.
We first started writing about this story back in January of 2014. If you want to read the entire episodic adventure, I’ll wait while you click on the link or, I can summarize as quickly as humanly possible. Lessee – Spring of 2013, the Canadian Feds decided they wanted a commemorative logo for Canada’s 150th birthday and had a series of lackluster concepts designed in-house. They then spent about forty grand of taxpayer money to host focus groups only to be told that yes, the designs were lackluster. Canadian graphic design orgs freaked out. 99designs had a ridiculous “community design contest” in which a whole bunch of designers from Indonesia, South East Asia and Europe pitched free concepts to an Australian company for an officially Canadian logo. Like so:
People freaked about that. Some designers launched a website that offered some alternatives. Graphic design orgs flipped over that. Finally, the government decided – a year and a half in and with the clock ticking – to open the process to a design contest and naturally, everyone lost their shit about that too. Petitions were launched, people yelled at each other on Twitter and dire predictions were the order of the day. There was even a Twitter hash tag campaign, #MyTimeHasValue, that circulated for a few weeks and still pops up periodically:
By now, everybody is familiar with the Indiana pizzeria at the heart of a major dust-up as the controversy over the State’s Protection of Religious Freedom law bubbled over. But what about the (currently) most famous pizza shop in the USA’s logo? Well, yeah. There is that..
Around here, we generally stay away from controversial hot-button and political issues unless there’s a logo design angle that’s either pivotal to the tale, or we can crowbar into it. When the fury over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the ensuing battle over religious freedom and gay rights exploded last week, we were happy to simply watch on with a mixture of interest and bemusement. Most of you are probably familiar with the events but let’s quickly bullet point – a local TV station (somewhat bizzarely) questioned one of the owners of family run Memories Pizza, a small pizza shop in Walkerton, Indiana, if they’d cater a gay wedding. They said no, the video hit the internet and all hell broke loose. The pizzeria was targeted, threats were issued, negative Yelp! comments deluged the review site, and Twitter exploded.
The tiny restaurant had to close down temporarily due to security concerns which prompted conservative radio and TV host Dana Loesch‘s staff to launch a GoFundMe fund raiser for the proprietors that went over $800,000. All in all, a fascinating story that buzzed on blogs, the news, talk radio and in newspapers around the globe. It was on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart – their report featured a picture of the pizzeria store front – that I first noticed the logo. And when I did, it seemed awfully similar to an old logo design project from our shop. The logo for New Jersey based Sal’s Pizza. Which looks like this:
When working on a logo project, both the designer and client have the exact same goal. A great design. Despite this, many logo design projects run the risk of getting derailed, sometimes because of well-intentioned actions of the client or designer. Here’s a few issues to watch for and how to deal with them when they occur.
The term FUBAR is an old military acronym that stands for F**ked Up Beyond All Recognition. A bit of a stretch I suppose but still pretty apt, considering the subject matter of this post. See, while it’s nice to extol the virtues of logos, and how the design of same can be ‘fun, fun, fun (till Daddy takes the T-bird away), sometimes it’s worthwhile to take an unflinching look at some of the downsides of the process itself. You see, developing a logo can also be a teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, sketchbook tearing, monitor-punching, pain in the ass. Let’s take a look at some of these potential ‘project wreckers’ offer some suggestions on how to avoid them, and how to deal with them when they happen.
NoSpec, NoSchmeck. Finally deciding to get with the disruption and the evolving, we throw our lot in with crowdsourced logo design contests. How awesome is that? Pretty darn awesome!
After tilting at windmills, resisting the tide and generally acting like snooty designer luddites, we’re proud to announce that as of 12:01 am today, The Logo Factory will no longer be producing custom one-on-one work for our clients, nor utilizing professional in-house designers (fired ‘em all). Instead, we’ll be launching a logo design contest and crowdsourcing platform that will offer designers and clients oodles of opportunity. To sell design stuff. And get stuff designed. And that’s just opportunity personified. Think of it as a 99LogosFactorySPRING. Or a DesignCrowdGuru. Maybe a GazillionDesigns (sadly, Zillion was already taken.) Even though this may sound just like those other design contest guys, it really ain’t. We’re a lot more innovative. Less snooty. More democratic. And our community is way more awesomer. With over 300,000 satisfied clients and a community that’s 980,567 strong (whoops, 980,568) you might say we’re the Bestest Ever Creative Department in the Entire Fucking Universe. Meanwhile, those nospec guys can suck it. So can that whiny bastard who used to run The Logo Factory. Fired him too. Without further adieu: