Our Blog Has Moved

Our Blog Has Moved

And a new era begins, I guess. A few weeks ago, we told you about the changes that were coming. We had spent the last couple of months, planning, fussing over, planning some more, procrastinating about, our new site. Last week we did a “soft launch” – turned on the new theme and layouts as to clean up old articles, broken links and what have you. That’s 90% done now – still some hinkies but fewer every day – and now it’s probably safe to go “hard launch” and announce the new site to people who follow our blog. Anyhoo, because of some technical reasoning, we’ve had to move our blog to here, basically one floor up on the site. The pages here will remain alive as a “legacy blog” – there’s still some interesting stuff and as a historical record of the past ten years, it’s pretty nifty. Too, I’ll also want to link to it once in a while from the site proper. To that end, I’m pinning this post to the top but it will be the very, very last time I post under this address. Come join us over...

Well, we did it

The new version of our site has gone live. Like we announced a few weeks ago, and after burning the midnight oil for what seems like an eternity, Funkenhammer and I finally pulled the plug on our old site over the weekend. The new version is up and running, one level up, and because of the way it’s structured, this will be my second-to-last post at this location (the last will be when we make everything official.) Our new blog will be located here, but we’re going to keep this one live – a “legacy blog” if you will – as a historical record of our blatherings & ramblings. We may gussy it up (or maybe not) but there’s some still some interesting stuff to be found here (and Google seems to like ’em.) For what it’s worth, we’ve been at this blogging thing since September of 2005, when we launched with this story about the Red Cross getting a new logo. We’ve been blabbing – sometimes infrequently – ever since. As this is a “soft launch” you’re sure to bump into some broken links and some outrageous typos for the next few days – the build had got to the point where I had to turn it on to rummage about – but thanks for your patience as we square things away. Our logo design examples are a bit bereft at the moment – there was an issue about ‘featured images’ over the weekend than I’m in the middle of fixing, but that should fill up pretty quick. Otherwise, we’re up. We’re running. I need a...

Changes, they’re a-coming

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...

The Canada 150 logo contest winner

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: Fast forward to this week, when after all the fuss, the winning design was unveiled at an oddly...

Memories Pizza’s logo looks awfully familiar

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...

Effectively immediately: The Logo Factory now does design contests

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 contests 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: Some recent logo design contest winners: Woah. C’mon, admit you’re impressed. Creative briefs are so yesterday. Besides, half the people entering your contest won’t understand a single word you write, or they’ll totally ignore your brief anyway (this is not because they’re entering rejects from previous contests or anything – some creative types don’t like direction is all.) Anyhoo, we’ve pared...

Snippets: Last week of February version

We wrap up February with a 99designs epiphany, the new Cleveland Brown logo looks awfully like the old one, some logo nostalgia, Oscar graphics, Lego Oscars, logo design tips and a couple of llamas go on the lamb. Running a little behind with this, but sticking with our better late than ever philosophy, still publishing this round-up on Monday night rather than on the weekend like we’re supposed to. The last week of February was a busy week, lot’s of stuff to cover, so we’re going to forgo our usual intro and get right down to it. Welcome aboard. Well, yeah, that’s kinda been our point all along.. Not impressed by @99designs telling you there's a money back guarantee and then telling you get better designers if promise to not use it — Hadley Wickham (@hadleywickham) February 21, 2015 Design contest sites – 99designs in this instance – are being kinda disingenuous with their click-baity “get a logo you love or 100%, no-questions asked, money back guarantee” starbursts. See, they’ll tell if you want GOOD designers via the platform, you should waive the guarantee and promise to pay said designers. Which is what other designers have been saying all along. Because while you may get free design work by not guaranteeing your contests, no designer worth their salt are going to supply you with said artwork, cause they’re too busy selling their artwork, like professionals are supposed to do. Thus, the contests that don’t get guaranteed – when you can still get your money back – feature designers who aren’t making a living anywhere else and aren’t professional designers,...

Snippets: Our weekly recap of all things logo & design

Photoshop turns 25, a load of new logos, great design resources, creepy emoji for introverts, Obama’s kumbia Terror-Busting logo, how the gig economy is either doomed or the end of us all, history of Warner Brothers’ logos and a pre-Oscars look at the Oscars logo. Etc. It was a busy week around The Factor (with apologies to Bill O’Reilly, who’s in a spot of bother of his own so he probably won’t mind) what with Valentine’s Day, Canada’s Maple Leaf 50th Anniversary, a couple of snow storms and some of the coldest weather this winter. Still, we managed to shamelessly troll 50 Shades of Grey and explain why you see things in logos that aren’t really there. Now, it’s time for Snippets, our weekly look back at the week that was. Without further adieu.. It’s not all sparkles and Unciorns… Some Valentine’s Day history is pretty grim. And has an awful lot to do with sex.. The history of the heart symbol and what the "logo of love" actually means http://t.co/HQ3C7pMeAs pic.twitter.com/cfE9mFcvfz — The Logo Factory (@TheLogoFactory) February 15, 2015 You had one job.. One. Try Harder pic.twitter.com/L6sIZlHwEe — Adland (@adland) February 15, 2015 Two fonts. Two. Any more and your logo looks like a ransom note. This will help.. This useful guide to font pairing helps you make happy typographic marriages http://t.co/cdX09A4Zem pic.twitter.com/girlulZhcW — TAXI (@designtaxi) February 15, 2015 99 Designs, Crowdspring, Fiver, Fourerr, Threer, Whateverer.. The former labor secretary would like a word. Former secretary of labor: The "collaborative" or "sharing" economy should be called the "share-the-scraps" economy http://t.co/GNBYJIPXZh — The Logo Factory (@TheLogoFactory) February 16, 2015...

Canada’s flag turns 50

Today is Canada’s “National Flag Day” and an extra special one as the ubiquitous Maple Leaf turns 50. A look at the sometimes raucous history of Canada’s national identity, as well as the Canadian wordmark, the first of its kind. The day after Valentine’s Day is officially known as National Flag of Canada Day. A rather wordy title to be sure, but it commemorates the first day the Maple Leaf was unveiled to the public as being the official flag of the country. This year’s NFCD is an extra-special one, as it was 50 years ago today that (then) Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson raised the flag on Parliament Hill for the first time. At the risk of sounding like a history teacher, let’s do a quick cut-and-paste from Wikipedia to get us started: “The National Flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf and l’Unifolié (French for “the one-leafed”), is a flag consisting of a red field with a white square at its center, in the middle of which is featured a stylized, 11-pointed, red maple leaf. Adopted in 1965 [February 15th to be exact, hence this post] to replace the Union Flag, it is the first ever specified by statute law for use as the country’s national flag. The Canadian Red Ensign had been unofficially used since the 1890s and was approved by a 1945 Order in Council for use “wherever place or occasion may make it desirable to fly a distinctive Canadian flag.” The flag’s British heritage The Royal Union Flag they’re talking about is, of course, a Union Jack – the national flag of...

Valentine’s Day special. The history of the heart symbol and what the “logo of love” actually means

Happy Valentine’s Day to all that celebrate. In the spirit of the day, this “So You Think You Know Logos” feature takes a look at the history of the modern heart symbol, the rather grisly story behind the real St. Valentine and the heart as used in logos today.. On this, Valentine’s Day, there’s going to be a lot of cards and prezzies exchanged, and it’s pretty safe to assume that a lot of those will feature the ubiquitous love heart symbol. Thing is, the heart symbol doesn’t even vaguely resemble a human heart (which is icky, fleshy and looks like most organs) but rather a highly-stylized ideograph that represents, and has become, the universally understood depiction of a heart, love and passion. To be honest, I had no idea why before this morning, and figured now is as good a time as any to find out. The history is a little foggy The heart shape, as a graphic pictograph, can be traced back to before the last Ice Age but nobody knows what it actually meant to these Cro-Magnon hunters – its use as a logo for love didn’t happen until the Middle Ages. Even then, nobody really knows the exact history of the heart symbol, but there are many different theories kicking around. A few are weird (it’s based on a pine cone.) The rest, like a lot of our cultural holidays, rituals and celebrations have to do with sexy-time, fertility and more sexy-time (explaining why the heart has become the symbol of Valentine’s Day in the fist place.) Some suggest the heart represents breasts, buttocks, male...