We tend to design logos for everything we do. This time, we’re bringing an old brand back to life.
Designing logos is kinda our thing, so whenever we have a business idea or a new product concept, we tend to design the logo first, then build the product (ass up backwards sure, but like I said – logos are our thing.) Anyhoo, about six years back we were planning a big revamp of all our brand bits and pieces. Some we accomplished. Some we didn’t. Others were half completed, before dying on the vine. One of those left on the vine was The Logo! Factor, a nifty little trade name we’ve toyed with for about a decade. The back story goes something like this – when lots of commonly named domains were still available, it was suggested that web owners purchase common misspellings of theirs. That served two purposes – it allowed you to capture people who were looking for your site and typed an incorrect URL into their browser address bar. It also stopped never-do-wells from buying up internet real estate that was one or two letters away from yours and hoovering your traffic. Through some diagnostics (and asking people) we discovered that The Logo Factory is a rather long winded-name and a common error saw people leaving off the ‘Y’ at the end of “factory”. As in The Logo FACTOR. So we bought the domain. It might have been completely accidental but wasn’t long before we realized that this was a decent brand name in its own right. Anything related to logos – blogs, books, podcasts, videos, whatever – could all be marketed under this banner so it became the unofficial name of our (now) legacy blog for starters. It’s what we still call this one. This is what the full design looks like..
Client POV vs. designer POV.
Whenever you write a design blog, especially one that rests on the same domain as the site that’s supposed to promote your design services, you have a thin line to walk. Writing as a designer gets you readers and links from people who are designers, which is great, but they’re not about to hire you to design things. Writing to prospective buyers is great too, and while it might attract some potential clients from time to time, they’re not really searching for design information unless they need something designed, and once that’s done, they might never darken your blog door again. You have to write from both angles to build anything with oomph. Trouble is, potential clients may not find design tutorials interesting, whereas designers might, and clients wouldn’t be interested in whiny complaints about the state of the graphic design industry that would be a designers’ cup of tea. Designers wouldn’t be interested in any pitching of services to potential clients, nor even bitter, cynical rants about free logos and what not, but clients probably should get a heads up about this stuff. Even things that buyers and designers have in common – design contests the most obvious example – their concerns and risks are from different perspectives. I wanted to talk about both without alienating the other. Too, I always wanted to keep our blog all nice and uptempo – sparkles and unicorns – and wanted somewhere to put may more jaded and cynical screeds about this and that. We had an idea back then to split up our blog into two distinct categories – one for designers, the other for buyers – and wrap the entire thing in The Logo! Factor brand. Each section would get their own logo (built around the theory that a logo is “the sparkplug” of a brand “engine”.) Even their own color. Was a decent concept, remember we already had the domain for it anyway, but things being what they are, the whole thing croaked a few years back. I’ve wanted to revisit it ever since.
A solid concept is never really “old”.
When we were rebuilding the new (current) version of our site, and with a new(ish) start on the blog, we ran up against the designer vs. client wall once more. I guess at the end of the day, talking to potential clients was a priority – they’re the kind folks that keep the lights on and the doors open – so we decided to bring back the The Logo! Factor once more. One version for designers. Another for clients. Let’s see if we can make a go of it this time.
Fair warning though. Bitterness and cynicism ahead.