99designs wins a Webby, Google gets a new logo, etc..
Vancouver based The Province announced today that Australian design contest site 99designs has picked up a Webby People’s Voice Award, which apparently makes them “the fan-favourite Web Service & Application of the global online community.” While that’s cool and all (and congrats to the 99designs crew), I found this all sorts of awesome. According to The Province piece, co-founder Matt Mickiewicz promised that the company would celebrate a Webby win with the entire 99designs team marching down a main street singing Queen‘s hit song “We are the Champions“. And then post the entire shooting match to YouTube. I’m breathless with anticipation. Funny thing, and in typical Canadian fashion, the Province claims 99designs as a ‘Canadian’ company, because founder Mickiewicz is from Vancouver, despite the company being headquartered in Oz. See, if anyone even remotely connected to anything is Canadian, we own it. That’s practically a law. [Vancouver Sun]
Unless you were living in a cave for the past couple of days, you’re probably aware that Google rolled out a new logo, as well as a new search interface. It’s been blogged, Twittered, Facebooked and e-mailed to death, but as this is supposed to be a logo design blog, and we’re supposed to cover logo design news, we’d be remiss in our duties if we didn’t at least mention something about it. So we will. Google’s got a new logo. It’s not really that new, (the Google font is still Catull) just missing a little bevel love and some drop shadows. The end. [Every Blog on the Interwebs]
Over at David Airey‘s place, Logo Design Love, he’s featuring some of the work that didn’t make it into his fine book of the same name (see here for our review) in an ‘Unsung Heroes’ piece. Some excellent stuff to be sure, but I must admit I loved the case study for the Attack Concerts logo and design process by Russian designer Kostadin Kostinadov. Nifty preliminary sketches that show the evolution of the project, always a treat, are featured larger than we’re able to show here. You chould check it out. [Logo Design Love]
Just putting the finishing touches to our third So You Think You Know Logos? quiz. There’s a couple of toughies in there, so we’re going to give you a few tips to help out. The symbol you’ll probably think is a Radiation Warning logo isn’t. It’s actually a Fallout Shelter sign (lots of people make that mistake, particularly in movies and video games). The Procter & Gamble ‘Man in the Moon’ logo was originally thought to have Satanic origins when paranoid logo watchers found all sorts of occult references in the design. They included 13 stars, a couple of 666s and even a devil’s horn or two. Even though there’s perfectly rational explanations for all the elements, at the height of the controversy there were as many as 15,000 phone calls hitting the P & G switchboard a month, which probably had something to do with the company dropping the Moon Man design in May of 1995 and adopting a simple text logo version.
The hardest question in the 10 part quiz probably involves the Mr. Yuk poison logo, developed by a Pittsburgh doctor fearful that children would confuse the standard skull-and-crossbones symbol with the Jolly Roger emblem of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. Almost everything else you’ll need can be found in posts we tossed up earlier in the week; the strange story of Adidas, the Recycling logo and a look at the Smiley Face design. That should get you through the quiz with flying colors (just don’t tell anyone about our little chat). [Logo Quiz #3: Oddities]
Imagine being a cigarette company with oodles of marketing cash, but nobody’s allowed to take it. That’s pretty much what’s happening all over the world, with anti-smoking advertising laws coming into play, just as quickly as they can be written. One of the larger avenues left for tobacco companies is autosports, particularly Forumla One racing, where the money invested in advertising, sponsorships and product placement is in the billions. One of the most notable ‘relationships’ in F1 is between Team Ferrari and Marlboro, and the two ‘brands’ are pretty well intertwined with the Marlboro logo being slapped on helmets, shirts, and most noticeably on cars themselves. With new European Union laws poised to pass later this year, slapping a cigarette company logo on anything belonging to your racing team will not only be frowned upon, it will be illegal. Marlboro and Ferrari have come up with a solution of sorts, replacing the Marlboro logo with something that looks remarkably like the bar code from a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. While both the racing team and the cigarette company deny any wrong-doing, and claim they’re not trying to skirt the upcoming laws, EU Public Health Office authorities are decidedly not amused. According to the Times (UK), “A spokesman for the European Public Health Commissioner said he thought that Marlboro’s approach constituted potential subliminal marketing. He urged the Spanish and British governments to ascertain whether the world’s second-biggest tobacco company might be in breach of the law.” Hat tip to Graphicology who do an awesome job of breaking this alleged stealth marketing down. [Graphicology]
Have an interesting blog piece, logo or ‘different’ take on the graphic design industry that might make interesting fodder for an upcoming Snippet feature? Feel free to drop us a line. You can also hit us up on Twitter.