The totally bitter-free, spring tip o’ the pint, weekend edition of our regular snippets feature. Throwing a little link love to blogs, websites, logos and logo design articles we kinda dug.
To Upstack. In this spec work, crowdsourcing and design contest era, would be remiss if I didn’t tip a pint towards people who are tilting against the tide. Accordingly, would like to congratulate the good people at Upstack, a web-based design platform that attempts to pair buyers and designers on various projects. In a sea of websites and spec driven companies that all claim to be “doin’ some innovating” (but are merely retreads of each other), it’s nice to see a new operation that’s actually appears, well, innovative. The website, currently in BETA, is lovely, the user interface extremely well done and, as boasted on the front page, the entire operation is spec work free. I’ve given the site a few gears over the past few months, but that was all in good fun (or at least, it was supposed to be) so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish them the best. And if you’re a designer who’s profoundly opposed to spec work, it’s probably worth the effort to hit Wes & Co. up for an invite. [Upstack]
To the Spartan Golf Club logo. Even though I’ve been in this business for way too long, once in a while I’ll stumble over a logo that really grabs my attention, a remarkable piece of design magnificence that works on so many levels. You know, the kind of logo that I wished I designed. And the kind of logo I’ll probably never design. Like this example, a stock logo from Brandstack (we just discussed their fraternal site Upstack) for a business that involves Spartans and Golf. Accordingly, a tip of the pint to Lex Logo (probably not his real name, if you know what that is, let me know.) for creating a mark that has a few of us a little green with envy. Well done sir. And, if you’re thinking about opening a golf club, calling it Spartan, and have $3,600 ready to spend, how could you NOT buy this logo? Comes with the web domain too. Update: Designer of this logo is Richard Fonteneau. [Brandstack]
To Mike Erickson. I’ve known logo designer Mike Erickson for years now and count him among my friends in the industry. We often chat about design, logos (particularly more illustrative logos, one of Mike’s specialties, and our favored style) as well as the personal ups and downs of well, living. Mike’s just launched his new Logomotive site, and have to give him kudos for a particularly nice job. I know it wasn’t easy, as in the re-brand he tossed a duck logo (that he’s been using for eons) in favor of his new train theme (more corporate, and a motif suggested by his business name). Very similar to the angst we went through when we tossed our Factory house last fall, so if they were real pints we’re tossing about, we’d probably be crying into them. I’d also like to bring your attention to this bit of typography porn on Mike’s site. Bottom line, if ever you wanted to find out about what makes up letters, or what all the bits and pieces are called, this page has everything you’ll need to know. [Logomotive]
To the Marquee design agency. We hoist a glass to the people at Marquee, the design agency that developed the new Glasgow Commonweath Games logo. After the design came under fire for looking like previous work, the agency issued a classic example of logo symbolism porn that described in exquisite detail how the mark came to be. The design, based on three concentric circles, two of which are broken, with the letter G in the center, apparently resembles a black and white design created in 2007 by Marquee for The Common Guild, a Glasgow arts group. Not so, claimed Games organizers and agency wonks, insisting that the logo is original, with the broken circles representing “time, data and measurement” something they claim is “the basis of all sport“. The logo is supposed to be based on four numbers associated with the Games – 20 as in the 20th time the event has been held, 17 sports being represented, 11 days of the competition and one host city. Accordingly, the “second ring is 17/20ths of the outer circle, the third ring is 11/20ths and the G stands for Glasgow“. Yowzah. These cats are good. Still not sure if it beats this logo symbolism manifesto though. [Telegraph UK]
To Smashing Apps. Don’t think there’s a logo designer around who doesn’t like a logo re-do, re-brand or makeover. We all love to compare the before and afters, attempting to judge whether the new version of the logo is a hit. Or miss. Trouble is, with so many corporate makeovers, particularly since the beginning of the recession, it’s often difficult to track who’s changing what. Smashing Apps have made it easy to view most of the major corporate retooling from the last year with their 35 Exceptional Logo Rebranding Of 2009 For Your Inspiration feature. If you’re into logos, this is a don’t miss. [Smashing Apps]
To Newsweek. Speaking of corporate re-brands, the Newsweek Magazine website offers up a showcase of their own. In their Brand Icon Makeovers slide-show feature, NW takes us through side-by-each examples of how some major corporations are trotting out new mascots, pitchmen and characters. The piece gives a little bit of history of each original brand, as well as outlining some of the reasons for the change. Looking back at some of these iconoclastic symbols with today’s eyes and sensibilities, seems odd that some of the originals, featuring unacceptable stereotypes by contemporary standards, were ever allowed to see light of day. Anyhoo, a little light in the logo department, but still worth a read if you’re into such things. [Newsweek]To Logoblog.org. Hats off to the people at Logo Blog for finally coming clean on their connection with online design site Logo Design Guru. Not sure if this was on purpose or not, but a peek at Logo Blog‘s account over at My Blog Log (a Yahoo blog monitoring service) appears to demonstrate more than a fleeting acquaintance between the two sites. Or at least the UK-centric version of LDG. We might be tempted to point out that this apparent ‘connection’ kinda puts the supposedly “unbiased” and “independent” nature of Logo Blog’s company reviews in question, but as this is a bitter-free Snippets, we’ll leave that discussion for another time. Probably Tuesday. [My Blog Log]To Logo Design Love. Interviews with logo designers are all well and good I suppose, but after a while, many start to sound, or read, the same. Some tips. Sources of inspiration. The usual. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an interview that was a little off the beaten path? Imagine if there was a designer who specializes in, oh, I dunno, Death Metal and Goth Rock logos. He’d be interesting to talk to, huh? Well, look no further, because it just so happens there is. His name is Christophe Szpajdel (pronounced “shpydel”) and he’s considered “Lord of the Logos” among the Black Metal set. Logo Design Love, the all-things-logo blog curated by UK designer David Airey features a fascinating interview with Szpajdel (by Blair Thomson) and takes a look at his work, his new book and how he finds inspiration for his famous nature-driven work. Alas, I’m a little late to the party with this one, so you’ve missed out on Airey’s free draw for the “Lord of Logos” book. Humble apols for that, but the interview is still worth a read, free book or not. Besides, if you’re really gung-ho, you can always buy it via a link at the piece. [Logo Design Love]
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.