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~ Vol. 26 ~

Two identity conundrums, and more, in this edition of Quipsologies.


Special report from DesignMaven:
Edited for Quipsology brevity.

I came across this link today while searching Logo Lounge and Design Observer.

First, I was baffled when the article did not provide an image to the new identity design by Peter Arnell. Second, I was more dismayed, when the authors (Rob Giampietro and Kevin Smith) did not name Lippincott & Marguiles as the designers of the 1968 Con Edison Identity. How could this possibly be overlooked? It is sacrilege to live in New York — much less be a Designer writing for BusinessWeek — and not be aware Lippincott & Marguiles Designed the 1969 Identity.

The authors also neglected to inform its public the Peter Arnell identity for Con Edison is quite similar to Saul Bass’ identity for Ducommun Incorporated — minus one concentric. The Bass identity was designed in the 1960s and was rarely shown in articles. Did Peter Arnell and his designers knew it existed? If they did did they think no one else was aware of the Bass designed identity? Bass Designed a whole alphabet and nomenclature system around the Ducommun identity.

Please reference the following:
conEdison identity by Peter Arnell
Article on Saul Bass, 1960s Communication Arts Magazine
conEdison vehicle livery, 1968 in an Article on Corporate Identity by Patrica Allen Dreyfuss
A page from World of Logotypes: Trademark Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 by Al Cooper

Logo Doctors? More like Logo Interns.


As mentioned briefly in the comments of Quipsologies Vol. 19, LogoWorks is up to no good. Von Glitschka unearths the evidence.


Joshua Tree writes, describing a new online resource, Who Knew, “Who Knew is a network for the design and distribution of documents that question and interpret contemporary media culture.”


Yes, there is a connection between Nike and Minor Threat. Contact Sheet explains…


Andrew Blauvelt, the Walker Art Center’s Design Director since 1998, has been given a new title.


Take a gander at these 10 companies that are dot-gone.


Residual memories of an unknown dead girl:
the origins of Rescue Annie. (Via Kung Fu Monkey)


Whether an illustrator, a photographer, or a dancer; yet another lesson on the consideration of outside talent: iPod dancer can’t afford an iPod.


If you happen to be in Paris this fall, make sure to visit the Musée d’histoire contemporaine — Biblioth�que de documentation internationale contemporaine (BDIC); for the first important exhibition of post-war Polish posters since 1983 (Présences polonaises at the Pompidou Center): L’Affiche polonaise, 1945-2004 / Des slogans et des signes — September 9-December 4, 2005. Above, a Henry Moore exhibition poster by the great Henryk Tomaszewski.


If you listen to music, go to films, watch television, use a computer, or play video games; chances are that you’ve heard sounds created with at least one of Bob Moog’s instruments.

In the late 1990’s, I had the rare privilege to visit Wendy Carlos; who is best known for the all-Moog Switched on Bach. Sitting casually in the hallway was the actual synthesizer used on the record and the instrument that launched scores of prog-rock/disco/fusion careers. Wendy quickly described its innovations, historical significance and the re-wiring/restoration that it was about to undergo. Since then, armed with a new found appreciation, I’ve only caught a handful of performances on Moogs (I suspect because they are a pain in the ass to maintain and travel with). But in the right hands, it’s all terror and magnificence.

On Sunday, Bob Moog lost his battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

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ARCHIVE ID 2395 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Aug.22.2005 BY The Speak Up Authors
DesignMaven’s comment is:


I didn't think I had an EQUAL.

Great Research, and they're BUSTED !!!!!!!!!


On Aug.22.2005 at 11:12 AM
Peter’s comment is:

As much as I appreciate the research into the absolute evil of LogoWorks, and they are indeed evil. I feel the need to point that rather than doing anything to educate the general public about the true value of good design.

The time spent finger pointing and researching the true origins of these logos seemingly could be better spent working with clients, educating people about what design is, and heaven forbid, actually doing good design in an attempt to tip the scales from bad to good. In terms of pure quantity it seems as though there is a good amount of both bad and good design in the world, and way more bitching about bad design than both.

Seriously though, I get tired of hearing about the evils of bad design in the world, and I agree with you that there is a devaluation of design with the evolution of desktop design, imagine those outside of the community who just might overhear our rants rather than providing some sort of unified front, proof of value of good design. or reasoning behind why we hate LogoWorks (replace other bad design company at will, or ad nauseum).

I'll get off the soapbox now.

On Aug.22.2005 at 06:39 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

nice research, Von.

peter has a point... you need

to be proactive... help

get this company sued? they

need to be gone.. fast.

On Aug.22.2005 at 10:23 PM
Kyle Hildebant’s comment is:

Would something like a website, with an online petition be appropriate? What can we do to stop this?

On Aug.23.2005 at 12:28 AM
Mr. Frankie L’s comment is:

Guys, go to

Look here

Von has done A LOT.

For starters, he found out Logoworks ripped off

one work from the noted designer Mark Fox,

of Black Dog.

Von then contacted Fox, and he is now in the

act of taking legal action against Logoworks.

Another client, Oregan State University has

had their logo ripped the fuck off by Logoworks,

and is being investigated as we speak.

This is no longer about complaining about

hack design services. This is about protecting

the rights of designers who get their work

pirated and used unlawfully.

Would anybody dare say this is insignificant?

Here is a link to an interview from a designer

who actually works for Logoworks and reveals

some inside dirt: DeepThroat

Now, is not the time to sit up high and pretend

to be design gods looking down.

P.S. Von did create his own site which deals with

"fighting back" against hackers; a proactive

approach; he isn't all talk.

Check your boi: Baddesignkills

On Aug.23.2005 at 12:46 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> The time spent finger pointing and researching the true origins of these logos seemingly could be better spent working with clients, educating people about what design is, and heaven forbid, actually doing good design in an attempt to tip the scales from bad to good.

Peter, I take this as a given. People like Von or Felix, besides doing great work and tipping, as you say, the scales from bad to good do a great job of informing designers about what they see and experience in their day-to-day operations as designers. Based on their portfolios and attitudes I take it they find time to educate (or sue! wink, wink, Feluxe) their clients and do good work for them — heaven forbidding.

On Aug.23.2005 at 08:43 AM
Daniel Green’s comment is:

Peter --

If this discussion was simply a rehashed "good design/bad design" argument, I might agree with you. However, in the case of LogoWorks, it's about an illegal activity: theft. That simple fact puts this discussion in a whole different category.

On Aug.23.2005 at 08:44 AM
Peter’s comment is:

Back on the soapbox.

I agree that what LogoWorks is doing is illegal, immoral, wrong, etc...I guess my point was more along the lines that we are discussing this within our own community rather than with the rest of the world.

I applaud Von and Felix for their work, and find their work with this inspiring, the bad design kills site is wonderful. (I have a bad kerning sticker in my head right now that needs to be worked out soon)

However I still do not see how much of this is going to change the public's perception of what we do, and increase the understanding of how a well designed identity can help their company far more than a 50 buck rip-off hack of a logo from LogoWorks. Pardon the sarcastic nature of the question but, Legality aside, Why should Joe buisness owner seek out a design firm or freelancer rather than send 50 bucks to LogoWorks and be done with it. Joe doesn't know about the way they Rip off other's work and about their design sweat-shop practices.

If a grand majority of the rest of the world does not understand, or feel that there is, more value in a good identity or concept then people will continue to send money to LogoWorks.

I do chuckle about Felix's idea of suing LogoWorks, however I don't think that addresses the larger problem. Sadly I don't know what the correct answer is, but we need to find a way to get the public to come to us rather than stray to the dark side.

Stepping back down now.

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:29 AM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

I almost forgot,

Von had also contacted the Wallstreet Journal,

about an article they had written in support

of Logoworks. They had praised the company but

now they are looking to perhaps write a follow-up

story about some of the injustices we have

just been talking about.

That's one way to reach the public.

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:46 AM
Su’s comment is:

"iPod dancer can't afford her own player"

No, let's try that again:

(Literally) Faceless Model with no Further Involvement Whatsoever in Wildly Successful Marketing Campaign Presented as Half-Assed Sob Story Despite Having Been Paid What She Would've Been Anyway, and Possibly Better.

Wah fucking wah. So, basically, her agent/publicist didn't think to negotiate for residuals beyond the um...$500 an hour. Story?

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:47 AM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Btw, Xerox got ripped off...

A collection of rips

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:51 AM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

The real link, sorry

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:53 AM
Su’s comment is:

And waitaminute. $400? Not only is she broke and (not) complaining about it (publicly), but she can't deign to step down to the $300 base model, or a refurb, either?

On Aug.23.2005 at 09:54 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Von is quite the detective.

If anything, this whole fiasco just shows how lazy major news outlets are when it comes to researching their story subjects.

Su, I don't see her whining. It was just an article on her.

On Aug.23.2005 at 10:28 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

SO, I'm looking at that baddesignkills site and I can't tell if it's serious or just for fun.

On Aug.23.2005 at 10:33 AM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

> (Literally) Faceless Model with no Further Involvement Whatsoever in Wildly Successful Marketing Campaign Presented as Half-Assed Sob Story Despite Having Been Paid What She Would've Been Anyway, and Possibly Better.

Su — I worked on the album package for Daniel Johnston's Atlantic Records release. Despite the Creative Director being one of my closest friends, for some unknown reason it took several months to get samples. So long in fact, that enough time passed for someone at the company to donate extra copies to the Archive of Contemporary Music's annual fundraising sale. I bought one for 5 dollars and mentioned to the director, Bob George, that it was one of my projects and I was anxious to see how it turned out. His response was " They couldn't give you a fucking copy?"

And thus, another anti-Atlantic Records meme was born...

...and continued.

Apple has sold 20 million iPods. How much would it have cost them to give the handful of dancers in the ads one? A couple hundred a piece? Compared to how big the media buy was, it's nothing. And it's certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than looking like total assholes in the press.

That's what working together is all about.

And you know... one could easily turn your words around to read "Faceless designer with no further involvement whatsoever in wildly successful campaign presented as half-assed sob story despite having been paid what he would've been anyway and besides, all he does is draw pictures for a living. Man what a life he's got." Or, I could go for the short version and calll it "Speak Up".

We bitch and moan about companies like LogoWorks, yet have no problem making fun of a dancer. As I have said before: respect is earned, and one begins by having respect for fellow professionals — no matter how frivolous their chosen profession may seem.

On Aug.23.2005 at 11:41 AM
lauren e.’s comment is:

m. kingsley:

Do you get samples of every product which you are hired to design for/promote/market? Sure, getting a finished sample of the cd packaging you created is reasonable.

But I do a lot of work for GE Healthcare. Should I expect to get a CT scanner out of it? No. Just print samples of the brochure I created about the scanner.

Likewise, the dancer could have reasonably expected to receive a tape/DVD of the commercial and copies of the print ads. But the product itself? That's unusual.

I don't think the article was meant to make Apple "look like total assholes" -- just to show the irony of the situation.

On Aug.23.2005 at 12:05 PM
Stefan’s comment is:

I've been reading SU for quite some time now, and it's time to jump into the fray.

About the dancer: I agree with Mr. Kingsley - Apple could have easily the dancers some free iPods. In fact, it could have been part of the publicity.

As both my parents taught me, "All work is dignified."

About LogoWorks: I hope Von and Felix and the like take these guys to the mat.

About Minor Threat: This was actually covered pretty extensively at pitchforkmedia.com here and if you go to Nike's Flash-tastic skateboarding site, they actually posted an apology (first item in the news nav on the right)

On Aug.23.2005 at 12:07 PM
Su’s comment is:

"And it's certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than looking like total assholes in the press."

And that's the problem with the entire premise here. They don't just look like assholes. That would require some sort of direct statement that the models were promised pods that never arrived. They're being made to look like assholes. You can't seriously tell me you don't see that almost everything in that article is a thinly veiled, "Look how stingy Apple is."

And then there's the selective omission in some sources of the fact that her husband's a venture capitalist. If she wants a pod, it could probably be arranged, intense need for independence or somesuch notwithstanding.

Thing is, I'm not actually disagreeing with the sentiment here. But the reasoning and approach are totally backwards. And worse, I think the news sources are spinning it; I'm willing to consider the possibility that Coulton just meant to issue an ironic little statement because someone managed to track her down. I could even respect if her publicist came right out and said, "Apple should give her free stuff because the ads did well," if that's what they're after. It's at least a direct and contestable statement. This is people standing around a water cooler whispering, "I'm not saying Apple has to giver her an iPod...I'm just sayin'."

Apple had absolutely no responsibility or objective reason(sans contract) to give anybody free toys, period. Would it have been nice? Sure. Does not doing so make them assholes? No. Can you present that as them being assholes? Well, here we are. It's just business, don't take it personally, etcetera, so on, and so forth. Jared probably still pays for his own damn sandwiches, and nobody seems interested in whether the people in the Switch ads all got free Powerbooks or whatever except for maybe the stoner chick(we got to see their faces, even!). While nobody else could be Mandy Coulton, lots could be the girl on the billboard. That silhouette was never meant to be a person, it was supposed to be some person, ideally "you."

Your reversal doesn't work at all. You turned your example into the usual insecure self-directed ad hominem on the design profession, and I don't believe I've ever joined in on the bitching and moaning, incidentally. I've had dance training and still have the feet to prove it; trust me when I tell you I'm not making fun of the dancer. The fact remains, however, that her job was to dance. The contract apparently said she would get paid X, which she did. End of business transaction. This was not "working together." She was probably considered more in terms similar to a piece of stock photography than as a collaborator. The television ads, for example, clearly had casting calls looking for the "punk rocker," "funky hip-hop dancer," "club kid" and the like.

If anybody fucked up here, it was her agent. From talking to someone who's appeared in television commercials, they get residuals for every single airing of a spot. If her agreement ended up differently, for whatever reason, it was that person's responsibility, and Mandy's, to do something about it before signing.

On Aug.23.2005 at 01:48 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:


great point, I agree, if anybody is at fault,

it's her agent.

you are damn passionate.

Say, what type of dancing do you do?

On Aug.23.2005 at 02:15 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I still fail to see where she was whining/bitching about anything.

On Aug.23.2005 at 02:49 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

I think it was more to do with the article spinning

it to make her appear as if she was complaining...

Either way, I'm surprised this much attention

has been devoted to the topic.

Anybody read the latest issue of Print?

On Aug.23.2005 at 02:54 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

FYI: I didn't go looking for this stuff. I read a local article in our paper written by Rhonda Abrams giving glowing praise to LogoWorks.com. She is a self-described marketing guru.

So I decided to check out LogoWorks.com again since I knew they were recently infused with 9.3 million. When I did it took about 4 clicks to notice Mark Fox work was stolen. A few more clicks revealed the OSU Beaver rip.

Most of everything else discovered came by other designers visiting their site and their sister site www.InstaLogo.com

Believe it or not InstaLogo.com actually contained the Xerox 'X' mark and was selling it for $99.

I've contacted all parties who were violated and Xerox has followed up, Edison power is aware and the others including Delta. It's in their hands to do anything about it.

In the mean time I sent a letter to the papers who ran Rhonda Abrams syndicated column responding to it the best I could. I had multiple designers proof it and add and edit to make sure it was very well balanced. That got the Wall Street Journals attention and (Wednesday) I'll be interviewed along with a few other designers. The WSJ in June gave a big thumbs up to LogoWorks.com so this will be a follow up to that and hopefully paint a more accurate picture of the company.

Here are links you can see regarding all the above.

--The thread that started it all.

--A page documenting a handful of rip-offs that have been found.

--Me buying the XEROX logo via InstaLogo.com and using their own online design GUI to create my new national brand.

--The letter I sent to the papers in response to Rhonda Abrams column.

Everyone that should know I believe does. It's up to AIGA and other national groups to address it further.

And I will admit I am a reactionary. I simply cannot sit and see something like that and not say anything. I know it will offend some designers who disagree and don't see a problem with being a 'Tooler' for these companies and that is fine they have every right to their own opinion and so do I.


On Aug.24.2005 at 04:03 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Great job Von!

On Aug.24.2005 at 10:47 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Do let us know when the WSJ article runs!

On Aug.24.2005 at 11:58 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Everyone has a right to their opinion, sure, but no one has the right to steal and resell marks. It's more than just a shame that these so-called designers are working for pennies, but that they see nothing wrong with the practice of swiping someone else's work is dispicable. Logoworks is not a design business, it's an evil virus. AIGA and the specific designers should follow thru on busting them on theft of copyrights.

Parallel to this situation, professional illustrators, for the last 5 years at least, have been blindsighted by the flood of availability of cheap click art. In most cases competing against a $25 illustration or some swiped digital spot is impossible. It has been devastating to those who thought that this was a viable career. Many I've talked to say it cut into 50% of the small work they used to get on a regular basis. You don't think it affects you until you notice the work flow stop.

There's no defense of this, in my mind. Young designers starting out ought to realize that this comapny's practices just cut the ladder out from under them. And that ain't good.

On Aug.24.2005 at 01:35 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Amen, Pesky Illustrator !!!!!!!!!

HALELUJAH !!!!!!!!


On Aug.24.2005 at 08:08 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Follow Up:


Heartfelt Appreciation for contacting Edison.


On Aug.24.2005 at 08:29 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

Well the so-called marketing guru Laura Ries who has written no less then 5 books on Branding has once again chimed in about LogoWorks.com. She has posted a letter that LogoWorks.com sent to her and apparently is buying into it wholesale.

Her original post regarding LogoWorks.com she flat out removed and took off all the comments. This one she disabled the comments.

So here we have a BRAND EXPERT who is unashamed to support this type of service. I am glad they are cleaning house at LogoWorks.com but the core facilitator of the problem is their method and that isn't going anywhere.

Visit: The Origin of Brands Blog

So I am curious what the AIGA is doing?

On Aug.24.2005 at 10:13 PM
Kyle Hildebant’s comment is:

>So I am curious what the AIGA is doing?

WE are the AIGA. :)

But I agree with you, I would like to see something from the board dealing with this issue.

On Aug.25.2005 at 12:12 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

I love certain items of her post.

Quoted: Of course, you have to understand the laws of branding in order to evaluate and revise the excellent logo possibilities you will receive from LogoWorks.

Which laws would these be, exactly? This implies a level of sophistication and knowledge in every client that just doesn't exist.


As a test I requested a logo for my new son Brendan. I filled out the brief with my desires for his brand

A very valid test, I'm sure.

and a comment from LogoWorks' letter of apology...

Art is the most human of endeavors, and as such, it is most vulnerable to human fallacy.

Is this the "oops" defense? I wonder what type of security they could possibly offer when they promise 3 business day turnaround on initial concepts. What legal screenings are they submitting the trademarks to? How on earth did someone not catch the Xerox digital X, which was a globally-used logo for 10+ years? I agree with Von that they are simply passing the buck on this.

On Aug.25.2005 at 03:43 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

We're losing the battle if HP, a global corporation that spends considerable sums of money on its creative work through ad agencies and brand consultants like Landor, is suggesting that small businesses use LogoWorks.

On Aug.25.2005 at 03:47 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

I forget where, but I thought I read that there was a nepotist link between HP and Logoworks. But I've read so much on the How site regarding this that I'm not even sure what it specifically said.

That said, HP's association with them is just absurd.

On Aug.25.2005 at 06:23 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Send your comments directly to the HP excecutive team:


On Aug.25.2005 at 06:27 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Oops, I guess you can only email the CEO:

Email Mark Hurd

On Aug.25.2005 at 06:28 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

After receiving threats from LogoWorks.com in subtle and not so subtle ways I received an email from the CMO (Not sure what a CMO is? Cheif Managing Operator?) anyway he informed me he has chosen NOT to sue me for exposing what I have online and to the media at large.

But then he goes on to tell me that his own designer admitted to him that their client 'Wet Beaver Brewery' instructed them to do one logo option that played off the OSU Beavers mascot logo. Yet for the past week on the HOW forum he has been accusing me of lying, defending that the art isn't a rip-off, that it's original and using veiled threats towards me regarding a possible lawsuit. Yet a week goes by and he emails me and admits that my original assessments are absolutely accurate.

I responded to his email by using his own explanation as an example of the problem their system is and how a legit design firm wouldn't simply pimp for a client. A good design firm with an ounce of ethics would push him away from that type of deal and suggest an original approach. The fact they just blindly do exactly what the client wants and disregard licensing violations is just one more side effect of their flawed methodology. They defend it now by saying "We asked OSU and they don't have a problem." The fact OSU is willing to give them a break and not pursue infringement is their choice, but that doesn't change the fact of what they did.

He's offered twice now to fly me in to their HQ and see their operation. Not sure what he thinks that will prove? Personally I don't see how they can use the same designers over and over and pay them and not be classified as employees? All their stable of designers get paid via paypal, I wonder how many actually pay taxes on the $50 per logo they make?

Anyway everyone who should know about this does. But the silence from industry talking heads is sad.

Reading through this thread it's nice to know some designers have a clue and actually give a rip! (Pardon the pun)

On Aug.26.2005 at 04:31 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Von, never stop being a gadfly when the alternative is complacency in the face of a clearly bad practice. I read Laura's original piece and her glowing endorsement of the success of Logoworks. The issue of "borrowed" trademarks will clear up with a spot of PR, no doubt. But that's not the real issue, as you point out. And it's not that this is an isolated incident. It's their METHOD of doing business as a present and future threat we ought to watch. Logo Sharks: eat-or-be-eaten commercialism of just cheaper and faster work. Stealing is just a shortcut.

I have nothing against the people who want to believe that this is just OK - the Walmartization of all American business, but, to an extent, it's here and it's ugly. As we go faster and faster, some of the features of Advertising and Design start to morph into something I don't recognize. Jackals, perhaps.

HP pimping this stuff is just unhelpful.

On Aug.26.2005 at 05:48 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:


Like you, i am appalled at what Logoworks is doing. Aside from the plagarism (which in an of itself is rather repugnant), I am also incensed at Logoworks' entire business proposition.

What do you think that the AIGA should do?


On Aug.26.2005 at 06:22 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

What do you think that the AIGA should do?

It'd be nice if they responded to all of the press that logoworks gets with a formal rebuttal letter on behalf of the AIGA membership.

On Aug.29.2005 at 10:21 AM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

It is disturbing that HP would partner with them. But then again LogoWorks.com just recently upgraded their branding for HP to better suit the relationship.

As far as what can the AIGA or GAG do in reponse? Well I got an email from a head person at GAG and they said the following.

As a labor union, our mission is to represent, support, provide benefits to, and educate our members -and all artists, and any "opinion" about the quality of someone's work is outside of our purpose. We leave that to the AIGA.... They have lots of "beauty" contests.

I think a good start is to have AIGA address design students as to the importance of their value as a designer and not to sell themselves short by working for such places as Arteis (Parent company of LogoWorks). If they refused then LogoWorks wouldn't have a stable source for their designs. Teaching design students the importance of strong conceptual skills and building their ability to be good thinkers in that respect rather then merely teaching them the tools of the trade.

Then the AIGA can do apologetic responses to overt charm PR ran in the media for places like LogoWorks.com. Put the heat on the ad agencies that have HP as thier client and get them to point out the short comings of partnering with these clowns. Developing a strong local design resource for each AIGA chapter that targets small business groups and lets them know that working with a local small design agency can help them grow their business. So basically doing what LogoWorks.com simply can't do, server the client with excellence as a legit business partner looking out for their marketing needs and developing a total stratedgy to carry it out.

AIGA and GAG is too inbred. More proactive methods to show small business the value of our services needs to be moved on.

Major design publications should dedicate space each issue to focus on small firm work that helps small business instead of just the multi-national coroporate work done by Landor and other large agencies which in all reality make up the minority of work being done in our industry.

My friend Jeff Pollard had a good idea. Each AIGA member pays an additonal amount each year for their membership and that amount goes to have a trademark lawyer on retainer who acts as an industry watch dog in regards to online places like logoWorks.com and InstaLogo.com and moves immediately on violations and holds them accountable. Kind of a BSA for image licensing. Set up a simple AIGA page that designers can report suspect work and then the retainer lawyer follows up on it.

On Aug.30.2005 at 02:21 AM
Tan Le’s comment is:

>on small firm work that helps small business instead of just the multi-national coroporate work done by Landor and other large agencies which in all reality make up the minority of work being done in our industry.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this notion. The majority of retail products in the market are designed and created by a combination of large and small design firms. In your comparison of work done by large and small firms, does "make up" refer to the quantity of work, the prevalence of products, or billable revenue? The day-to-day work produced by companies like Landor is no less relevant or valuable to our industry than work produced by smaller, boutique firms for smaller clients. Both sides are more inter-related than people think.

Design is a brutal profession. It's not for the weak or for the naive. There will always be companies like LogoWorks out there. The last similar practice that comes to mind was when Adobe decided to offer an online template service for corporate letterhead, brochures, posters, and websites — a service that essentially bit the industry hand that feeds those morons. Designers protested, but eventually, the business model was flawed, and thus, failed.

Leaders in our industry large and small continued to bring new work to market—showing the business world the value difference between decorating with software versus hiring the services of a design firm.

LogoWork's business model is flawed, for many reasons. Nevermind their stupid partners, their capital investors, their PR machine. They won't the be first or last fool's dot com flim-flam.

On Aug.30.2005 at 03:19 AM
Tan Le’s comment is:

Sorry, one more point.

My guess is that the reason why AIGA won't condemn LogoWorks is the very same reason why they won't support professional accreditation. That is, the organization is built upon a sense of inclusion, not exclusion. They can't hold our hands everytime a bully comes into the yard.

As stupid as their business model is, LogoWorks has every right to operate and offer their services to businesses. Just like the self-taught design hack that has the right to call himself or herself a designer and work for $10 an hour. To tolerate or ignore the hack, but condemn the dotcom is hypocrisy.

On Aug.30.2005 at 03:29 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> We leave that to the AIGA.... They have lots of "beauty" contests.

Meow... Not even us, in our good ol' days.

On Aug.30.2005 at 08:46 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

The GAG response is a bit odd...I thought we're debating the work methods, conditions and ethics, not whether or not we think their work is pretty.

On Aug.30.2005 at 05:30 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

I may not have posted it clearly enough? Sometimes relaying information via a forum or thread like this is less then ideal to carry across accurately what I really mean.

I didn't mean to down play larger agencies and what they offer.

All I meant is our economy is based on the small business owner. They are the ones who drive it and are the majority. I think most designers design for this level of client and not the larger agencies.

I realize larger agencies do the majority of retail design but that isn't where LogoWorks target as their client, it's the small business owner. That said they do tout a few firms that use them which begs more questions.

I find it that the facilitator or common denominator if you will is marketing geeks who down play the value of design and love the fact they can use these services and play art director. It caters to their ignorance if you will.

And I completely agree with your assessment of their business model I don't think it has sustainability. At least to the ratio that investors will want to see?

On Aug.30.2005 at 07:41 PM
Ron H’s comment is:

As a labor union, our mission is to represent, support, provide benefits to, and educate our members -and all artist

I thought as a labor union GAG is supposed to be concerned about poor wages for designers. I would say that the $50 or $75 that the winning designer makes for their logo design qualifies as poor wages.

On Aug.31.2005 at 12:59 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

the aiga has stepped on its own feet with ethics guidelines in teh past but i think theres good cause/ reason to at least expose logoworks for what it is. give an editorial and let people make up their own mind in regards to ethics.

doing nothing shouldnt be an option

On Aug.31.2005 at 01:29 PM
Tan Le’s comment is:

I find myself at a weird position regarding LogoWorks. On the one hand, I detest what they're doing to devalue design. I'm highly skeptical about whether or not logos can be sold and produced as a fixed commodity, and whether there's enough of the work to sustain a sizeable company — at least one that's as large as LogoWorks is claiming to be. And lastly, I'm frustrated and resentful that the business community, including some credible resources like the WSJ, have given such weight and legitimacy to such a questionable company.

But then, on the other hand, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that efforts like LogoWorks will almost assuredly fail. Just like the interactive scam artists during the dotcom heydays that offered websites at $100-$250 each — people quickly realized that they got exactly what they paid for, and little more.

But for some small companies, LogoWork's services is just exactly what they are looking for. So yes, small firms will end up losing that type of business, just as they lost newsletters and collateral brochures to office managers who learned Pagemaker. If the business of creating logos for small businesses becomes more of a commodity, then design firms will either have to adapt, or find a new avenue for their design services. The industry will just have to evolve —�just like the music industry, the movie industry, etc.

On Aug.31.2005 at 02:20 PM