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Preview Logo Quarterfinals

Continuing work here: RefiningQuarterFinalLogos

Context and Process

Trevor, Sean, Jake, Priscilla and I have been meeting for the last month as an offshoot of the Branding effort to work on a logo for Chandler. We started with a brief overview of the concept and word exercises we did as a part of the naming process and proceeded with a series of visual exercises that have led to a wealth of design ideas. You can review the work we've done here: VisualBrainstormWIP. I encourage you to look here after you've reviewed the concepts below in plain black and white and to try and focus your responses on the monochrome rendering.

After several rounds of generating ideas and riffing on each others ideas, we narrowed the field to these 6 concepts. We would like to collect feedback on just these 6 ideas to tighten the scope even more to a final 3, at which point, we will start applying visual treatments. We will then collect another round of feedback on visual treatments on the list and finalize the set we present to Mitch, who will make the final call.

The rationale behind the 6 we chose to solicit feedback on

  • We wanted a logo that would be able to stand up as a strong personification of Chandler. A mascot so-to-speak, with 'personality'.
  • We looked for concepts that more-or-less 'clearly' embodied our brand in a unique way.
  • We wanted to temper the 'masculine' tilt of our product name, 'Chandler' with a logo that was gender-neutral.
  • We need something that will both 'fit-in' on the desktop and stand-out on the desktop if that makes any sense. In other words, something with weight, that feels like a real-life object, yet still embodies 'iconic' properties. In plain English, that means, a 'real' object that is a single simple object or single simple flow of energy (as opposed to composite of many pieces).

ONLY CON"> THE DRAWINGS BELOW ARE *ONLY CONCEPTUAL SKETCHES, NOT PROPOSALS FOR ACTUAL LOGOS COMPLETE WITH VISUAL TREATMENTS.

Please review the concepts below with these 5 questions in mind and reply to the list with your answers.

1. Which key brand concepts apply to this image?

  • Pro-social / Close collaboration
  • Adaptable
  • Productive
  • Empowered / Confident
  • Organized/Better Decisions

  • Seeing the forest for the trees
  • Flexible and rich information management

  • Innovation / Excellence

2. What other concepts does this image evoke?

3. Which concepts, are stronger for this image? The Chandler brand concepts? or other concepts associated with this image.

4. How common is this image in our 'brand-space': Sharing, Collaboration,

5. Now onto the squishier stuff: What does this image make you feel?

  1. Happiness?
  2. Warmth?
  3. Calm?
  4. Excitement?
  5. Hardcore?
  6. Cold?
  7. Add your own.

Proposals

From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Pinwheel
  2. Orange
  3. Starfish
  4. Dolphin
  5. Petroglyph
  6. Abstraction No.3, What does it look like to you?

  • quarterfinals.png:


Results

Concepts: Pinwheel Orange Starfish Dolphin Petroglyph Abstraction
             
Chandler Branding Concepts            
Pro-social/Close collaboration Y YYYY YYYYY YY YYY Y
Adaptable YY   YYYYYYY YYY    
Productive YYYY YY YY Y Y  
Empowered/Confident YYY YY Y YYYY    
Organized/Better Decisions YYY YYYY YYYY YYY   Y
Seeing the forest for the trees     Y Y    
Flexible and rich information management Y Y YYYY YY YYY  
Innovation/Excellence YYY     YYY    
Totals 17 13 24 19 7 2
             
Other associations? Flimsiness/Brittleness Robustness Flexibility General intelligence Collaboration Industrial accident
  Temporariness Simplicity Tenacity Friendliness Relic of a long-lost time and place I am puzzled by it so evokes nothing 
  Strength, Swiftness Nutrition Collaboration Helpfulness "Implies collaboration, but is only 1 person?" Cigarettes
  Playful Organization Ted? Playfulness Mutlidoc logo Cigarettes
  Juvenile? Playful Collaboration Agility Amoeba Oil refinery
  Flowers - looks more like a stylized magnolia blossom to me Reminds me of a quilters pin cushion so that means to me a collection of individual pins organized Water Smartness Biology, Evolution One of the tron light-cycle dudes is drunk
  "Simple, yet powerful"   "Many 'hands' to juggle many things at once, mysterious, connected, alive" Cuteness Collaboration Undecipherable
  Paper converted into energy - Static becoming dynamic   Movement, Growth Adaptability   "Well, I look at the top, and see what kind of looks like a hand, except there's a gap between the fingers and the palm, indicating some kind of gruesome industrial accident. Ew. Wait, the thumb is pointing off in the wrong direction, so I refocus my eyes and see a black duvet with a white arm sticking over it, except the hand at the end of the arm is wearing an ... oven mitt? Now my eyes kind of go double-crossed and I'm giving up."
  Elegant solution   Earthy, Primitive Power    
  Something a child could do - Something you (the user) can do (open source made apparent)   Mature, Sophisticated Playful    
      Accessible "I like the animal concept but am not crazy about this animal in particular. It just seems to me like I have seen it in other places. I do see the link to our branding concepts and other stuff - adaptable, organized, smart, quick, efficient."    
      Positive associations "Freedom, power, no boundaries"    
      The first thing I thought of when I saw it was the light-bulb-wearing bicyclist in Men In Black Swiftness    
             
Which is Stronger? Branding versus Other associations Other Tie Strongest association: Adaptable Branding Other Other
"Someone mentioned that in general, the other concept associations are stronger than our brand concepts, but many of the concepts they listed are the same as our brand concepts :o)" Strongest association: Productive   Strongest association: Adaptable   Pro-social  
In general: Others No strong associations with brand concepts          
In general: Others Elegance, Simplicity          
             
How common in our brand space? Seen in more pinwheel logos than starfish Cingular, AT&T Haven't seen it MySQL People are common in this space  
  "I feel like I've seen lots of windmills and maybe pinwheels in software logos before, but I can't place where." Apple? Starfish Family Mail MySQL    
      Parental controls for online content MySQL    
      Starfish Software - 1998, now Nokia Intellisync MySQL    
        MySQL    
        MySQL    
             
Feelings            
Happiness YYY Y YYY YYY    
Warmth YY Y Y YYY    
Calm YY Y Y Y Y  
Excitement Y Y YY Y   Y
Hardcore         Y Y
Cold     YY   YYY Y
Ad-lib "It reminds me of being a kid, playing outdoors, a slight breeze on a spring day." "For some reason, we seem to have a lot of orange-flavoured cleaning products, so I have a strong association of removing grease from my bike chain, as well as getting rid of the smell of kitty barf from the living room rug. Neither of these is a bad association :)" "More associations from childhood, but more like wandering around on the beach, feeling cold and not liking to walk on sharp, slippery rocks." "Kind of wacky to have calm and excitement checked, but somehow simultaneously it evokes both." "I may be failing some kind of Rorschach test here, but the specific image makes me think of a fetus in the womb, complete with umbilicus and outline of uterine wall. Since that's not really part of the core concept here, I tried to imagine the icon as being more petroglyphical than gestational in answering the above."  
  "I liked these toys as a kid, flying, nostalgia" "Oranges seem decidedly feminine, sweet, to be shared with others and thus social, compartmentalized, joyful. A little messy. An orange seems organized, I think of peeling off section by section. There's a strong association of confidence with peeling an orange then distributing sections to my friends when I was a kid. There's also a lot sharing association for me." "My association with Starfish is through diving, snorkelling which I find to be a calm, relaxing, controlled activity." Freshness Warm  
  "Pinwheels make me think of warm sunny days. They make me feel slow and whimsical, but they also make me think of three year olds running around in circles, fast and exuberant. They also make me think of windmills and Don Quixote. Now that I've said all that, I don't have strong associations with any of the brand concepts for the pinwheel, though."   Stung by Jellyfish Nature Primeval  
  Joy of tinkering   Freshness Organic Core  
  "Freshness, breeze of fresh air"   Nature      
  Movement   Organic      
             
Favorites            
Ted: Petroglyph            
Sheila: Starfish, Pinwheel, Orange            
Heikki: Pinwheel, Starfish            
Philippe: Pinwheel, Orange            

BRAND ASSOCIATIONS
Starfish conjured up the most brand associations, 24 with Adaptability as the strongest association. Dolphin came in second with 19, followed closely by Pinwheel, 17 and then Orange, 13. Petroglyph and Abstraction had 7 and 2, respectively.

POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE
Pinwheel had unequivocally positive associations, particularly around productivity because of their similarity to windmills. The only minus was that people felt like they had seen the logo elsewhere, although interestingly, no one could remember exactly where.

The Orange was also viewed in an unequivocally positive light. Pro-social and Organized were the two strongest branding associations, both derived from the 'compartmentalized' nature of oranges, making them at once orderly entities that are share-able.

People had both positive and negative associations with Starfish. Positive ones were related to the Brand concepts (Adaptability, Collaboration, Ability to juggle many things at once) or happy memories of snorkeling. Negative associations had to do with a fear of unknown, cold, slimy sea animals. Starfish are not slimy themselves, but they co-habitate with slimy creatures: squid, jellyfish, and seaweed. Starfish have been used a lot in family-oriented software, in particular parental content controls for online browsing.

Apparently, Dolphins are just the poster-child for everything good in the world. The Dolphin had the most even distribution across the brand concepts. Everyone had good things to say about dolphins. The only minus, which was repeated 5 times in the specific and 1 time in the general is that it is used elsewhere, in particular, by MySQL?.

Petroglyph had generally positive associations. On the whole, it seemed that responses were less effusive, the connection between the petrogyph and the brand concepts were perhaps less obvious. This may have had to do with the word 'Petroglyph' itself, which admittedly is not particularly 'Chandler-like' since it refers to pre-historic fossils. It seemed to distract many people from respoding to the specific rendering of the petroglyph: a single person mysteriously connected to some greater entity via a...umbilical cord?

The Abstraction was downright opaque for most. Although we did get some color imaginings out of some. This is the nature of many abstract of logos, they oftentimes don't stand up well in monochrome with no visual treatment to elucidate their meaning. I may also have screwed things up a bit because I tweaked the original design (apologies).

BRANDING VERSUS OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
Starfish had the most definitive relationship to the brand concepts with Dolphin, Orange and Pinwheel teetering in after. Dolphin suffered from the MySQL association.

Mimi

I won't repeat here what others have already said:

Pinwheel

  • Spiral motion: Triage cycle
  • Original treatment of the pinwheel colored each leaf of the pinwheel represented a Triage status
  • You can imagine it as a corporate logo: Some R&D company or a new 'clean fuel' company.

Orange

  • Fruit --> Fertile --> Productive
  • Spiral - A riff on the pinwheel and triage
  • Refreshing
  • Nutritious
  • Tropicana girl
  • Brunch --> Waffles with fruit and powdered sugar

Starfish

  • Distributed management structure: Cutting off a single arm won't kill the Starfish, it just grows a new one.
  • Hub and spokes - Helen the Hub
  • Radiating --> Generative --> Productive
  • Star of Excellence
  • Connecting the dots to form a larger picture - 5 point star
  • Kids collecting stuff on the beach
  • Pottery Barn seaside cottage display case decor
  • Museum of Natural History display cases
  • Patrick, Sponge-Bob Squarepant's sidekick, yes he's a starfish

Aside: Visual treatment itself can make cold starfish seem warm and friendly :o)

Petroglyph

  • Umbilical cord / Womb --> Fertile --> Productive
  • Human energy suction pods in The Matrix
  • Works as a wordmark - the womb forms a C for Chandler
  • Sharing that is designed around the individual's personal world (as opposed to a sharing portal)
  • This is an interesting riff on the 'person / avatar' logo, which admittedly is overused in this space, because it is an organic, irregular human and not the typical AIM and MSN Messenger people with perfect spheres for heads.

Dolphin

  • Represents all things good
  • Like Superman - So perfect as to be generic.

Abstraction

  • An arm (white) holding clasped to one's side, holding something together
  • A collection, a grouping
  • Doesn't provoke an emotional response in me
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