Entries from January 1, 2007 - January 31, 2007
The Business Opportunities Weblog Network (BOWN) is described as a "moderated list of legitimate business opportunities for entrepreneurs", which features lists of business ideas, and tips.
Dane has been blogging since 2001, and wanted a new corporate identity that was fresh and clean, to help realign his blog.
So, Dane and I started through our normal process of getting information from goals, the business, his color and style likes and dislikes, and other useful information to help me develop good design ideas.
Dane liked the general idea of a lightbulb, so I included this idea, along with several other ideas, to make sure we explored all options.
While "Business Opportunities Weblog Network" was descriptive, it's a really long name to deal with when creating a logo design. It would be challenging to be find a way to list the full name and not let the words dominate the identity.
Another challenge, related to the long name, was keeping the identity simple and easily recognizable. How do you show a business network in a single symbol?
Once Dane's information was read and digested, I brought out the sketchbook and pencil to get ideas on paper. In 2 rounds of sketches I produced several interesting ideas, incorporating the lightbulb and other ideas for representations of a network. Here are a few selected sketches:
1. This idea featured "Business Opportunities" larger, and a briefcase fashioned from triangular shapes, woth "Weblog Network" tucked under the larger type.
2. On this concept, I've replaced the briefcase symbol with an interconnected triangular grid symbol, to emphasize the network nature of the name.
3. Here I'm indicating a stylized lightbulb to the left, Business with most emphasis and "Opportunities" and "Weblog Network" descending in size and importance.
4. The winning idea shows a lightbulb within a circular symbol on the left, and an alternate dark version on the right. The idea was to show the lightbulb as a node on a network, incorporating both a bulb and network in the logo.
Black & White Art
Once the winning concept of a lightbulb on a network, inside of a circle containing the type was selected, I moved to produce the black and white version of the logo for Dane. The black and white phase went pretty quickly, and we both liked how the concept translated from sketch into black and white art. The next challenge was color.
In the color phase, I wanted to show Dane some color varieties, but didn't want to do too many at one time, so I selected 3 color themes with both flat and gradated options, and presented them:
Our eyes were pretty immediately drawn to blue, orange and green. I also liked the blue/green option, though the orange center circle of the first idea (B&C) really seemed to convey a warmth to balance the cool crispness of the green and blue.
After a little deliberation, Dane chose the blue/orange/green option as the winner.
Just last week, Dane completed his redesign of the Business Opportunities Weblog Network weblog, and used the new logo design to shape his redesign. I really like how the colors feel warm, yet crisp and clean, and after not seeing the logo between delivery and appearance, I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
My thanks go to Dane Carlson for choosing to work with me and MakaluMedia on his new identity. We both had a great time collaborating and I think we came up with a fun, attractive logo design.
The iPhone is a smartphone running some version of Mac OS X, complete with a full web browser (Safari) what look like Widgets, and apps on the device far beyond any mobile phone apps out there.
Watching the Steve Jobs keynote unfold, we both agree that this announcement of the iPhone is big — really big. So big that it could impact nearly every aspect the tech world — mobile phones, smartphones, phone service carriers, PDAs, MP3 players, computers, Mac software developers, and web-based software developers... and probably others I haven't thought of.
From the Engadget live blog:
We've been pushing the state of the art in every facet of this design. We've got the multi-touch screen, miniaturization, OS X in a mobile device, precision enclosures, three advanced sensors, desktop class applications, and the widescreen video iPod. We filed for over 200 patents for all the inventions in iPhone and we intend to protect them."
This is the kind of device I would be compelled to carry, and I've more or less stepped off the PDA bandwagon last year. It's looking that cool and useful.
This is going to be very, very big.
The Ultimate iPhone FAQ (David Pogue, NYT)
Cingular's iPhone Signup Page
Apple Unveils iPhone (Macworld)
iPhone a 'wake-up call' for the industry (Macworld)
Does the iPhone hit the spot? (CNET)
Investors dump RIM as Apple launches iPhone (Washington Post)
First iPhone Pics (engadget)
Raw commentary on the iPhone announcement (Michael Mace)
Apple's iPhone: That isn't a phone, it's a PDA done right (Michael Mace)
Impact of the Apple iPhone (Michael Mace)
Apple aims to shake up cell phone industry (San Jose Mercury News)
Top 5 Worst Things About The iPhone (Wired Gadget Lab)
iPhone: The Newton's Revenge (Wired Cult of Mac)
The Apple iPhone (Kottke.org)
Apple's New Calling: The iPhone (Time)
iPhone: The Most Revolutionary Device Since 1984 (JeffCroft.com)
iPhone Not Touchy Feely (37signals)
iPhone and the End of PC Era (Om Malik)
You could call iPhone perfect (Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun-Times)
Image via Apple.
1. When I was in college, I met Tom Baker, the 4th Dr. Who, at the public TV station where I worked as a student designer. I met Tom at the elevator, so a fellow student and I talked with him on the ride down and got signed photos to boot. Tom never offered a word about himself, instead, he asked us, 2 lowly student workers, about our goals and dreams. I've always thought Tom Baker's attitude toward us was classy and to be emulated.
2. I tease my wife Gail with the Barry Manilow hit Copacabana. I quietly hum the tune, until the song turns into a songvirus in her head. in 1998, Gail and I were visiting with a friend in Stockholm, Sweden. We sat in a square of Gamla Stan (Old Town), having a coffee, when an American High School band came walking through the square, playing Copacabana. Gail accused me of paying the band to play the song, but it really was a complete, but very funny coincidence. "Her name was Lola..."
3. I invited one of my best friends, Andy Bauer, to our wedding in 1999. I also invited Andy to stay in my flat for 2 weeks prior to experience Milwaukee, and we had a great time hanging out together. The unusual part is I'd never met Andy in person — of course we had written each other via email and chatted on the phone for 5 years, so we already know each other well, but never in person. I love the Internet for opportunities like this.
4. I was the proud owner of a dark green, 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. After being front-ended while sitting at a stoplight on the East Side of Milwaukee, I painted the crushed and re-formed hood with the grinning jaws of a WWII Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter plane. It was amazing how quickly cars got out of my way after that.
5. I know various greetings and phrases in 10 foreign languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, French, Thai, Swedish, Spanish, Hebrew and Russian. Since I can pronounce languages pretty well, I often surprise native speakers by speaking these phrases accurately, with no accent. Ahn-nyung-ha-se-yo!
The Next 5 Victims
While picking 5 people to do their own 5 things strikes me as a bit chain-letter-esque, I'll honor the request, and pick out 5 friends to do the same:
Steve Rohde: 5 Things you may not know about me
The Word Count Journal idea is simple — sign up and then write a little bit each day for 365 days. If you write the minimum every day for a whole year, you'll have written at least 66,795 words. Word Count Journal is especially well-suited to anyone who wants some encouragement to keep their words flowing every day.
I wasn't sure if the idea would interest me as a blogger, but it's actually pretty fun. You aren't penalized for missing a few days, since you can always log in and quickly catch up on your posts.
I've even found it fun to write more than the day requires — you only need to meet the minimum, but it's sometimes easier to keep on rolling.
And now, a few words on the design of the Word Count Journal site.
Word Count Journal Identity Design
Our team had a great time working through the design of the site. I had the pleasure of designing the Word Count Journal logo, as well as assisting my colleague Alex Bendiken in establishing a site design based on the new identity.
I had long wanted to use the font American Typewriter for a logo, and this project seemed the perfect opportunity to use this font.
While Word Count Journal is an online journaling application, I wanted to bring in the ideas of analog journaling — the pencil icon and typewriter fonts — as these recognizable elements help convey the idea quickly.
You'll note that the letters have been pretty tightly kerned, especially 'Journal' which I snugged so tightly that the 'u' and 'r' have merged into a ligature, and the 'n' and 'l' have been customized to allow for a close fit.
The pencil icon was kept intentionally simple, and also snugged into the space above the curl of the 'J' in Journal, keeping in the style of the overall "cozy" theme of the type treatment. Placement of the 'Word Count' text was a tough call — I wanted it centered in the space above 'Journal' initially, but decided to align the 't' of 'Count' on the right edge of the 'a' in Journal.
You wouldn't think so much goes into kerning of a few words, but I feel this little extra effort pays off in a more flowing identity.
Word Count Journal Site Design
Based on the logo, I assisted Alex in developing the initial direction of the site design, which he and the team completely fleshed out and built. I really like the cooler aqua blue and grays, combined with warm orange and bright yellow, and the use of American Typewriter throughout the site. Alex and the team did a great job keeping the structure simple, yet super-functional and beautiful.
If you'd like a space where you write a little each day, check out Word Count Journal!