Please No Screws

October 8, 2012 - 11:51am -- Noah Graff
The new Graff-Pinkert Logo

Lloyd Graff recently purchased Jim Graff’s interest in Graff Pinkert & Co., and he felt it was time for a redo of the company’s Website and logo. Today’s Machining World, our Web magazine about the precision machining industry, also changed its logo five years ago and redesigned its Website last year.  Its important to stay current in business, and periodically refreshing marketing and advertising is a way to do it. I was in charge of coming up with the logo and it was a tough gig because we really had no idea what we wanted. I did a Google search for logo creation and found a site called LogoSnap facilitates contests among designers from around the world to create original logos, business cards and letterhead for companies around the globe. Clients get to name their price on what they award the winner of the contest. The minimum prize is $200 so we offered $250. There is also a small service charge that goes to LogoSnap, so the total bill was about $300.

We were instructed to give a brief description of our company, which I’m sure wasquite esoteric to the designers, just like it often feels when I try to explain my job to a typical person at a bar. The site suggested we give feedback on logos and Websites we like and don’t like. Lloyd (my boss) specified that the logo was not to have any images of screws or objects that resembled screws, as he thought that would inspire trite and generic designs. It was the same philosophy we always emphasized for the Today’s Machining World magazine covers—our cardinal rule was no photos of just machines. Several designers from Pakistan and India participated, and one from Italy took part. The Italian, who gave himself the code name “Logoon,” lived up to his country’s reputation for superior design and blew us away with his style and creativity. He decided to ignore Lloyd’s prohibition of screws and created an abstract “GP” shape, framing a subtle silhouette of a dome head screw. We didn’t even notice the screw shape until my Website designer pointed it out to us.
 I suppose it would have been nice if an American designer had won the contest. There are a few American designers who do participate in the LogoSnap contests. But perhaps most American designers don’t think a prize of $250 is enough incentive to enter a contest in which they are likely competing against teams of multiple people in India and Pakistan. Using the LogoSnap contest model was a great way for us to get more and better ideas. And in the end, we didn’t care if the logo came from Milan or Miami, we just wanted brilliant design for a fair price.
 Question: What’s your favorite logo? Apple? Nike? Google? Starbucks?

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