In the modern world if you have a thing or do a thing that thing better have a fancy name. Which brings up “Content Upgrade”, what is a “Content Upgrade”? It’s pretty simple, give me your email and I’ll show you my… More specifically, give me your email and I’ll give you something, usually some content, expertise, knowledge. Fair trade? that’s up to you. Here’s a primer.
news and stuff…
At first glance you instantly get that Deja vu feeling. Then it hits you pretty quickly, the Merril Lynch logo. “Close” is an understatement, but you be the judge. Don’t want to get an argument about intentions, and I like to think no designer would purposely want to go “there”. Just do a google image search for “bull logo” and you’ll see it’s pretty easy to come up with an original unoriginal bull.
Many logo refresh attempts are met first with “why?” and most people are not comfortable with change, it’s disconcerting. I feel this is the case, again. Let me explain. USF has had a few too many logo iterations in the past not so long a space of time (yes I’m mixing in the Academic logo with the dizzying array of athletic logos). Other than it being a bull, there is no logical visual progression, each new version too different from the last. Once again that is the case with this new version. Lending itself to criticism for not building a consistent visual brand at a school that is doing well improving it’s academic reputation.
Well, what’s done is done, how is it? Is it good? When it comes to logo redesigns the trend is to simplify on each iteration, moving away from multiple colors and gradients to a flat one color design arriving at minimal shape recognition. Apple and Starbucks are the classic examples. The new bull on it’s own follows that trend, and it’s done well. The bull is faithful to the actual bronze bull on campus. It has a strong defiant sense. It’s a BULL damnit!
So, well done on the bull itself. There is potential for this bull to be a lasting one. You can cut or smooth out a few angles here or there but how much more simple can you get before you lose it as a bull. And all would be well in the world here in Tampa but then there was this: I have to admit that we are font snobs around here. Many a project goes over time as we battle to the death over arc, stem, descender, ligature and other terrifically boring aspects of fonts. So we have to say WTF? on this new USF. The “U” and the “S” have a semi extrusion giving them a 3-D aspect, which would be fine but this is absent in the “F”. There is a weird perspective, a disjointed spacial feeling to the eye, like Cezanne’s fruit on a table that looks like it wants to roll off, or Manet’s bench that goes under at one perspective and comes out another on the other side. This is furthered by the extrusions having different sized “barreling” with the “U” having a much larger aperture than the “S”. This also makes the “U” look slightly larger than the “SF”.
So, we’re gonna pass the bull but fail the typography. Hopefully the logo on the side of a bus gets partially blocked by a minivan.
Why? Why Massive Ant, why should we steal this shirt?!?! Get a shirt we’ll plant a tree. Because it’s a cool design. Because it’s good quality. Because it’s made in the USA by an awesome small business. Because it’s good for the environment (for every shirt we’ll plant a tree or maybe two or three). Because you’ll be helping us increase our brand awareness. Because this shirt once inspired Abbie Hoffman to write a book. Because you’re not a thief (because things cost money, so don’t steal, buy this shirt). Because every time we’ve said the word “because” you’ve been slowly hypnotized into buying this shirt.
When we count to three and snap our fingers you’ll awake feeling refreshed and looking great in your new shirt.
Makes a great Holiday gift.
P.S. Stay tuned, we have two other Massive Ant branded charity shirts coming soon! One for our favorite ALS charity (Project Main St.) and one our favorite Rescue Animals charity (The John and Christine Tortorella Family Foundation).
We’ve done a few sites for some of their clients, so we were eager to get to work on their own website. Day 1 Sports & Entertainment is a full service sports agency based in Atlanta. Day1 represents some very high profile NFL players, and is branching out into other professional sports as well. Like any good agency they get the best contracts for their clients but it doesn’t stop there, they provide community outreach opportunities for their players to give back, as well as wealth management services to make sure their clients futures are secure.
The Day1 requested a website be developed that had the look and feel of the unique business environment of professional sports athletes. A bit of our WordPress movement skills were needed to showcase what these people do while highlighting a few of their players. Another fun site to work on and it’s pretty cool to see these guys at work on Sundays.
Tampa fans stay tuned… we are hard at work on Buccaneer Mike Evans’ charitable foundation website.
About 10 years ago we did a website for a nationally known dance studio that opened a branch here in Tampa. We gave the client the option of a Flash website, one that would allow us to use some animation and music to convey the movement and mood of a ballroom dance studio. The other option was a fairly new method of building a site, a fairly new platform (CMS) that we were playing with at the time, WordPress. You see, Flash was incredibly capable for building beautiful dynamic websites, but it was very difficult for our clients to update things such as events and schedules (something a dance studio would need often). The client chose to go with the Flash site. On the up side we did a beautiful site. On the down side it wasn’t long before they needed weekly and sometimes daily updates to the site. Now there were ways to get Flash sites updated by having Flash pull from a text file (xml) but it still had to be handled by us.
This was a turning point for us, we were smart enough (and lucky!) to see what the future held. With SEO turning away from keywords and metadata to an algorithm that relied on frequent and relevant content, and the constant problems with the monster that Flash had become, we decided to jump headfirst into developing WordPress websites.
So why are we telling you this? Well, one of the principals of this dance studio was a world champion dancer named Luca Baricchi. He remembered the site and everything we went through to get it just right. Jumping ahead to the present Luca was developing a unique approach to the techniques, training and educational methods of classical dance, and was establishing a new institute. Luca hadn’t been to the USA in some time but we were honored when he flew in from Italy, just to meet with us. He wanted the fluid and graceful feel of the Flash website but needed the infrastructure of WordPress to allow him to grow as his institute did. We always missed the freedom of design and animation that Flash served. So we’ve been sharpening our skills to marry that freedom and functionality into one site platform. We also designed a logo to match the feel of what Luca’s techniques and spatial 3 -dimensional movement.. Be sure to have a look at the results.