February 24, 2014
When is a logo not a logo? When it’s a wordmark! A wordmark is a stylized rendition of the company name or product. It may be almost entirely font-driven, or may be largely illustrated. And while all wordmarks are logos, but not all logos are wordmarks.
The Nike swoosh is a logo. The Starbucks mermaid is a logo. The Coca-cola wavy font is a wordmark. The colorful Google is a wordmark.
FedEx is a great example of a font-driven wordmark – on the surface it’s fairly simple, but the letters are concatenated, with the back of the “d” and the spine of the “E” touching – just in alternate colors. A font driven wordmark can’t just be your company name in a specific font – there needs to be a variation on that font with makes it unique, and therefore a trademark. This can be as simple as making the tops of “t”s pointed, mixing same height caps & lower case letters, or incorporating multiple colors like Google.
Advantages of wordmarks over logos can be their ability to substitute in any time you use the word. The entire word is visible, and people don’t have to associate the image with the brand – the image is the brand. Generally speaking, collections of initials don’t make good wordmarks, although ADT might beg to differ. (Even then, they eventually put their wordmark inside a blue stop-sign, transforming it into a logo).
Wordmarks dependent on color (Coca-Cola and FedEx, for example) will suffer in monochrome. Using a wordmark as a watermark or backdrop on a page doesn’t work nearly as well as using an abstract logo, like Nike’s swoosh. And wordmarks can be an excellent tool to make apparent your online presence like match.com, or uhlig.ca.
February 10, 2014
Renewable energy used to be the buzzword of early adopters, but more frequently it has become the mandate for organizations. There are many contributing factors – and more importantly trends. Let’s take a look at the top four:
Programs like the Ontario government’s FIT 2.0 make it attractive to consider the capital outlay required to switch over to renewable energy sources. The public has climbed on board to support use of taxpayer funds to enable these changes – something we often only see for causes like healthcare and education.
Solar is affordable
Production of solar panels, had increased to the point where economies of scale have reduced costs. This parallels what we’ve seen in consumer electronics – remember when flat screen TVs cost $15,000? Additionally, new technologies like thin solar film are reducing the demand on higher cost minerals like silicon. As solar becomes more affordable, adoption skyrockets.
Wind gets sailing again
For a while, the backlash against wind farms looked to cripple this initiative. But we got smarter, and learned how to overcome the obstacles. This came primarily from the industry’s willingness to listen to concerns, and then address them. Which proves you can’t keep a good idea down.
Power Storage & Management Improves
In the past, resistance to reducing reliance on the grid was due to the fact that many renewable energy sources are not always at peak production. Wind dies down. The sun sets. We still need energy. But power storage - and more importantly power management - has come a long way in the past few years, to help moderate the production/demand cycles, and reduce the need to switch back the grid on a regular basis.