PolySciFi Blog

Sunday, January 18, 2009


New CRT logos (Update)

I got a graphic artist to put together a more professional looking logo for CRT.

Since the idea of the logo is to convey "professional, credible looking wireless company" to the public and since the blog's readership counts as the public, I thought I would try you guys out as a real-cheap focus group. (Read as, I'm not paying you guys, but I'll get the first round next time I'm out drinking with anyone who comments before Tuesday)

Below, I've included copies of the 6 variations and the current design. Leave a comment saying which one you like and /or which elements you like and why.


Thanks everyone. Looks like I owe beer to quite a few people.

We went with the one in the bottom right (or (3,2) as Mike wrote) with the variation that we used the waves of the top right (sharper, more dynamic roll-off). Admittedly, that was what I had in mind before the little study (you guys and about 15 other people via email and in person). But I had intentionally mixed around the elements to see if people would come to the same conclusions. (Not everyone, but more than half, which seems real positive)

Since others gave their rationale, here's mine (as to why a new logo and why that one). First and foremost, I wanted something that looked "professional," which really means "like what everyone else does". Looking at various large, successful companies' logos, what I saw were logos that used the company name and/or acronym with minimal additional clutter. For example, Walmart, McDonald's, Holiday Inn, or closer in industry, Cisco or Google or even GD. What I didn't want was something that tried to cram too much into the logo at once (like these guys - it's cute, but it's not "professional").

That basically meant 1) a distinctive font, 2) a single, simple design element and 3) a dominant color or color pattern (that could also help brand). We also had to spell out Cognitive Radio Technologies because it's not the first acronym expansion that comes to mind for "CRT", though we need to have "CRT" in the logo because "Cognitive Radio Technologies" is just too long of a phrase.

I had decided that the current wave (or more accurately, the compressed fade formed from a misshapen N) was the wrong way to go because outside of folks involved in wireless circles, no one really knew what that curve was on the original logo (and even in the right circles, not a lot of them). However, lots of people apparently have become accustomed to associating symbolic radio waves propagating from an antenna with "wireless" and in fact, when I showed this logo around, no one asked, "what's that supposed to be?" And sorta like the Cisco logo, it can be taken in several complementary ways (e.g., the Cisco logo is both a stylized FFT and a stylized representation of the Golden Gate bridge which combines "technical" with their SF location). Likewise, our little design element (in theory) conveys that we're a wireless company, but also looks like a repeated C (sorta like the Golden Arches is an M) and with the blue color, it kinda looks like ripples (making waves, making a splash...).

So simple, distinct, clean and most of all, professional.

So was it the most fun logo that we played with? Nope. (We pre-screened a lot.) But hopefully, by adopting elements of the "big boy" logos, it looks like the logo of a company that signs million dollar contracts. (No, we've not done that. Low 6 figures, yes. But it never hurts to put things in place early.)


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