Posts tagged “logo”

Florida Faux, part 2

During a recent trip to Florida I took some time to check out the Disney-founded community of Celebration.

The experience was much more subtle that I had expected; perhaps the true nature emerges more through residency than driving through. Overall, it felt a lot like The Truman Show – a set that made everything a bit too perfect and while one can appreciate just how nice everything is, it lacks a certain organic naturalness.

The town theater is achingly new, yet completely retro. There’s no funk here.

The downtown area is beautiful, branding is kept to a minimum.

Starbucks, the Americanized faux-Italian experience (so faux and so Americanized that you can enjoy it without knowing where it comes from) seems to fit right in (but then Starbucks is the ultimate brand for fitting in everywhere and anywhere).

These electric vehicles were ubiquitous, some turned into rolling advertising vehicles (as has happened with the PT Cruiser, the New Beetle, the Mini, and the Smart Car). I imagine the retirement communities in Florida have a wider general adoption of those vehicles and that’s part of the reason they are seen in Celebration.

Chick-Fil-A branding at a church event.

And about 2 miles down the road, familiar sprawl returns, highlighting the contrast. I think that’s the tallest Starbucks sign I’ve ever seen.

Previously: Florida Faux, part 1

Also: Orlando pictures; Miami pictures.

Brand Equity?

I had to replace one of the toilets in my house recently. On the advice of a friend who’s a builder, I went to Home Depot seeking an American Standard brand toilet.

Replacing a toilet is surprisingly easy. It’s really quite something that the toilet is such a simple device, considering its significance in enabling modern life to be as pleasant as it is.

I had bought all the pieces I needed separately, and by the time I finished my installation, had forgotten that I’d bought a seat that was also made by American Standard.

I experienced a little warm flash of joy when I raised the seat of my new toilet for the first time and saw that the logo on the bottom of the seat matched the logo on the toilet itself.


That I would feel spontaneous pleasure at having the brands of components on my toilet match–is it not testament to the primacy of place that branding and labeling have in our culture?

That this positive feeling was caused by something I never could have told you I cared the least bit about–something that seems so silly to me that I’m chuckling inside as I write this–really shows the power of the larger culture to influence emotional responses.

It also illustrates the necessity of being in real places with real people doing real things, if one wants to witness these types of dynamics.

The coda on this little story is an ironic one:


Does it matter to me that my American Standard toilet was made in Mexico? Not really. I’m just happy that the logos all match.

Postcards from the road: PHX to PDX

It’s been a busy-yet-fun few days on the road, from giving a plenary presentation and workshop at ASU’s Design Research Symposium (more to come, whenever I get my pictures – Hi, Greg!), to meetings, dinner with colleagues, and helping a client synthesize fieldwork data from China and Russia into product concepts. Here are some images I captured along the way:

Font problems @ Sky Harbor Airport, April, 2008

No carry-on tires, Sky Harbor Airport, April, 2008

Well, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Pay Here, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Fear God, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Disengaged Citrus, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Life imitates The Simpsons, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Busy license plate, Tempe, AZ, April, 2008

Crepes To Go, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Font Era #1, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Font Era #2, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Dog Paintings, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Sign upon sign, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Lift party, Portland, OR, April, 2008

Freaky new logo

Of course they’ve already discussed this on the graphic design/branding website Speak Up (where I nicked this image) but last weekend we saw (in Pacific Grove, CA, of all places) a new Baskin-Robbins logo on a storefront.

Yikes! It looks even worse on the outside of a store!


(see similar recycling icons as well as what they mean here)

My hair gel comes in a plastic container that doesn’t have any such logo; rather it has a circle with the letters PET in it. For some reason, they aren’t using the standard symbols, and so I really don’t know if I can recycle it. Beauty product/consumer product companies are usually pretty responsive, so I sent an email describing the logo on the package, and the logos that I expect to find, and my concern about being able to recycle their product.

Here’s what they sent back

Thank you for visiting Garnier on the Web.

We do not have prepared information to send you in answer to your specific questions.

We want to assure you that we are committed to the protection and respect of the environment. If you are interested in learning about the significant efforts made by our company, we invite you to consult our website at You will find details on our environmental policy under About L’Oreal. The “” website is the corporate site of the L’Oreal group of companies worldwide.

I was honestly expecting some info that I could use. Does anyone know the PET-in-a-circle icon? I don’t want to assume and ruin the batch or whatever happens if you send something non-recyclable through the system (and gee aren’t there a lot of mythologies and confused perceptions around what actually happens to stuff we put in the recycling boxes?).

Ah well.


Founded in the heart of Silicon Valley, provides professional dry-cleaning, laundry, and alteration services to your doorstep.

Gotta love that logo. Real original, like.


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