Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mark My Words....

It's gonna hit the fan now!

In what is sure to be a blow to legitimate designers across the world, HP announced yesterday, plans to acquire the pariah of the design world (see Logoworks saga) Logoworks. Small business owners should take heed, the advantage of hiring a legitimate, well trained graphic designer is being snatched from your hands and you don't even know it. With the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood movie, HP will convince you that a logo is something as easily attained as your lunch from a fast food menu. No personal attention, no integrated long term marketing strategy, and most importantly no unique or original creative work. Just press a few buttons and voila! With the ease of an ATM, you will be able to secure yourself a logo that, with any luck at all, won't be chosen by all of your major competitors as well. That's the catch see, no originality and a cookie cutter template shared by everyone means that, the sterilization of true original conceptualization has begun.

There's a dark cloud on the horizon.



HP to Acquire Logoworks, a Web-based Design Service Company for Small Businesses

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 24, 2007

HP today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Arteis, a privately held company that operates Logoworks, a leading distributed web-based graphic design service provider.

HP plans to leverage Logoworks’ technologies and services to provide small businesses with access to professional design solutions at a fraction of market cost. Supported by hundreds of graphic designers worldwide, Logoworks’ affordable packages range from simple logo design to the development of a full suite of marketing collateral.

“Today’s small businesses are increasingly turning to the web for marketing tools and services that strike a balance between affordability and quality,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “By adding Logoworks’ web-based graphic design service to our portfolio, HP can now provide the right mix of cost savings, flexibility and professional quality to help make a small business look big.”

Arteis, based in Lindon, Utah, also owns LogoMaker, a do-it-yourself design application for customers with a more limited budget. HP plans to greatly expand and enhance both Logoworks (www.logoworks.com) and LogoMaker’s (www.logomaker.com) simple-to-use web-based design services and use independent print service providers to help deliver a great value to customers.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in HP’s third fiscal quarter. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $94.1 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2007. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.



http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2007/070424b.html

8 comments:

Montgomery Q said...

>No personal attention, no integrated long term marketing strategy, and most importantly no unique or original creative work.

Statements like this used to bug me, but nowadays I just chalk it up to ignorance. I'm not trying to insult, I'm just saying you don't know the business model or the creative process LW uses. Many "legitimate" designers view this ecquisition as a very good thing.

Vonster said...

Ignorance? Well it seems your post has a fair amount of the same. Contrary to your assumptions on knowning what others think, I have done my homework.

I've talked to designers who have worked with Logoworks, I have talked to Jeff Kearl a Logoworks VP and I thoroughly understand their business model and creative process and simply put it's highly flawed and leads to marginal design on a consistant basis and at worst rip-offs.

You say 'Many Legitimate Designers'. Give me names and let us determine how legit they truly are. It's easy to say that but it holds no sway if you do not disclose who you are specifically talking about.

I am a legit designer and I view Logoworks as a McLogo fastfood design service that degrades the industry and I know many many more who'd take an even harsher view towards Logoworks and I'd be willing to bet they can each design circles around anyone at Logoworks.

The only reason Logoworks get the good PR they do is because they have the revenue to buy it. Funny how it never comes from the industry of legitimate designers who you say applaud Logoworks, it's always from the non-design circles that view Logoworks as a good thing and get all hot and borthered by it.

Your hardly an unbiased opinion I might add being a designer who does work for them and links to them from your own blog I might add.

Jeff said...

Frankly Monty, it seems to me you're coming into the conversation a day late and dollar short. I'm entirely familiar with the LW business model and creative process. It's been discussed ad nauseum. ( http://katzidesign.com/archives/index.htm )

I'll give you some valuable advice, do your homework before spouting off and displaying your own apparent ignorance.

Show me where legitimate designers, those who don't work for LW, are behind this acquisition, (that's how it's spelled by the way) as you so laughably pointed out. Because I can show you a scad of designers who are disgusted with it. Just because you say it's so, doesn't make it true.

Montgomery Q said...

I just did this huge post, hit Publish and it deleted the whole thing. Which sucks.

Yes, Jeff and Vonster, I do have a bias. I remember why I dropped out of the lw plagiarism discussion 2 years back. Because it's never a discussion, it turns into the hugest crappiest pissfest that benefits no one. I guess we wouldn't be designers of we didn't have passion, I guess.

The designers I mentioned DO work at lw, so of course they're pleased it's getting ecquired (wheeee). They are also very legitimate and well-trained. They've been in the industry for years. The ones that suck don't get paid as well, which is generally the norm in this industry. If your work is NOT original, you get fired. If your work is awesome, you're compensated well. You can't just say that all LW logo designs are cookie cutter and the result of pressing a few buttons.

I just keep hearing how this HP acquisition of LW is degrading the industry. I don't get that. You've heard from me, an egotistical overly defensive designer that does stuff for them, but I want to you from you guys. And anyone else that reads this. How does it really hurt any designer that does good work? How, specifically, is it "a blow to legitimate designers across the world" We agree that the industry's changing, right? Does it really hurt good design?

But keep it professional, guys. I'll try to control my emotions and watch the typos.

Vonster said...

Monty,

I based my design opinion on what I see man. Nothing on Logoworks.com is earth shattering or original it's trite and predictable but that is what you get with a McLogo creative process.

So you can honestly sit their with your other Logowork folk and say that Logomaker.com is a good thing. That it produces well crafted and unique design solutions?

So if you were on your own Monty and a company approached you for a logo job your saying you'd have no problem giving them:

- 4 concepts
- 2 rounds of revisions
- You'd hire a second designer to assist you
- You'd turn it all around in 72 hrs
- And you do it all for a budget of $299?

You honestly would do all that for that budget? If you would then I find it hard to believe you don't understand how that degrades our industry.

That process produces at best marginal work Monty. Sure someone might stumble upon an actual good idea but it doesn't come about because of proper creative discipline it comes about by mere chance.

You obviously want to defend it so there isn't much else that can be said.

Another Oregon Designer said...

HP/Logoworks will sell logos to the same folks who use built-in Word "brochure" templates and built-in Dreamweaver website templates. Unfortunately for them, those are all too often the same folks who wonder at Chamber meetings and networking events why they don't have repeat customers or get good referrals. They don't have those customers/referrals because by using generic marketing and having a logo/brochure/website that isn't unique they have actually positioned their business as the equivalent of a McDonalds Hamburger -- not something you think about the next day and tell your friends about.

And that's fine with me. Because those unfortunate folks will all last only a short time in business and then go under or sell out, leaving the folks who did develop a memorable and representative identity with a clear field. And guess which group my clients are in? Yep.

So run to Logoworks, all you competition of my clients -- go go go. And go ahead and gloat over all the money you saved...after all, you'll need it to pay the bankruptcy lawyer.

Anonymous said...

You can get a nice steak at Outback for a decent price or you can spend a whole lot more at the high end steak restaurant downtown. Depends on what the customer WANTS. Most if given a blind taste test wouldn't know the difference between the two. Only the steak connoisseurs with established fine-tuned palettes would be able to tell the difference with any significant consistence.
I bet you 95% of prospective lw customers would still go through lw even after reading an article about the trite and predictable "McLogo" creative process.
Most people want what THEY deem as a decent product at a very good price. Since most start ups are strapped for cash with all their many new endeavors they will predictably choose the best bang for the buck = lw.
Get over it and differentiate yourself.

Vonster said...

Anonymous said...
You can get a nice steak at Outback for a decent price or you can spend a whole lot more at the high end steak restaurant downtown. Depends on what the customer WANTS. Most if given a blind taste test wouldn't know the difference between the two. Only the steak connoisseurs with established fine-tuned palettes would be able to tell the difference with any significant consistence.

And that analogy only goes to show you the true honest mentality of a designer who whores themselves out via Logo works. Design is not a creative process to produce well crafted branding and logos it's a cheap commodity. Your design methodology is on par with a fry cook at a greasy spoon. Order up! Want fries with that logo?

A designer is more then a cheap peddler of fast food art. He should be an advocate for the value of good design, educating a client, suggesting alternate ideas even when it's not what the client asks for. That is what a true design firm does. Logoworks is not a true design firm.

So an honest analogy of Logoworks wouldn't be 'Outback' steak it would be 'McDonalds' McRib.

The problem which you obvious refuse to see it or accept it isn't the client it's the designers. I don't expect clients to fully understand design or it's value for their business, but I do expect someone who refers to themselves as a design firm to know this and look out for their clients best interest not merely be an extension of their arm drawing what ever they see fit.

The client may be king but they should never be art director.
I bet you 95% of prospective lw customers would still go through lw even after reading an article about the trite and predictable "McLogo" creative process.
Once again the client is the problem it's the designers. I don't expect an apologetic for design to speak to a client. You speak basic marketing and business strategies with a client and relay how good design will enhance and make that more effective in a practical way. Logoworks designers don't do any marketing or overall branding they just fry up some $40 one size fits all logo patties.
Most people want what THEY deem as a decent product at a very good price. Since most start ups are strapped for cash with all their many new endeavors they will predictably choose the best bang for the buck = lw.
You really think highly of your clients don't you? You don't aim for well crafted design you cook up fast food design solutions for the lowest common denominator and call it good. Once again this is a designer problem not a client problem.

You speak of an identity as if it's an 'Expense', that shows your faulty logic. It's an 'Investment' and part of a relationship between a legit design firm and a small business. Logoworks spits out $40 dollar McLogos, sells them to the drive through clients and for the majority never hear from them again. That is not how a legit design firm operates.

Get over it and differentiate yourself.
The only reason I respond to Logoworks is to counteract their well paid for spin that tries to sell them as a legit design firm when they are not. You obviously have no problem cranking out '4' logos in a 72 hour period for $40 a pop. That's your problem. But the rest of the design industry would never accept that as a viable working salary but Logoworks does.

Once again it's not the clients it's the designers who sell out to Logoworks who are the problem.