Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce got a logo

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Logo

Some found it dull, other like me appreciate the hip improvement from the older Sterling Cooper logotype. For those of you who missed it, TV series Mad Men just started its fourth season, and the new agency now has an office and an acronymic logo.

Burndownblog researched the font used, and explains how it is not — despite fonts nerds paranoid moans — the overdisgraced Arial.

Phew, what a relief…

Steve Jobs talks about designer Paul Rand

I asked him if he would come up with a few options. And he said, “No. I will solve your problem for you. And you will pay me. And you don’t have to use the solution. If you want options, go talk to other people. But I’ll solve your problem for you the best way I know how. And you use it or not. That’s up to you. You’re the client. But you pay me.” And there was a clarity about the relationship that was refreshing.

An 1993 interview of Steve Jobs on working with designer Paul Rand on the NeXT logo, by Doug Evans and Alan Pottasch

Branding is a free beer


New episode in the lost iPhone 4G leak story: the first non-Apple business who jumps in and wins is… Lufthansa.

Let’s sum up the beginning if you missed it: Gray Powell, a 27 year-old Apple engineer has birthday drinks, and updates his Facebook status with “I underestimated how good German beer is” from his iPhone. Not an ordinary iPhone: this one is a secret prototype of the next generation model, which Powell — thanks to German beer? — loses at the bar, then someone finds it and leaks it to a gadget website, creating a huge sudden burst of attention on the device everywhere.

Then comes Lufthansa, posting a message on their Twitter: “If you can help us get in touch with Gray Powell, we’d like to fly him to Munich”, which links to an image of an open letter to Gray Powell from Lufthansa USA’s Director Marketing & Customer Relations.


Funny and sharp, witty but not cruel, this letter is getting Lufthansa a lot of attention today on social media, where it’s being passed along with cheerful comments. A very clever PR move from the airline, putting it at the top of the conversation, and showing that not only they know how to make a stunt, but more importantly they also understand the importance of two-way online communication.

The iPhone 4G leak is a fake


Apple — and Steve Jobs — is well-known for its big announcements, keeping its secrets until the very end, hunting information leaks, and controlling what the media and developers can know (and tell) before new products are being officially launched. Jobs keynotes are notorious for their “one more thing” addendums, where he unveils a new cool little piece of hardware or software, in a tongue-in-cheek way to finally answer heated speculations that spread on Apple-themed forums and blogs.

When media people were invited to come try the iPad before it was released, the one they could play with was literally chained to a table. That’s how Apple is serious about keeping its secrets and maximizing the power of its announcements.

Victor Broïdo has an interesting theory about the whole leak being a fake, set up to boost interest on the new iPhone, after it got put in the shade by the iPad launch.

Sounds far fetched? In The Art of War, written during the 6th century B.C., Sun Tzu wrote a full chapter on the use of spies, and describes one type, “the doomed spies”, as “doing certain things openly for purposes of deception, and allowing our spies to know of them and report them to the enemy.”

It’s very plausible to me that Apple’s marketing people know about the doomed spies, what do you think?

(Photo credit)

Damage control: Nestle learning how to interact with fans


As one commenter nicely put it, the chocolate has hit the fan (in this instance, all 92,163 fans) after Nestle wrote on their official Facebook fan page: “We welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic – they will be deleted.”

Of course Nestle needs to protect and keep control of their copyrighted brand(s), but is it worth damaging their overall image publicly in the process?

Read the ensuing thread of snarky 200+ comments here.

What should Nestle have done/said instead? Post your suggestions in the comments below.

(photo credit)

Looking for an iPhone app developer


If you are based in/near Geneva, and you do wonders with Xcode, Cocoa, Objective-C, C++, C, we want to hear from you.

need someone to build iPhone/iPad apps with online content interaction, geolocation, etc.

understand details, and the big picture, and humor. You love precision, and your code is clean and documented. You are comfortable and efficient with C++, and if possible with Xcode, Cocoa, Objective-C. JavaScript a plus. Please provide links to existing iPhone apps you developed, if available.

Full-time, part-time, or freelance OK. Start as soon as possible.

Contact us here.

(photo credit)

At the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy


Gave a workshop tonight at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy. Generic principles applied to a specific niche field, and discussed with a diverse and interesting audience, who had some mind-opening concerns and questions, e.g., “if our NGO want to make a Facebook page, how can we let our local visitors become fans without putting them in danger?” Also, the real value of encryption on webmail and chat protocol for people in the field.

Interesting conversations, although too short. Looking forward to following up.

My slides can be browsed — and commented — at:

The Brand Quiz

the brand quiz

How strongly do you associate colour with brands?

The Brand Quiz takes two colours, a visual hint, and a cryptic verbal clue, they put them together and challenges you to identify all 21 worldwide famous brands.

Logorama – A world of logos


Spectacular car chases, an intense hostage crisis, wild animals rampaging through the city… And more clever use of logos than your eyes can see in a single viewing. All taking place in a world made of over 2500 logos, logotypes, and mascots. Logorama took 4 years to be made, and is H5‘s (François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy et Ludovic Houplain) first short film (17 mn). Discovered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Logorama has since been nominated at the 2010 Oscars in the Animated Short Film category.

The full movie has been popping up on several video sharing websites recently, but keeps getting pulled down, probably for copyright reasons, so don’t wait to watch it:

Two very interesting interviews (in French) of the creators of Logorama:

And a little piece of trivia: The voice of Pringles Original logo is David Fincher‘s.

Cute, Friendly, Lovable. Pit-Pat is (finally) real!


In 1995, Pit Pat was created in the comedy show “Mr. Show with Bob and David,” as a “magical, pan-sexual, non-threatening, spokesthing”, for the fictional GloboChem multinational company. A parody of how those huge and faceless conglomerates work on their branding to appear a bit more human and friendly, Pit Pat was the incarnation of the universally boring and dull.

To remind you of those communication consultants who came up with Pit Pat, watch the (NSFW) clip below:

Then, there is Cetelem, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, founded in 1953 and now the number one consumer lender in Western Europe.

Until 2004, it had this logo:

Then, in 2004, this PDF explains (view as HTML), when their ‘brand project’ team examined their current logo, “they quickly realized that it had lost its suggestive power”. So, they created the Arrow, designed and tested by a Cetelem international team of communication professionals and operational managers.

As a sign of clear, dynamic, yet familiar energy, the Arrow exemplifies modernity by virtue of its forward-looking, aerodynamic and conquest-oriented shape. This full-bodied symbol flies Cetelem colours, and features a stable oval of balanced proportions, which bears the statuary Cetelem brand, evoking solidity and professionalism. Its organic design aspect together with its use of green underlines our ethical dimension and the virtues of transparency. As a life-like symbol, rounded in shape, warmly coloured, and easily adapted to local requirements, the Arrow inspires confidence and suggests the closeness of our customer relations. An optimistic sign, ahead of its time. A sign that can truly set the agenda for the future.

And here is the Arrow used until 2008:

But in 2005, they introduced a mascot, Credito, into their marketing.

As explained here (and via machine translation):

“How to sell an intangible?”, That is the question that arose Cetelem with his agency. Very quickly, the idea of representing the credit has become a character. “The small figure carries us and expresses the relational values that we wanted to highlight any injecting the empathy that we previously lacked, explains B. Cizeau. There was also talk that this relatively serious credit charge is translated so enthusiastic with an amusing and humorous. Although he probably surprised at the start, the green man was soon well accepted internally but also externally. “We have registered an approval rate of over 70%,” confirms B. Cizeau. As the reputation and brand image Cetelem, it has jumped significantly since 2005. “We have seen very strong increases in all relational items which accounted for us,” said B. Cizeau. Now this character that appears in all the campaigns TV Cetelem accompanies the client in its approach to credit. It embodies the concepts and advice, service, warranty protection. In short, it reassures the customer physically embodying the concept of responsibility is so important in the context of the French market. Following today’s character Cetelem is recognized by 90% of the people and the reputation that precedes the character of the brand, without suffocating it. The figure moreover been incorporated into the new logo Cetelem. “Four years after his birth, the character shows so far no sign of wear, and we are also very attentive to this.” Even abroad, in the thirty countries where Cetelem is present, the little green character has managed to establish itself as an indispensable reference.

Eventually, Credito became part of the logo itself. And now, Cetelem logo looks like this:

And the marketing visuals with Credito like this:

Remember Pit Pat?

So there you have it: it took 10 years for Pit Pat to go from being an actual joke, to becoming what a world leading financial multinational considers “the embodiment of the concept of responsibility”. They just made it green, and removed the slogan. But no doubt someone will sell the corporate tag-line “Take it from me, I love you!” to some huge conglomerate, one day.