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Logo Development
July 11, 2012
9:08 am
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Eric I think you are making valid points about the logo, but I think Rob has a done good of explaining why we've been moving this way.

For one we have little involvement, up until now. To spread the word per se I think it's good that we've tried to create appealing designs to try and capture people's attention to what we're doing, how to get involved, etc. I think that's the main reason we've looked at making a logo, partly to lend some credibility, and again to get people's attention. As we don't and won't have a space, and therefore less decision-making, until we have more people in our corner I think making possible designs doesn't hurt anything. We are not branding a building. Simply we are using the design to create business cards and posters which are almost free at this point.

I think the main purpose of this thread and our logo development is solely for spreading the word and getting people involved. It hasn't been easy to get many people to share on other topics. I am all for trying to hash these details out, whether that's here our at our meetings.

Aside from that, I think everything you have pointed out is irrefutable. We do need to get a consensus of who we are, who we are going to appeal to, and what are goals are going to be. I don't like to speak for Rob, but from some of the discussions I've had with him I've come to understand why we were taking that sort of concrete planning slow at the previous stage. Simply we need to do more work finding out what people are looking for in a Maker Space, that includes our ideas as well, and trying to get other people's perspective. Not just our own.

Maybe we should continue this in another thread. I believe that you have generated some very thought provoking questions. With your background and experience, I believe that you could play a huge role in really developing more conversations in this direction. Maybe that will encourage some of the members who haven't shared, to speak up.

To Rob, I plan on also getting my "Vision" down on paper, computer, whatever. Hopefully that will be in the next few days, just when I have a break from school/life.

Thanks to you both for getting this discussion under way.

July 11, 2012
6:55 am
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Wyatt McBain said
Take a look at this. Got to run to school but may have time for more later. I think this is closer to the mark though. For those on the forum who are not sharing, please do. As this will be a community workshop/collaboration space, it will be nice if we can instill that environment early on. Your input is appreciated and wanted!

blueprint_justmakers

Clear, simple, yet still creative. I'm sold.

July 10, 2012
2:56 pm
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Eric, I agree with everything you said. I particularly think you’re right about our need to clearly define our goals and build our brand.  

I think many of us share similar ideas but I don’t know for sure because we haven’t talked much about specifics or put our ideas in writing. I will soon be writing down my vision for the maker space and I strongly encourage others to do the same.  It will also be a major topic of discussion at our next meeting, which will be soon (7 PM on Monday, July 23 if he Webster library approves our request for a meeting room).  
You’re also right about creating a sustainable organization, which is one would continue to do well if one or more key players left. In other words, we DON'T want a maker space that depends on 2 or 3 volunteers doing most of the work.

I originally thought we could create a maker space that was entirely run by volunteers.  But I’ve been studying other maker and hacker spaces that are run that way and it doesn’t seem to be a very successful model, although there are some exceptions.  

The most successful maker spaces seem to be the ones that have grown big enough to support at least one paid employee.  And I think we need to do that too.  [But we’re probably always going to need everyone to volunteer their time regularly if want to keep membership costs down.  Expect to have a regular work nights or Saturday mornings when we fix machinery, sweep floors and clean bathrooms.]

Renting additional work or storage space to members seems to be the most common way other spaces achieve financial stability. Artisan’s Asylum near Boston is one of the best examples.  

Their 30,000 s.f. facility has 80 spaces ranging from 25 s.f. to 250 s.f. that their members can rent if they want additional storage space, a private work area or just a place to put a couch or desk.  

Those spaces are completely rented and have a waiting list.  And they generate more than $18,000 per month in membership and rental fees, which helps pay for 3 full-time employees and a boatload of expensive tools and machines.

We already have some good reasons to believe we can create something similar here in Rochester.  But we need to have a “widely shared vision,” a good well-thought out business plan and a hard-working dedicated team of people to carry it out.  

And right now we have two major needs.  Like Eric said, we need to spread the word about what we’re trying to build here in Rochester.  And we need more people saying “what can I do to help?”

July 10, 2012
12:44 pm
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I know I came late to this game, but I think that worrying about logo design at this stage is like worrying about what color you're going to paint the house before you even start looking for houses to buy.

Will RMS be primarily for engineers?  For artists?  For machinists?  For community people?  For free?  For subscribers/members?  For local businesses to use for training?  Or maybe an incubator for skilled labor?  Lots of questions need to be answered before a logo should be developed.  In fact, I think it's the last thing that needs to be thought about.

Branding is about instilling a sense of who and what the company or organization is without writing it down in words.  Or at least, using as few words as possible.  Think about the brand essence of the organization before deciding on a logo.  Brand essence is can be thought of as "what do you want people to think and feel and hear inside their head when you show them your logo, tagline, and marketing material."  And no matter what, this organization WILL need to be marketed.

RMS's brand essence may be industrial, or artistic, or "techie," or abstract or any other word(s) that describe the organization and its goals and approaches.  But until those goals and approaches are determined, spending energy and time (and money) on a logo is something that is better spent figuring out answers to those questions first.  There will be plenty of time for a logo later.

And even in this digital age, once a logo has been decided, it costs money to change it.  You have it printed on the door to the building, on your business cards, flyers, in the phone book, on a web page, in your email newsletter, on all of the price tags that you have on items for sale in the gallery, on your invoices you send to members, on the letterhead you send to people during fund raisers, and a thousand other places.  Tread lightly on changing a logo so decide on a good one when the time is right.

I'd rather see people discussing how they plan on spreading the word and getting the community interested and energized about the RMS rather than what the logo looks like, but I'm just one voice.  My fear is that the first two years, things will be great.  Then the college kids that helped start it start their careers, the artists that helped set it up decide they can't afford it anymore, the people who were passionate about starting it lose that passion and then you're left with a shell.  You need to create a sustainable organization that can live on without its founders and startup staff, or else there will be no funding to rent the space and provide power and equipment.

A good business plan and a good management team is paramount, and I see that slowly starting to arise out of Rob's head, which is a good thing.  :-)

June 25, 2012
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Take a look at this. Got to run to school but may have time for more later. I think this is closer to the mark though. For those on the forum who are not sharing, please do. As this will be a community workshop/collaboration space, it will be nice if we can instill that environment early on. Your input is appreciated and wanted!

blueprint_justmakers

June 25, 2012
7:45 am
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That is a good question. Hopefully your prodding will get someone to share. :) I was walking my dog last night, and I realized we don't even really need the initials. Making the name the sole focus might be just better. I will try a couple different examples based off that one later. I like that one a lot too. It's simple, but it also communicates a message of what we are about/do. If I have time today I'm going to try and get some flyers made for the meeting.

June 24, 2012
6:46 pm
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I like it a LOT.  But I think RMS should a little smaller and our name a little bigger.

It would be nice to some input from others about this and the other designs. How do we get the lurkers to speak up? 

June 24, 2012
4:31 pm
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Will try that out. What do you think of this?

Blueprint

June 24, 2012
12:02 pm
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I like the last one best because you can't see the cut-outs on the side, which I think are either too big or unnecessary. 

I'd also think you should draw the eye more to "Maker Space" by making Rochester a smaller font, reducing the "weight" of the font, putting it in italics or some combination of those things.

June 24, 2012
10:18 am
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Here's a couple more I've been messing with. I could go revisit the boxes and try some color and see how that works. Just some thoughts. I'm hoping to get a few more ideas down on paper soon.

 

Shell Shellgrayscale ShellBlueOrange_Shell ShellBlueOarange_NoShell

June 16, 2012
12:57 pm
Airhead
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Just a personal observation, but the triangle with the 'spark' in the center looks a bit too much like the Masonic 'all seeing eye' that's found on our currency…

 

Too much controversy and liable to turn off a LOT of artists as well as others who may be becoming aware of the highly controversial conspiracy theories floating around about Freemasonry.

 

Which is a shame, because this entire concept would be something that the original Freemasons would be scrambling all over trying to volunteer to help out with, but would you really want such a 'psychologically' visible link to them even if they were to help out? I think even a Masonic lodge would prefer to be a bit more discrete about such imagery being used if they were to get involved.

 

Brian

 

Edit: I really need to learn to not type everything I think and accentuate the positive instead of being only critical… I like the 3-D box designs best so far, the effect gives it the 'displacement' image of substantiation.

May 29, 2012
10:38 pm
Matt
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I like the first one better.  Not sure about the outlined letters.  I do like the symbol, though.  I might like the letters if it was white instead of orange.

 

May 29, 2012
9:25 pm
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I really like the bottom one.  But I think there needs to be just a little more space between the two lines. I'd also like to see two variations if you don't mind.  One with Rochester in a slightly smaller font and another with Rochester italicized to make the eye focus on Maker Space.

May 29, 2012
8:08 pm
Matt
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Do these do anything for anyone?

May 28, 2012
8:52 pm
theroar89
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I really like this one. The times building is a pretty unique building in Rochester, so it ties in the geographical aspect of our name to the conceptual aspect. I think the wrench and the brush do a pretty good job of reaching the art and tech side of our space. Most importantly, it's simple, and sort of emulates that "iconic" look that many big company logos have.

 

I don't really like the one at the top of the page. It's too graphic, like in the sense that it would look better as a logo for a computer security company than an artsy-techie company.  It  also wouldn't translate well if we try to engrave it or 3D print it. We have to remember that we are appealing to craftsmen and artists. A majority of our "consumer base" is going to want a logo that they can feel good about, that makes them feel as though they are a part of a "hip" community.

May 28, 2012
5:13 pm
Matt
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Sounds great, Rob.  I'm sure they appreciate the feedback.  I do notice a lot of changes they made already.  Hopefully they get it together.  

On the logo side of the conversation, I've been developing this one further.

 

May 28, 2012
4:58 pm
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BTW, I expressed a strong opinion to the forum's authors about how difficult it has become to upload/insert an image.  I thought you used to be able to click the insert image button in the menu bar and "browse" to select an image on your computer.  That's seems to have disappeared in the rewrite but I know they're talking favorably about putting it back.

I spent time last week evaluating alternative forums that interface with Wordpress.  There seems to be only 2 others.  BBpress is by the authors of Wordpress but apparently it doesn't let you insert images in a post and it uses page space inefficiently. 

I'd never heard of Mingle before and I thought it was phenomenal until I found out its developer isn't working on it any more. I'm not going to install a forum that may have unplugged security holes or that might stop working with the next upgrade of WP.

That leaves forums like vBulletin which is very popular.  But it doesn't integrate with WP.  There are probably bridge scripts that that can make them work together but I've hated all the bridge scripts I've tried. They're usually difficult to install, buggy, poorly supported and a possible security risk.  I've heard rumors that the authors of vBulletin are modifying it tow ork with Wordress.  But I don't know when it'll be ready or if it's even true. 

So I think we're stuck with Simple:Press for now.  I am optimistic it will get better.  It's been around for a long time, it's widely used and the authors have always been great about providing support.

I'm also optimistic that in the meantime Sean will find a way to make it work better or come up with some other alternatives.

Rob

May 28, 2012
3:44 pm
Matt
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Oh you know, I have my ways ;)

Nah, I just use imgur.com
You dont need an account or anything.  You just go to the site and upload your picture and it will give you a link to put anywhere.  (It also gives you it in html format, which is the method that I use. and I put it in the post using the little html button in the forum post editor). 

May 28, 2012
3:28 pm
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Ok Matt, what's the trick for uploading/inserting an image.  Mine always appear as thumbnails.  Yours are full-size or at least lot bigger.

May 28, 2012
3:26 pm
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Rochester_Maker_Space_640.jpg

I hope this does.

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