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New Grand Cinema logo...worth $25,000?

by fredo
on 1/22/2009 @ 10:45am
Take a look at the new logo for the Grand Cinema (sorry I don't know how to put up a link to the image). Was it worth $25,000? I think my 7 year old could have assembled this with some free clip art for nothing and would have happy to do so.

by Jake on 1/22/2009 @ 11:16am
Was the logo worth $25k? Probably not but the website redo and all the new marekting material along with the new logo might be.

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 11:20am
I didn't read that article as saying they paid that much for the logo.(?)

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/22/2009 @ 11:27am
The job was a donation from Rusty George, the job didn't cost the Grand anything, let alone 25 grand.

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 11:29am
Quote "They give out $25K grants. We were awarded one" Cowan says. Someones on the hook for 25K, it's just not clear who. The story doesn't claim the amount paid for any website makeover or marketing materials, just the Logo.

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 11:44am
Here's a blurb from some goofy place called Sitecrafting ;-)
And (scroll down)

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 11:53am
Thanks Dave, apparently the 25K did include more than a logo. The tribune only cited the logo. Was the final result worth 25K? That could be debated. It's just clip art.

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 11:56am
Hmm... Timing seems to coincide with Kevin's new Vespa...

by morgan on 1/22/2009 @ 12:28pm
Tacoma and (the feed) is fortunate to have Sitecrafting (and Kevin).

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/22/2009 @ 12:38pm
It would be really great if the award was stated as a certificate redeemable for either design services valued by the giver at $25,000., or redeem the certificate for $25,000. cash. (Politics, sheesh!)

by izenmania on 1/22/2009 @ 1:12pm
I can't figure out the Elephant. Why an elephant?

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 1:23pm
It might be a leap, but I assumed it was a reference to Jumbo. Grand; Jumbo... Or maybe not.
Or it's Cindy.

by intacoma on 1/22/2009 @ 2:14pm
That article says "The new identity" which usually means everything from businesscards to letterhead to website, that is easily worth 25k.

Rusty George does an excellent job as a Branding Company. Many people might not "get" the new logo right away. Give it sometime, learn about it, many meetings and discussions were had to come up with that solution and that's what you pay for, the process and the execution.

I applaud the work of RG for the new logo and all of the work that was put into it, I can only imagine how many people had to sign off on such a project

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/22/2009 @ 3:08pm

by Maria on 1/22/2009 @ 5:11pm
Grand Cinema -- New Logo
Couldn't find the plain logo, but here it is with the new background header from their site.

Was it worth $25,000?
Not the logo alone, and for a non-profit group, maybe not even the entire package. But this is a substantial makeover, and a good quality one at that.

I would estimate, if this were a non-profit rate:
Logo: $1000-$5000
Stationery, business cards, other collateral: $1000-$5000
New website, with database backend: $3000-$5000

At the low-end, they might have paid around $5000 for something very simple from a designer who'd give them a discount. At the higher end, they quite easily could have paid $15,000 and that still would be discounted. For a corporation, it would be more. There might be other things I didn't add in (signage, new brochures, tickets, templates for mailers, etc.) that could easily make this a $25K project even at the non-profit rate.

I think my 7 year old could have assembled this with some free clip art for nothing and would have happy to do so.
This looks like a really simple logo ("clip art"), but it's not.

Someone did a lot of research into what this organization stands for (fun, a festive/carnival-type atmosphere, the magic of the big top and other performances, etc.) and what would appeal to their constituents. This involved meeting with staff, gauging expectations, looking at the history of the Grand and other indie movie houses, etc.

They did a bunch of first drafts and sketches, presented them, refined the best ones, moved to the computer to create vector art that can be used on the web, on t-shirts, silk-screened, on shwag, etc. They're looking ahead so they don't create something trendy that'll sink them like an avocado fridge in a few years. They chose lettering that is somewhat old-fashioned, yet doesn't look ancient. So a mixture of tradition and modernity.

If your 7 year old can do all that, that's fabulous. Designing good logos and web sites does look easy, but it's not as simple as it looks.

I always tell clients, yeah, your cousin or hairdresser's son could create a logo for you, but they could also probably sew you a "nice" business suit. You have to determine what level you want. If you want something that's snazzy and doesn't look like a repurposed curtain, skip Aunt Earnestine's sewing machine and go to a tailor.

Professional design is expensive, just like professional remodeling, dentistry, car repair, counseling, legal advice, etc. but I think it's worthwhile. I don't think everyone has to hire a pro or shoot for the $25K level of design, but there are times where that's the best and most effective option.

I love the Grand Cinema, and I'm thankful a local, red-hot design firm donated services to them.

by NineInchNachos on 1/22/2009 @ 5:38pm
since it was a 'donation' does the design firm get $25,000 as a tax write off?

by Dave_L on 1/22/2009 @ 5:57pm
I do like the font. Especially the R. Not enough effort goes into that in this day and age.
I think I miss when Tacoma was part of the name, but that's just me.

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 6:28pm
OK, I stand corrected. A few years ago NBC television paid a logo design firm quite a large sum of money for a new logo. A few months later they

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 6:28pm
OK, I stand corrected. A few years ago NBC television paid a logo design firm quite a large sum of money for a new logo. A few months later they

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 6:30pm
discovered that the same design was created earlier by a staff artist at the University of Nebraska for next to nothing and the U of N had rights to the logo.

by NineInchNachos on 1/22/2009 @ 8:09pm
i'm a biologist. it is a fact that elephants only raise their tails like that when they're going to take a dump.

that said. I love elephants. I welcome the new logo with an open heart. Nice work sitecrafting/rustygeorge! you guys are the best. fo real.

by Maria on 1/23/2009 @ 11:54am
NIN, nope, services are not tax deductible. Donations of time/talents aren't allowed as deductions.

I've always wondered if an attorney could argue the case that a logo or a website is not a design "service" but an actual object. (Clients would then have to pay sales tax to the state, but donations could be tax deductible for federal income tax.)

by boearc on 1/23/2009 @ 1:02pm
I like it. But it does remind me of 'Stomper' the old elephant holding a baseball bat standing on a baseball logo from the Philadelphia, er Kansas, er Oakland A's.

by Mandiferous on 1/23/2009 @ 1:56pm
Just for clarification, they didn't get a new website. They got a redesign of their existing website.

by justagirl on 1/23/2009 @ 2:24pm
Just because it's simple doesn't make it clip art. I applaud the elegant simplicity. The inclusion of the film reel in the trunk is rather clever. And since it's one-color with uncomplicated lines, it expands the options of what the Grand can use it for in regards to branding and marketing. It's something you could use on a full color program, or a simple stamp, without having to have many different version -- which it sounds like The Grand was looking for. I also think the choice of font was quite nice. A "clip art" logo would have included Helvetica. This is a nice, stylized serif that gives of classy without beeing too stuffy.

Good job Rusty George!

by intacoma on 1/23/2009 @ 2:35pm
come on now lets not devalue Helvetica

by Maria on 1/23/2009 @ 4:14pm
I was thinking too the reel makes for an easy element to animate for trailers, short Flash movies, banner ads, etc. For newer corporate logos (Sprint being a good example), designers are trying to incorporate elements that can segue into video and interactive applications.

I saw the logo in action in the News Tribune's in the movie listings and a little ad. It worked great in the ad, but looks like they'll need to adjust their old marketing material to see how it best fits.

by Dave_L on 1/23/2009 @ 5:36pm
come on now lets not devalue Helvetica
It's a GREAT movie! (Even shown at the Grand, I think.)

by fredo on 1/23/2009 @ 11:11pm
If web and logo designers are not using clip art or other elements found on the web, then where are these great images and lettering styles coming from? Is everything designers sell to their clients really created from scratch?

by NineInchNachos on 1/23/2009 @ 11:55pm

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/24/2009 @ 12:22am
It would be hard to prove, but I suspect that elephant logo was produced in Bombay, India for $1.50.

by intacoma on 1/24/2009 @ 5:20am
Fashion designers, create the fabric?
jewelry designers mine the gems?

In most cases no, designers come up with the concept and execute it depending on many factors. Timeline, Budget, and Client to name a few.

Don't confuse an illustrator or a graphic artist as a designer, there can be some overlap though depending on firm/person. A designer comes at everything with a business perspective, to solve a problem. Think of a designer as a person that sings karaoke of that business.

Re: Stockphotography, typefaces and fonts, istockphoto

That is correct, not everything is "from scratch", sadly most small businesses in Tacoma would choke on a proposal if you had to hire an illustrator, a photographer, a designer, a typeface designer, etc.

Another thing you might not be familiar with if you have never worked with a branding company is that they work with you to define a voice/vision for your company and come up with a system for all of your business collateral to work, along with a styleguide/branding guideline defining how to use your brand and roll it out consistently across all types of mediums.

I'm sad that you devalue such a thing, (full-disclosure: I'm a full-time designer) but I hope that by giving some education you might be a bit more understanding on this mysterious industry which you think your 4year old can do.

by fredo on 1/24/2009 @ 8:18am
inTacoma@ Thanks for the overview, as a layman, I can only speculate about where these great images and logos come from. When I see a great logo, for example Kellogg's, I know that an artist had a role. When I see a logo that's made up of silhouettes and block lettering, I'm not so sure. As you know because you've been reading my postings for a long time, Fredo always wants to pull back the curtain and see what the guy moving all those levers is doing.

For the record I asked my 7 year-old to recreate the Grand Cinema logo and she couldn't do it. But then we couldn't access any of the great clip art web sites without putting a big subscription charge on my credit card.

Finally, I apologize if I've stepped on the toes of anybody in the website design community. I applaud your efforts and am secretly envious of your talents. I can move on now in search of another sacred elephant.

by Maria on 1/24/2009 @ 5:00pm
No apology needed...these are questions clients ask every day.

I can't be sure, but I'd assume the elephant is either drawn in Illustrator, or modified in Illustrator. Designers try to avoid using clip art (including for logos because of two reasons.

One, most clip art isn't suitable for logos. It's really difficult to grab a piece of art and make it fit for something so specific. (e.g., in this case, an elephant with a trunk raised, the way the ear is outlined just so, the reel of film, the spacing of the legs, etc.)

Two, there are copyright issues: you can't trademark a logo from a clip art collection or iStock, so if you use those, you won't be able to protect your rights.

For this logo, the lettering is almost certainly not hand-drawn. Many logos use standard fonts, but maybe with a little tweaking and readjustment of spacing.

I like simple logos a lot, but I agree they can look easy to create (see the FedEx and Target logos as examples). It's the same way in other areas of talent: ice skaters, basketball players or wide receivers...true greatness is so full of grace and a sense of effortlessness, it makes amazing things look easy.

I've read a lot of case studies, and it's remarkable how much time and research, even with so-called "simple" logos, goes into the proportions, lettering, color choices, placement in branding material, etc.

This is a really good discussion topic, thanks for bringing it up.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/25/2009 @ 9:23am
It looks like Rusty George went to the dictionary and determined that grand meant large and used that motif. So in other words it is being said the "large cinema". Personally I would have preferred another definition from the dictionary for the word grand. I normally see an elephant used in relation to a circus or the B&I. I guess it is more difficult to represent grand if you are using the other definitions of grand.

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/25/2009 @ 10:58am

by NineInchNachos on 1/25/2009 @ 11:48am
elephants = grand = grand old party (GOP) = republican = nazi = Hitler = genocide = banality of evil (BOE) = !!!!!!!! = an elephant never forgets.

that's just how my mind free associates.

by NineInchNachos on 1/25/2009 @ 11:50am
maybe its the ivory tusks that are worth 1000.00 grand each on the blackmarket. but that's another art house film altogether.

by justagirl on 1/25/2009 @ 1:18pm
Maria: Well said.

by NineInchNachos on 1/25/2009 @ 4:05pm

by Mofo from the Hood on 1/25/2009 @ 10:48pm
I could've done a real eye-catcher by reworking that Brontosaurus silhoulette.

by izenmania on 2/24/2009 @ 9:47am
I am starting to see where the money (or monetary value, at least) went as their rebranding campaign picks up. New shirts, new fliers, and on Saturday I spotted a LINK skinned to promote the Grand.

I still don't really get the logic behind the elephant logo, but there's no denying that it is quickly becoming recognizable.