FamZoo Logo Concept Project

Recently, I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about the right logo for FamZoo - something that really captures the essence and style of the company. I'd like a style that appeals to both parents and children. I'd like a logo that is clean and simple, but not boring. I'd like it to be somewhat playful, yet still professional. I'd like a logo that symbolizes the key goals of FamZoo which are:

  • to help busy, modern families inject some consistency and structure into their occasionally wild, "zoo"-like lives (family lives subjected to the frenetic influences of dual working parents, constant "multitasking", blurred work/family boundaries, overloaded schedules, etc.)
  • to help parents introduce and encourage fiscally and socially responsible habits in children who are being regularly bombarded by an increasing array of self-indulgent and impulsive influences on the internet and elsewhere.
To ensure that I consider a wide range of creative input and minimize the risk of committing to a single designer or style too early, I have decided to try a little experiment. I am breaking the FamZoo logo design effort up into two phases - a concept phase and an execution phase. To generate a sufficiently broad array of rough logo ideas at a reasonable cost, I decided to post the concept phase project on Elance. Elance is an online marketplace that matches (typically small) business buyers with a global pool of providers (such as freelance logo designers). As mentioned in my first post, I am very familiar with Elance because I worked there for two and a half years prior to starting FamZoo.

You can see my Elance postings for the FamZoo Logo Concept Project (along with the associated bids from service providers) here and here.

I posted the projects in mid September and allowed bids to come in for a week. I received a total of 37 bids from logo designers around the world (Canada, Ireland, Argentina, Ukraine, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Romania, Poland, Slovenia, and all over the US). I then set about the fairly time consuming task of evaluating each of the bidders and winnowing the list from 37 down to 10. This took about 2 to 3 days. To keep track of the process, I created a simple scorecard in Excel and ranked each bidder on a set of weighted criteria:

  • how well the provider read and followed my bid instructions (weight=4),
  • my impression of the provider's portfolio (weight=10),
  • the number and quality of the provider's Elance buyer reviews (weight=10),
  • my perception of the provider's ability to communicate clearly (weight=8),
  • the size of the provider (I favored individual designers over larger firms since I felt I would get better individual attention and focus) (weight=7), and
  • an intangible scoring that captured how well I felt the provider "resonated" with the project based on preliminary communication during the bidding phase (weight=9).

On September 30, I awarded the project to the top 10 providers in my scorecard (and one "wildcard" provider who showed a particularly keen interest to participate). I negotiated concept fees with each provider individually (since most of the bids reflected the price for delivering a finished logo, whereas I was just interested in the rough concepts). I paid almost all of the providers up front as a show of good faith. (Payments are handled through the Elance payment system using, in my case, a credit card. Note: Elance is rolling out a nice escrow feature shortly that will really enhance the payment experience for both parties, particularly for larger transactions with multiple milestones - see the announcement here.) 10 of the 11 awarded providers accepted the project and started working on their concept submissions.

Over the course of the last 2 weeks, all of the concept submissions have come in (one provider is working on one last revision cycle). Most providers did 1 to 2 rounds of revisions after receiving feedback from me on their first submissions.

In my next post, I will show all of the logo concept submissions and solicit feedback from friends and colleagues.


Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Hello Bill - What an excellent project for your company!! I will review the logo's that you have come up with (so many!). Having a marketing background, I will see which ones I like and why. From a quick glance I would pick the logo that looks the most appealing as well as "vibrant" so people will remember it over and over again. I would lean more on the professional look, but add a flair of a childrens type of figure and/or image. Brian Knebel

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Hi Bill, I saw the new Escrow feature of eLance. Looks good. I used to work for Escrow.com and this type of service is an excellent added value. - Brian

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