Category Archives: Branding

A Good Trademark: A Historical Perspective


Alas, no copies of this textile logos book are presently available on Amazon or eBay.

“The significance of trade-marks in the textile industry is, perhaps, greater than in any other industry of equal magnitude,” wrote V. Alexander Scher (no relation to Paula or Jeff) of Richards & Geier, patent and trademark attorneys, New York City. He was writing in a now forgotten book titled Textile Brand Names Dictionary, which was published in 1947, designed “to be of daily service in identifying the names already in use, thereby facilitating the choice and registering of new names and marks,” asserted the editor at the Textile Book Publishers Inc. Included were more than 4,000 names of fibers, yarns, fabrics, and garments registered with the United States Patent Office between 1934 and 1947. 4,000!!! That\'s a lot of 7th Avenue brainstorming to devise names like Devogue, Denicron, Glritone, Glossitwist, Ma-Tex, Perma-Fluff, Permacrisp, Perma glaze, Permaglo, Perma-Seal, Permaset, Perma-Shade and Permoflex, to name a few (today they could double as rock band or design firm names).

brand tags

“The basic idea of this site is that a brand exists entirely in people’s heads. Therefore, whatever it is they say a brand is, is what it is… A collective experiment in brand perception. All tags are generated by people like you and do not reflect the opinions of the site owner or anyone else he knows. Have fun.”

Brand Risk Management: Why Brands are Becoming More Valuable and More Vulnerable

“But what precisely is brand risk? It has been defined in various ways, most of them too narrow. Under many risk management approaches, brand risk has no definition of its own. It is merely the by-product of a variety of other risks, such as product liability lawsuits or adverse regulatory decisions. At most it is defined as threats to brand equity—in other words, to those differentiators that cause consumers to choose one product or service over another.”

The Hardest Working Presidential Candidate Logo

“Late last year, a slide show in The New York Times, ‘Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos’ took to the blogwaves like wildfire. In it, illustrator Ward Sutton passed mocking judgment (to great effect) on all of the 2008 presidential candidate logos, commenting on anything from the type choice to the relative size of the R in Rudy Giuliani’s logo (“Extra large ‘R’ to remind you just how Republican he is”). But in his zeal to mock equally, he certainly got one critique wrong: Obama ’08.”

David A. Bontrager Vintage Letterhead Collection

“This collection contains letters that I received from trucking companies, private carriers, manufacturers, and suppliers during the time period between the late Fifties and early Sixties. A few were letters that my dad received. After that time frame I didn’t maintain my correspondence with trucking companies other than pertaining to my later career in the industry.”

Seven Deadly Sins of Company Naming Changes

“We at Strategic Name Development introduce to you the Seven Deadly Sins of Company Naming Changes, inspired by our proprietary Company Naming Changes research. We’ve covered major trends and pulled out the Greatest Hits, and we’d like to wrap up this undertaking with a few words of advice for what not to do.”

BBC Radio / Brand Portfolio Brought Into Line

“Anybody who listens to the BBC\'s online radio service will have noticed that their brands have been up-dated. This post is a quick review of what they\'ve done and an assessment of if it works.

I find that brand portfolios are always a tricky subject. You find that with any large organization who develop a brand portfolio that they normally start off with little or no regard for the over-all styling in regard to each other. New products or services (shall we call them ‘ventures’) develop as a law unto themselves.

Suddenly, one day a marketing manager wakes up and realizes that the umbrella brand identity (in this example the ‘bbc brand’) seems alien to its children. Then steps are made to bring the portfolio into line so that a consistent style is met across all of them.” (Thanks Monoscope!)

Whose Red Cross to Bear?

“In early August, the medical supplies and drug firm Johnson & Johnson sued the American Red Cross over the right to use the red-cross emblem. Most of us had assumed that the red cross, seen on ambulances and first-aid kits, was a universal symbol of succor to the suffering. But like any graphic symbol, the red cross turns out to have more meanings and more history than would at first appear. And the rights to use this symbol are equally complicated—a reminder that many graphic symbols have more complex stories than we expect.”

10 Things We Can Learn From Apple

” There’s no need to restate the high reverence (or pangs of envy, depending on where your loyalty lies) of Apple. They have innovated, floundered, and in recent years, risen from the ashes to make one hell of a run in computing and electronics devices. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that they are adored by their fans. Their brand has reached that highly sought-after place in the world of marketing: they can do no wrong.

So how did they get there? Is it dumb luck? Or are they just much smarter than the rest of us? The most common reason given is Apple’s rabid devotion to design. That is, without a doubt, a key component of Apple’s success. But I think there’s more to it than that. Here are ten reasons why I think Apple is so successful today, and what we can learn from them…”