Episode 3: We have a name, a logo and our website is live!
We were fast. It is so easy to waste your time. Don't!
Previously on EightyFour:
We were on a call with our agency about the drafts they sent. As we talked, I was holding a business card I picked up from the post office yesterday.
I like that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. It even has a watermark. The argument about Silian Grail and raised lettering seemed ages ago.
Hearing someone say Dorsia closed permanently1 brought me back to the conference call. Unmute. Can we get back to the next steps?
In reality we do everything ourselves. Now also design and copy. And it is so easy to complicate and waste time, because shuffling colours and names is easier than defining user stories.
Before the grand reveal, here are a couple of lessons learned.
To publish you will need a name
and with names it is hard, because all the cool ones are taken. Look: Apple, Google, Mercedes, Coca-Cola, Dacia. It is similar with baby names. You would name your son Igor, but it is already taken, right? I am sure you are also surprised that youngest Igor in Slovenia was born in 2014.
Meanwhile everyone has a startup and there are not many words left, so I figured we use a word that does not exist. And then I was refreshing this page longer than planned.
We selected a few favourites and if you liked it before, you stop liking it after three people say: really?
Round two next day. More brainstorming, more names, some sound cool, but cool is almost surely taken.
You read how to pick brand names and think, hey, this name thing is really important. Branding and all, everyone knows Apple, Nike and Amazon. But what did people say to those suggestions at the time? Nike was almost Dimension Six and Amazon Cadabra. Apple is Apple because Jobs was in some apple orchard picking apples.
Take Figma. A terrible name, but a great product. Does it matter? No. Nobody ever said: We are not using Figma, because it's called Figma.
Name does not really matter. Spend maximum a day or two on it.
Congrats, you now have a name
and you need to turn it into a logo. If you are a designer, great. But if you are not?
The easiest way is to just pick a Google font and start there, because it will be hard to draw/design something nice.
Great plan. But there are thousands of fonts: how do you pick? You can google and learn what Sans-serif means and read rather useless articles about fonts.
After scrolling like mad you finally make a selection of five fonts that will be more or less similar. You are not a spammer, so you will choose TOP three.
Feedback: they all look similar. Ok, can live with similar.
Next, make something like a logo: connect your font with an icon. It is your lucky day, because there is this tool with a terrible name. Alternatively you can also try with this page called Free Logo Design. What an amazing brand name, right?
After a couple of hours you are able to show your results, again three options. You like it. But people go: really? So you start hating it as well. Ok, spend maximum two hours trying to squeeze something more out of your initial design.
Because nobody ever said: I will not use it, because it has an ugly logo.
Logo does not really matter. Spend maximum half a day on it.
Do you recognise all of these?
The most dangerous trap of all
is to get stuck with decision making about your name and logo. So easy to waste your time and money; you can spend days or weeks on it! Red, blue, green? Thinner, thicker, softer, wider?
Names are easy to think about and logo/colours even easier to play around. It feels like work, but you are just postponing harder decisions and concepts, for example writing a good copy for your website or detailing those user stories. It can be almost endless back and forth process, especially in bigger teams.
Acceptable is good enough, move on.
Name and logo done, what's next?
Just write some good copy and set up a solid looking website. Not really easy, but also not so hard.
Copy is probably the hardest to do, because you need to start selling your product with words. No wonder there are crazy amounts of people making money with it.
Somehow writing was easier than designing and it always helps to google a bit: I got some additional tips from Nick Kolenda. After some reviews we had it.
If you ever make it, you will be able to pay someone to make it better. Until then:
Google for inspiration and publish something, you can always change it. Good luck!
And last but not least, tada 🎉 🥂 🥳
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