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A question on changing our initials and an invitation to join the conversation on creating a new logo

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/14/12

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We're thinking about changing the initials and logo for opednews from OEN to ON. And we're working hard on coming up with a new logo.


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One thing that putting this diary/page together has made me extra aware of is how very blessed we are at Opednews.com-- with amazing people who care and work so hard because we believe in the work and mission of opednews.

This diary aims to get your thoughts on several things--
-what you think about keeping OEN or switching to ON.
-thoughts about the logo image. We're still open to suggestions, drawings, etc.

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First, the question on the initials:
Reasons to keep the old OEN acronym:
-we've had it for years
-people know Opednews for it. It's our brand
-OEN stands for Op Ed News and represents opinions, editorials and News.
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-detractors will abuse the ON acronym, with statements like ON is off.

Reasons for the new ON acronym:
-ON has several positive meanings, like casting light ON, ON watch, ON the ball, ON the story, ON the issues, ON top of the action...
-It's shorter, easier to create images for a logo.

First, here are some sample logos and ideas we're working with.
A lot of thought has gone into them... more on the thought later. But these are just samples, not near complete. None of them are ready yet. I thought you'd like to get an idea of what we're working on.

We've had images created by several of our editors, in alphabetical order, Meryl Ann Butler, John Moffett and Roberta Seldon.

Here are some of the most recent samples:
Keep in mind the colors and everything else are all subject to change.

The two logos on the right were created by Roberta Seldon.
Meryl Ann Butler, took them and did some modifications.

The one of the left below is also by Roberta Seldon. The one's on the right are versions created by Meryl Ann.

When it comes to logo design, big corporations can easily spend six figures. We don't have that luxury. We're doing it with volunteer work. So far, I am dazzled and astonished by the quality.

Just for reference, here's the logo we've had for the past two or three years.

and here's the first logo Opednews had, back in 2003

The images above represent some stabs. It feels like we're making solid progress, after several years of discussions without great success, though we certainly tried. But to move forward we need to decide on our initials.

There's also been a lot of discussion of the use of the globe. There has not been a consensus. It looks like we're moving away from the NASA version towards something simpler and more graphic, if we include one at all.

Meryl Ann Butler, one of our senior editors, has put an enormous amount of thought and effort into the design considerations.

Analysis and Research for Revised OpEdNews logo
Meryl Ann Butler

Part 1
Componants of current logo, in order of visual importance:
1. OEN text in white
2. Earth image
3. Dark background beyond earth
4. Website text in white
5. Support test in white (Progressive, tough, liberal news and opinion)
6. Subliminal message "OEN is on top of the world."
Analysis of componants and recommendations
1. OEN text in white: good readability on dark baground, recommend new font with thicker letters for more readability esp. at smaller sizes. Perhaps edge the white letters with black lines and/or shadow
2. Earth image: this is a tired old NASA image. A new, "edgy" and "progressive-looking" computer generated image is recommended. It is preferable that this image does not have any white or light colors in it (such as the white clouds in this NASA
earth) to provide a cohesive background so that the white letters of "OEN" will "pop."
3. Dark background beyond earth: keep this dark, perhaps black or gradated dark background.
4. Website text in white: use font with thicker letters for more readability, for better visibility at this size.
5. Support test in white (Progressive, tough, liberal news and opinion). Use larger font for more readability
6. Subliminal message "OEN is on top of the world" is excellent, preserve.

The following pages show examples of possible earth images. (we can't show them here because they are proprietary... rob) Most are royalty free but must be purchased, although a few are free, so prices range from $0 - $50. Some of these are composite images (comprising 2 images which would both have to be purchased, but this cost is minute compared to the typical cost of logo design, usually in the thousands of dollars).

These images are grouped by style, and I have included some thoughts about each of the four groups. Our first step is to identify the STYLE desired. (PLEASE NOTE: It may be that we identify the STYLE ONLY from these samples, while the exact image we want may not be represented here. It is also possible that we identify qualities of one style and qualities of another style that we want to combine, but which may not already be combined in any of these images, either, that's ok too.)
Many of these images have watermarks (spirals, text etc) which would not be visible on the final image. Please keep in mind that I can (and will) adjust any of these in photoshop: blue can be changed to green, dark colors can be made lighter, and vice versa.

(I'm leaving out discussion of different images of the earth and globe. because we can't show the images, since they are, for the most part, proprietary)

STYLE 4 - effects of light
Light symbolizes the illumination of ideas, shining a light in the darkness, journalism that brings hidden things to light.
4-1 and 4-2 are the same background...any of the globes could be put on top of that background. These give a sense of OEN reaching out.
4-4 is very global and tekkie looking, also symbolically references "inter-connectiveness" as well as the "dawning or rising of ideas." 4-4 and 4-5 also bring to mind the dawn, which can be the dawning of understanding that OEN ushers in. 4-7 is a very clever representation of the illumination of ideas around the world. The background could be much more interesting, such as a starry background as in 2-4 or some type of subtle gradation.

Part 2

  1. Shift from OEN to ON

  2. Notable differences between the two letters (different fonts and/or colors)

  3. Including website as OpedNews.com (instead of OpEdNews.com)

  4. Using a gradation in the background, dark at bottom to light at top

  5. Probable inclusion of a symbolic (not photo) earth image in the "O" (I think

    this is important to ensure there is a thread of connection between the new

    logo and the old one, since there are so many changes.)

  6. Some color, not too much. (Probably one cool/receeding color such as blue,

    the color of Truth, and one warm, advancing color such as a golden yellow

    saffron-robe type color, in addition to "non-colors" black and white.)

  7. Include the concept of "Bottom - up" (this might be accompllished with #4, but

    might be something additional)

  8. Include concept of progressive/progression/forward movement.

  9. Include concept of light, that OpedNews brings light/information/new ideas etc

Are we still including additional text in the logo? (ie "Progressive - tough- liberal news and opinion" which was in the previous logo? Or something like "Bottom- up news and opinion, which was suggested in discussions?)

There's been a mention of incorporating a more "respectable" look, like the logos of the WaPo or NYT. I have no problem with a sense of respectability, but I believe what makes OpedNews great is what sets us APART from those stuffy, nearly lifeless organizations, not what we have in common. So I think that the logo should reflect that also.

Part 3

I researched hundreds of fonts, I wasn't thrilled with anything til I saw this one, I really liked it a lot - I like the circular "o" rather than oval, and I also liked the repeated circle in the p and d. And I love the "n"...sort of like a bridge. I didn't like the upper or lower case "E" in this font ... and i did not like the original "s" - the one shown here is one i built. Note: these letters look a little funky because I am only using the free version I copies from the site. We'd either buy it or make up a higher res one if we use it.

There's more, but the comments refer to images that are copyrighted.

Part 4 Sample images and ideas

Then there have been endless emails back and forth.

John Moffet combed through a batch and put this together:

We asked for suggestions from the editors and this is what we compiled back in November of 2009. This includes pretty much all the suggestions. Some of them are definitely worth considering, and they get you thinking about possible variations and improvements. We discussed them at some length at the time, but then the front page remake project got set aside. It came up again several times since then, and we even had an artist come up with a few logo designs maybe a year and a half ago, but those also didn't lead to anything.

The list is pasted below. It is grouped roughly into related categories. If anyone wants to make additional suggestions, please do so.

John __________________

Progressives in Print
People Empowerment
Power of the People
Printed by and for the People Progressive News and Views Left of Mainstream Media People's Media Movement
Your Progressive Media Outspoken Progressive Thought Open News Network

The People's News Network

Visionary Views in the News Lighting Our World
Lighting Your World Democracy's Light

Letting in the Light
Inform Inspire Progress
Your World, Your Thoughts Fostering Progressive Thinking Dare to Ponder
Cutting Edge for the Curious

Your Source for Progressive News and Living Progressive Citizen Journalism
The People's Paper
Citizen News and Opinion

Fostering Progressive Citizenship Your News, Your Way
Own the News

The progressive voice of We The People Where Your Voice is Heard
Voice of the People
United We Speak

The Progressive Town Hall
Of the People, By the People, For the People Independent Progressives
Free-thinking Progressives
Progressives for the People

Tough, Progressive, News, Opinion

Tough, Progressive, Outspoken News & Opinion News, Opinion, Activism
Progressive, Open, Provocative
Be Part of It
Ahead of the Times
News can get Personal

This is just a portion of the work. All of the OEN senior and managing editor team plus editor Roberta Seldon have been involved in the discussions-- and they've been going on since 2009, sometimes to our great frustration.

We've also gone over extensive discussions of the tag line that goes with the site. We've decided not to change it much, since that could effect our search engine optimization, and it pretty much says who we are anyway.

Any comments, suggestions or ideas are welcome.


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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media (more...)

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