Your chance to weigh in.. New DCSki logo
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Scott - DCSki Editor
May 29, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Hi folks,

I'm working with a graphics design shop to develop a new logo for DCSki. The new logo will be one of the first things you see when DCSki re-launches this Fall.

The graphics company has done a great job coming up with many candidate logos. I need to pick one, which will be further refined.

I would be interested in hearing comments you have on some of these designs. You may view some of the candidates at:

http://www.dcski.com/samples/samples.html

Are there any that you particularly love or hate, and if so, why? Remember that any of these can be modified -- so don't worry if the colors aren't just right or if you don't like the fonts. For example, I made a modification to one of the logos at:

http://www.dcski.com/prototypes/logos/logo2.jpg

These things are very subjective, so I won't be surprised if comments differ widely, but we'll see..

Thanks!

- Scott
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
May 29, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Scott:

I like 2 the best. It's a road through the mountains--that emphasizes how close skiing is to DC and Baltimore.

I also like 2 because there's no Alpine skier in the logo. DCSki should avoid having a skier in the logo for a couple of reasons:

1. It excludes snowboarders, tele skiers, and cross country types--a big segment of the DCSki community. I don't think DCSki should go so far as ditch it's title b/c it contains the word "ski" but the logo does not have to re-emphasize the ski aspect of this community.

2. Most of the skiers in the other logos don't look like skiers. Many have poor postures. Some are riding their tails with their knees bent too much. Others are in a tuck position--a mode of skiiing that most of us wish to discourage on the crowded slopes of the Mid-Atlantic. Has your designer ever set foot on a ski slope?

The only problem with 2 is that the letters are a little tough to make out.

One could conceivably take the lettering and color scheme of 3 and put it under 2's mountain. The mountain, btw, might want to be softened a bit to emphasize the tame nature of most of our mountains here in the Mid-Atlantic. That might encourage more beginners to try and ski here. To make our mountains look like the Tetons or the Alps seems a bit silly.

If you insist on a skier in the logo, I suggest adding a boarder as well to include that community on the site.
ski_guy_59
May 29, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
John makes some good points. I like the first one, but I really like the color scheme of the one you modified.

Perhaps taking the one you modified, change the skier stance a bit and round the mountains....then have a board flying...I mean dragging..... =)... down from the top in a Warren Miller flick extremity.
JohnL
May 30, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Johnfmh makes some real good points.

I like #2 the best. Though I didn't interpret the 'S' as being a road through the mountains, I saw it as being ski or board tracks. (Worrying too much about the fabled Northwest passage John? [Big Grin] )

For #2, the 'S' needs to be more prominent. The mountain peaks should be rounded a bit, as John mentioned. I would use the green-blue colors from #3 instead of the grey-blue. The East has a lot more foliage than the West (full of cicadas [Mad] ); let's stress that.
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PhysicsMan
June 1, 2004
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
I'm with Ski_Guy - I also like #1. I even like the colors. I especially like the easy-to-read text of #1 and the two arcs around the skier. Whatever they are, I like them.

I don't know what in the world to do to make it obvious that snowboarding is also covered by this web site.

IMHO, simply letting the name remain as DCSki, and leaving the logo as an Alpine skier, does not (at least in my opinion) exclude BC, AT, tele or any other type of skiing. I think that people are used to seeing an alpine skier as an icon for just about any type of skiing. OTOH, I think that a ski based name and ski based logo would tend to exclude boarders.

Changing the name to "DCSki&Board" sounds contrived; "DCSnowSports.com" may be a bit better but long.

"DCSki" is short, catchy, and even has syllable-level alliteration to it (dee-cee-ski). One could register three domain names, "DCSki", "DCBoard" and "DCSnowSports.com" and let the first two (each with their own separate logos) simply point to the last of the three, where they would find both logos at the top of each page.

Unfortunately, I would guess that to most people, "DC-Board" would sound like some sort of legal construct, school board, or even worse, a lumber yard in DC [Wink] .

Adding a snowboarder to the proposed logo #1 may be possible, but my guess is that it would be too visually complicated / graphics heavy to be as effective as the current #1.

This whole issue reminds me a bit of the he/she pronoun issue. When the gender is unspecified, do you say, "he/she", "he", "he or she", "the person", "(s)he", or one of the really artificial sounding contractions that have been suggested over the years. One wants to do the right thing, but the text *must* flow.

Anyway, I'm thinking out loud and rambling on too much.

Tom / PM
warren
June 1, 2004
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
I'll pitch my two cents worth in and say that I like #2 as well....

-Warren-
Roy
June 1, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I vote to keep the logo you have. It's simple, easy to read, and easy on the eyes. Plus, it doesn't distract you from the rest of the information on the site.

If I had to vote, I'd go with #1 for the same reasons as above (or closest to it). #2 reminds me of a neon sign (especially on the stark white background. The others also have poor color choices on the white background. And currently, most of DC Ski has a white background.

With the redesign of the site, I'd like to throw this 2 cents in. Keep it very similar visually. Don't add a lot of flash plug-ins, multiple multiple colors, etc. Follow the old rule of kiss (keep it simple stupid). Of all the sites I visit, DC Ski is my favorite because of the kiss rule. I also am still on dial-up and this site is the fastest one I visit.

Don't change for the sake of changing.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
June 1, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
I think a change in logo could be constructive. The current one looks fine electronically, but I purchased a couple of ball caps a while back that feature the current logo and they are not very distinctive visually when you see the logo in the flesh. Of the samples shown I like #2 the best. I think it looks contemporary. Also, I agree that tracks down a mtn are more inclusive of boarders. I think current peaked mtns might be good because they are more evocative of mtns in general, rather than realistic, but boring rounded peaks. But I might be wrong about that. I sort of like the color scheme offered, but would be curious to see if #2 could include some of the color red, maybe the letters DC, so that the logo would have red, white, and blue scheme consistent with our status as capitol city of USA. Although that could become busy or clichéd, I have little artistic taste. My wife on the other hand has a degree in art and worked as a graphic artist. I'll show the samples to her to see if she has any good comments.
Jim K
Scott - DCSki Editor
June 1, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Hi folks!

Thanks for all of the great feedback on the logos.. I mixed all of the input with my own feelings and have pretty much made up my mind.

And the winner is...

Well, I'm not going to say. [Smile] The new logo will be unveiled when the brand new DCSki site goes on-line later this summer.

In the meantime, I must apologize in advance that there won't be too many updates to DCSki. 99% of my efforts right now are going towards re-designing the site. I've already finished quite a bit, and am really pleased with how it's going. The entire architecture has been re-written and will make it much easier to maintain the site, so I can focus on what you all care about most: producing fresh content quickly.

Roy: Not to fear, I am a strong proponent of clean designs and hope to make this clear with the redesign. You'll still see the DNA of the current DCSki in the new site -- I'm trying to have a more consistent and modern design, while retaining much of the "feel" of the old site that already works well.

One thing I'm conflicting with quite a bit right now is how to best integrate ads into the site. Ideally, I'd like to make ads more productive for advertisers and less obstructive for readers. But that's not an easy task -- those two goals aren't usually compatible!

One of the ad styles I continually question is the group of text ads that show up towards the bottom of many DCSki pages. (It's a large table that currently has ads for eight sponsors, with a paragraph and logo for each one.) This takes up a great deal of page real estate. But I believe these ads are effective for advertisers. I try to keep them from obstructing the main content flow of an article.

If you're all still in the mood for tossing your two cents in, what are you feelings about this chunk of ads? Is my concern about it misplaced? I've sometimes considered replacing it with a smaller but more detailed ad for a single company, but being able to guarantee sponsors placement on nearly 100% of pages is a strong enticement for them to advertise. Now more than ever, DCSki really relies on the generosity of these sponsors to keep the site going. Any general comments on ads is welcome. I need to finalize the specs for 2004-2005 ads in the near future, and it plays a large role in defining the structure for the new DCSki's layout. (On the plus side, my new architecture will allow page layouts to be more fluid and change with time. Right now, there's no easy way to do that.)

Thanks again!

- Scott
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 2, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Scott,
I continue to thoroughly enjoy your website.
I like the second logo best...the swish in the snow could have been produced by either skis or a board.
The Colonel
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 2, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
I thought about this issue some more and decided to look at it in a different way. What ski resorts have the best logos? Perhaps these logos could help inspire Scott to make the best choice.

Stowe's logo, for example, tells us a lot about the resort: classic New England with a lot of history:

http://summer.stowe.com/

The swish of the Stowe S is feature I like a lot.

Another cool logo is Vail's:

http://www.vail.com/

Note how the V logo looks like a mountain, but also has a modern, somewhat abstract look to it.

Courchevel's snowflake logo with the red white and blue color scheme connects the viewer to its French identity as well as liberty, equality, and fraternity--great themes to play on for a ski resort.

http://www.courchevel.com/hiver/uk/news.html

I could think of others but these are ones that come immediately to mind. The lesson that these great resorts have for DCSki is that none of them has a skier or a snowboarder in the logo. There must be a good reason for not emphasizing one sport over another or am I missing something? To me, DCSki is a place for anyone interested in visiting a local resort. I don't care if they ski, snowboard, telemark, or get a facial. I want this site to appeal to everyone and be all-inclusive... [Big Grin]
Crush
June 4, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,021 posts
.. think "non-green" .. it's weak. As the base of you logo it should be a strong color ... actually the "ski" part is all wrong .. should be a composite ... let me think on it and get back to you....
Crush
June 4, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,021 posts
try this logo instead ...
http://x-streme.com/images/dcski.jpg
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 5, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Crush:

As a poster, that image would be very cool, but as a logo, well....

It's too complicated and graphics intensive. DCSki needs something simple. Look at how simple the Vail logo is, for example. It not only works perfectly for brochures, lift tickets, and web sites, but looks good on merchandise as well.

Think about it this way. A good logo must look as good on a ball cap as it would on a web site.

I've had some experience trying to come up with new logos for some of the federal agencies for which I have worked. The best ideas follow the KISS principle.

One of the best logo makeovers in the Federal Government is the new USDA logo:

http://www.usda.gov/

The idea was to get away from a DOD style round logo with lots of stuff in it and go for something simple and elegant. The new logo is simple yet it tells viewers about the central missions of USDA: food, land, agriculture, and conservation.
jimmy
June 5, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Hey Crush, good to hear from you again. Is the snow all gone out there yet? I agree w/ john that it would be hard to put that logo on a ball cap but i do think the image of the Washington Monument is a pretty neat idea for the new logo; it really lets one know which dc dcski is about.
Crush
June 6, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,021 posts
gotcha ... what about this one?
http://x-streme.com/images/dcski.jpg
.. with a little cleanup. Blue for the font came from an actual sample of the winter sky at Deer Valley.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 7, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Crush:

Sorry to be thorn in your side... But I do not like this one either. As you will note from my previous posts, I am opposed to having a skier in the logo because it excludes other snowsports enthusiasts, namely snowboarders. I also am against the idea of portraying a skier in the "tuck" position. It sends the wrong message about the sport. It's not about speed, but grace and style.

What I do like is the idea of the DCSki letters under some type of mountain image. In that sense, if you removed the skier from your image, it might work pretty well. [Big Grin]
TEgress
June 7, 2004
Member since 06/7/2004 🔗
1 posts
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I am partial to Scotts post from 5/29/04. pic #2 on the first link he had posted.
ski_guy_59
June 8, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
Wow, I missed a lot in the six days I was photographing the real Florida! I am looking forward to seeing the new logo. Hopefully, Scott will get a few minutes to post a report of my journey across the Sunshine State.
Crush
June 10, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,021 posts
all in all I like #2 better in this group:

http://www.dcski.com/samples/dc1-4.gif
twin58
June 12, 2004
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
Numbers 1, 3, and 4: no snowboarder.
tommo
June 13, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
303 posts
re: Scott's question about the ads....

I've clicked through on several ads, but almost always either the banners or the left pane squares. I have a fairly high res monitor but, to be honest, I had never even noticed the "8 block" down at the very bottom, I suppose because I never scroll down that far.

Personally, I would think some additional ads could occupy some of the weather strip - I don't look to DC ski for current temp type info - and the whole page layout could be wider to capture some of the real estate to either side....
Scott - DCSki Editor
June 13, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Tommo: Thanks for the comments. I've finalized the page layout for the "new" DCSki, and it does provide for wider content areas. I've switched to a two-column layout for nearly all pages except the front page, which retains a three-column layout. This will allow a lot more room for content (and larger photos) in news article pages, for example. I've also made a subtle but significant change: pages on the new DCSki will expand as wide as your browser window. (Currently, DCSKi -- like most news-based sites -- has a fixed width which is fairly conservative for those with small screens. The new DCSki will have a fixed minimum width, but the content areas will go as wide as you'd like.)

I've been pouring a lot of time into re-designing DCSki these past few weeks, and I can't wait to show everyone! I've got the "new" site up and running on my intranet, and I'm enjoying using it a lot more than the current site. There's still a lot to do, but it's really starting to come together.

And, the new logo has really grown on me. [Smile]

Thanks,

- Scott
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
June 13, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
I agree with Tommo: dump the Hagerstown area weather link. Hagerstown weather serves more to discourage skiing in the Mid-Atlantic than encourage it. If I were posting a weather link, it would be for one of the resorts with colder weather: Snowshoe, Timberline, 7 Springs, or Wisp. It's often snowing at those resorts when it is raining in Hagerstown. Why focus on one of the warmest ski towns in the region?
Scott - DCSki Editor
June 13, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Don't worry. DCSki Weather won't escape a major overhaul in the next-generation DCSki...
ski_guy_59
June 14, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
I volunteer to stand on top of John's condo with wrapped in aluminum foil and holding a barometer to provide the most accurate....oh wait, that's more along the lines of alien tracking...anyhow, I volunteer to provide live weather reports if I can get a place to stay. I spent my first night in a dorm last night at Preview. I had a blast and am really excited about starting college. Scott, I skipped spanish and am taking quantitative option - 9 hours of computer classes. The first, "Exploring the Internet," a three credit hour course!
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