Please, No Screws?

Graff-Pinkert’s new logo designed by the winner of a contest on

Lloyd Graff recently purchased Jim Graff’s interest in Graff Pinkert & Co., and he felt it was time for a redo of the company’s Website and logo. Today’s Machining World also changed its logo five years ago and redesigned its Website last year.  Its important to stay current in business, and periodically refreshing marketing and advertising is a way to do it. I was in charge of coming up with the logo and it was a tough gig because we really had no idea what we wanted. I did a Google search for logo creation and found a site called LogoSnap facilitates contests among designers from around the world to create original logos, business cards and letterhead for companies around the globe. Clients get to name their price on what they award the winner of the contest. The minimum prize is $200 so we offered $250. There is also a small service charge that goes to LogoSnap, so the total bill was about $300.

We were instructed to give a brief description of our company, which I’m sure was quite esoteric to the designers, just like it often feels when I try to explain my job to a typical person at a bar. The site suggested we give feedback on logos and Websites we like and don’t like. Lloyd (my boss) specified that the logo was not to have any images of screws or objects that resembled screws, as he thought that would inspire trite and generic designs. It was the same philosophy we always emphasized for the Today’s Machining World magazine covers—our cardinal rule was no photos of just machines.

Several designers from Pakistan and India participated, and one from Italy took part. The Italian, who gave himself the code name “Logoon,” lived up to his country’s reputation for superior design and blew us away with his style and creativity. He decided to ignore Lloyd’s prohibition of screws and created an abstract “GP” shape, framing a subtle silhouette of a dome head screw. We didn’t even notice the screw shape until my Website designer pointed it out to us.

I suppose it would have been nice if an American designer had won the contest. There are a few American designers who do participate in the LogoSnap contests. But perhaps most American designers don’t think a prize of $250 is enough incentive to enter a contest in which they are likely competing against teams of multiple people in India and Pakistan. Using the LogoSnap contest model was a great way for us to get more and better ideas. And in the end, we didn’t care if the logo came from Milan or Miami, we just wanted brilliant design for a fair price.

Question: What’s your favorite logo? Apple? Nike? Google? Starbucks?

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14 thoughts on “Please, No Screws?

  1. trashcup

    “And in the end, we didn’t care if the logo came from Milan or Miami, we just wanted brilliant design for a fair price.” Welcome to outsourcing 101. Sounds just like some customers I used to have

  2. Peter @ Polygon

    I always liked the CBS and Coca Cola logos; they don’t make me want to run out and grab up their products, but they always remind me instantly. The hexagon in our logo is meant to show our product and suggest the motion in the machining process.

  3. Deborah Rudy

    I noticed the new logo on your email yesterday. I love it. I don’t know what my favorite logo is,but your new one would have to be up there. It’s modern, architectural in design, and the colors (which happen to be a favorite combination of mine) are terrific. The whole thing is professional and fun at the same time. Good job!

  4. Bob

    So maybe the Americans are tired of work going overseas to competitors that do not have to follow the same rules they do (environment, health, safety etc). SO, you pick a winner (admittedly nicely done) who didn’t follow the rules either! Nice work!

  5. Lucy Glib

    Nothing is as sleek or as iconic (these days) as the Apple logo. I also like Ikea (striking colors), TiVo (both cute AND scientifically progressive), and Target (spare, immediately recognizable, and on point).

    That said, your logo is fantastic as well! Well done, “Logoon.”

  6. Nick Bloom

    The internet is 22 years old today. You got a great logo at a fraction of what you would have paid before the Internet enabled this type of collaboration. I love the Internet. Help from the government (in this case because of their role in building the internet), most definitely helped you and Logoon build your businesses!!!


    Ha! I love it. The subliminal aspect is great and it is not new. Find the arrow in FedEx.
    I look for the surprises in new marketing techniques. Some are not obvious but are very effective advertisements.

  8. David Philipp

    I do like your new logo, but there are a lot of famous logos which the owners have kept for a long time: Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Windows, Intel, HP, Exxon, to mention a few in a very long list. Apparently they do not agree that a new logo is good for their image!!

  9. Seth Emerson

    Logosnap sounds like a good idea. I may give it a try. As far as changing the Logo every X years. It probably depends on both the company’s appeal and the target market. If you have a “nostalgia” appeal, and your target is older demographic, you will hold onto the logo a bit longer. Newer, younger — faster! Same with slogan’s. I always liked Chevy’s “Heartbeat of America” – The new one “Chevy Runs Deep” – They make submarines? But I guess I am getting older, too. Like a Rock!

  10. jax thomas

    Lloyd Graff recently purchased Jim Graff’s interest in Graff Pinkert & Co., and he felt it was time for a redo of the company’s Website and logo.

    Thats the opening line of the article and the story is the Logo. A family business splits, both brothers are competing against each other and we are discussing a $250 logo.

    Wow, you people could drive from Detroit to Chicago and end up in the Atlantic. Talk about missing the point.

  11. Noah Graff Post author


    That’s an astute comment. That’s other fish to fry. But don’t you like the logo? Thanks for reading.

  12. jax thomas

    a business needs a logo like a fish needs a bicycle. i have no business cards, a poor website, no stationary and i am busier than i want to be. i do know this, there is no business discussion like a family business discussion. i hope that everyone is happy how things turned out and the family is still intact.


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