is Patrick Crowley

Amazon rips off Eventful logo?

November 14, 2006

Logo comparison

During my last full-time gig, I designed the Eventful logo.

So, I was amused to see that Amazon “borrowed” my design for Askville, their new question and answer service that intends to compete with Google Answers.

What’s similar?

  • Arial Rounded MT Bold? Check.
  • Tighter font-spacing? Check.
  • Lowercase type? Check.
  • Use logo on plain-white background? Check.
  • Switch colors for each morpheme? Check.
  • Use only two colors? Check.
  • Blue on left? Check.
  • Green on right? Check.

What’s different?

  • The Eventful logo uses more compact letterforms (86% of normal width).
  • Eventful uses a brighter blue and darker green than Askville.

Is Web 2.0 running out of logo gas?

I freely admit my design wasn’t the world’s most original logo. And a year plus later, it’s hard to remember my exact influences, but I certainly was inspired by Flickr, MySpace, SimplyHired, and Apple’s penchant for tweaked-out versions of public fonts.

Now, of course, great design is always influenced by that which came before, but the Eventful logo is fairly well known. It pops up on all Web 2.0 logo lists and was featured in Font Shop’s Web 2.0 logo roundup as an example of “the softies” (described as text-heavy logos with a human feel).

Sure, the similarity is probably is just a coindence. But I’m surprised to see a company of Amazon’s caliber making this sort of mistake.

Final thoughts

So, if anyone from Amazon is listening, I suggest creating a more compelling brand for Askville, regardless of the logo similarities. But, hey, no hard feelings… you’re still my number one.

Congrats, btw, to Jeff Bezos on today’s Blue Origin rocket launch!

(Oddly enough, Amazon isn’t the first. PodcastReady.com has a similar logo, though they used a slightly different typeface and added an earbud-inspired mark.)

10 comments

  1. Chris Radcliff Nov 14 edit

    Ah, but did your logo have a TM, a BETA, and Amazon branding? They took your initial concept and brought forth the logo barnacles threefold!

    Oh, sorry. I mean ThreefoldTMBETAbyAmazonTM!

  2. JD Nov 14 edit

    Wow, your logo was sooooo original anyways. Two colors of letters, WOW!

  3. PrimoTurbo Nov 14 edit

    It looks very similar but I doubt that someone just saw your logo and copied it like that. I think it’s just the logo is very simple and it’s quite possible that 2 people came up with similar ideas, or maybe the designer saw your logo and unconsciously copied it?

  4. Scott Nov 14 edit

    Looks like it may be a case of the Armageddon/Deep Impact phenomenon.

    Remember, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

  5. Grant Nov 14 edit

    There really isn’t that much of a difference between the two… Welcome to Web2.0 where multiple colors are used. and so are bubbly fonts. and the spacing is non-default. and there’s TONS of white space. and everything beta.

    :shrug: i see your argument but you could fight any new website with that argument.

    lookat:
    shoutwire,tagworld,picturecloud,etc. and those are just some of the ones using your specified color. the list of copycats from the last 18 months could go on forever.

  6. Patrick Nov 14 edit

    Yeah, I agree, Scott… it’s probably just coincidental, but they are pretty damn similar.

  7. Venexia Nov 14 edit

    No, this is not a ripoff. I’m sure of it. It’s a coincidence. I don’t want to be rude, but the idea of lower case letters in two colors is hardly a massively imaginative breakthrough. It’s rather obvious, and a small amount of sleuthing would doubtlessly yield many (too many) similar examples. It’s pretty lazy “logosmithing” in general … a syllable break is 100% expected … green and blue, “friendly cools”, are de rigeur.

    It reminds me of a weak, obvious headline like “Cents Off Makes Good Sense” or “FILL IN THE BLANK Means Business”. Jr. Jr. Jr. copywriters always think they are the first to come up with them.

  8. Fred Nov 14 edit

    Your logo is not original enough for you to claim its been ripped off.

  9. Brownspank Nov 14 edit

    With a logo that doesn’t exactly overflow with uniqueness (a fairly common rounded typeface variant and trendy colors will do that), coincidences are bound to happen more often.

    Perhaps with your next logo gig, you can check out this nifty guide: http://www.bamagazine.com/7ecHEsLand.asp

  10. Patrick Nov 14 edit

    Venexia - I certainly wasn’t asserting that I’d created the World’s Most Unique Logo™. And I agree… it probably is coincidence.

    But since Eventful is pretty well known in the Web 2.0 event space, I’m surprised Amazon would roll out such a similar design.

    (This is going to be the last comment, folks. I appreciate those of who you took the time to read my complete blog post before commenting.)

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I’m Patrick Crowley. MORE

I make web applications. I'm also into photography and film.

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