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2 things:

1) Salesforce loves this community. I know because I just got out of a lunch with Nick Tran and Domenique Sillett. We ate sloppy joes. They gush over you.

2) They tell us we have to kill THE cloud. We can use A cloud. Just not their specific sacred brandmark, which can only be used on official Salesforce products.

So let's gather some ideas, stick drawings, poetry, what have you, and see if we can come up with something new. One idea per answer please. I'll drag a designer in on this after we collect a few quality ideas.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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    I'm not a lawyer (or a paid spokesman =-P), but why not change the cloud's outline so that it doesn't mirror SalesForce's own cloud, and here's the lawyer part: Since a cloud as a trademark isn't unique or novel, wouldn't using a cloud of our own design be acceptable under fair use? – HungryBeagle Nov 18 '15 at 20:22
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    ☁ There. Problem solved. They really should come up with a list of non-official "brands" that third-party people can use without permission. – sfdcfox Nov 18 '15 at 20:39
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    Oh yeah - I wanted to mention: Of course we don't want to make SF mad, but at the same time, the cloud is so closely coupled with SF in users' minds, it's more confusing to pick a new logo that doesn't include an image of a cloud. It's a case of being a victim of your own success, e.g. Kleenex, google and Xerox – HungryBeagle Nov 18 '15 at 20:50
  • So is it allowed to use a cloud shape in the new logo or not? – Sergej Utko Nov 19 '15 at 7:26
  • @mast0r we can use A cloud. Just not THAT cloud, it turns out. – samthebrand Nov 19 '15 at 14:31
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    as this is `salesforce stack exchange', I'd vote for a "stack" of clouds – cropredy Nov 20 '15 at 0:18
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    Or mirror image? – Nathan Williams Nov 20 '15 at 23:30
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I'm pretty sure the branding was determined by StackExchange in collaboration with Salesforce to begin with, and there were definitely interactions with the legal team about it.

That said, if they say it has to change, then I guess it has to change. Personally I think it should just be a different cloud shape, little else really makes sense unless it's based around "SFSE" as a term which has become the communtiy nickname for the site.

  • This one looks a bit like the SFDC cloud. – martin Nov 19 '15 at 7:25
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    A new cloud shape seems like the way to go. I'm going to poke a designer and see if we can get a couple options in front of you and pick one that you like. – samthebrand Nov 19 '15 at 14:37
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    I agree with Peters comments on his answer, if we can't use THE cloud, then I say we don't try to imitate it with some other knock off cloud. Let's try to go in a new direction if we can't use the cloud – Chris Duncombe Nov 20 '15 at 4:07
  • Agreed. The shape of the cloud, specifically, is very recognizable. To change it just to comply would be odd (unless we mirror-imaged it maybe?). I wouldn't change the shape, I'd look for something new... – Nathan Williams Nov 20 '15 at 23:32
11

It's a "cloud" they say? Hmm, interesting. In a "former life", I did graphic design. Below are some of the things I "saw" when looking at our logo. First, here's what our "Network" looks like without the "cloud" and just the "lines":

Current SF.SE Logo Network Lines

Doesn't have much impact does it? I didn't think so either, so added "small nodes" to the endpoints"

Current SF.SE Logo Network Lines with nodes added

This seemed like something of an improvement to me, but reminded me a lot of playing with tinker toys when I was a very young boy, 50 or so yrs ago.

What I particularly noticed when looking at "THE CLOUD" is that it's constructed using CIRCLES. So is it a "Cloud" or is it a collection of circles? If we change our existing logo to look like a collection of circles, would we be infringing on the "THE CLOUD"?

I think that would be a difficult case for SF to make. But that's just my opinion. Below is an example showing what I discovered using circles of different sizes and colors that could easily be reworked in countless ways, including removing the nodes and putting it back inside a contrasting rectangular box (will update post with example if I find time to create one):

THE CLOUD as circles with our network and nodes

Makes "THE CLOUD" look very different doesn't it?? I certainly think it does. it's clear to me that's how they designed it; as a collection of circles or "balloons". Perhaps we should take a pin and just pop one...

I said I'd do this, if I found the time, so here it is. Our current logo with "circles" behind it on a rectangular solid colored background. Are these circles the same as "THE CLOUD" or are they just colored circles? I'll let you be the judge...

Current SF.SE network logo design on top of collection of circles with solid background

And just for @Samuel De Rycke, a version with fewer lines & smaller nodes too! Hopefully, it's a bit less "dizzying". ;)

Similar to existing logo, but with fewer lines

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    I like the story, but am I the only one for who this is too much lines ? It makes me feel a little bit dizzy, no where to focus. – Samuel De Rycke Nov 25 '15 at 10:04
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    I don't disagree. That's how I felt about the design when it was initially released (the network portion of it). There's no reason it couldn't be simplified. I was simply trying to illustrate a point using what we currently have. Also, behind the cloud is a network, that's something I think we all understand. – crmprogdev Nov 25 '15 at 13:37
  • @SamuelDeRycke. Added one with fewer lines, just for you... – crmprogdev Dec 2 '15 at 14:39
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I saw the note come through from the brand managers here at Salesforce so knew that this would happen soon. I know we worked with branding initially, but things can change. And I guess they did.

I will miss the cool cloud, though. I still have a sticker on my laptop that Dan Hoechst handed out at DF14.

I think some variation of the trailhead mountain might be cool...there is a little cloud above that.

There is also Astro...either in astronaut, raccoon, or race car driver form.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • So I got word back from the (your?) team, and it looks like we can use A cloud. Just not THE cloud. So I think that's probably the best option. I'll have the design team over here cook up a couple options. – samthebrand Nov 19 '15 at 14:35
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    I disagree...none of the other clouds out there look like the Salesforce cloud. Maybe I'm very sensitive to it working for a brand-conscious company. But any other cloud just doesn't say "Salesforce" to me. This is why I would like to just not use a cloud. "Cloud" as a term to define some kind of technology is over used, and has become blurred in its meaning. Just my $.02. – pchittum Nov 19 '15 at 15:16
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    Is Astro a possibility? That could actually be pretty cool. – Matt Lacey Nov 19 '15 at 21:02
  • I agree with @Peter, if we can't use THE cloud, then using some other cloud, just seems silly as it will seem like a cheap knock off. I say if we can't use THE cloud, then go in a different direction. What that direction is......well, I'm not as much help there... – Chris Duncombe Nov 20 '15 at 4:06
  • Is there something that suggests how SFSE is better than forums? :) – Matt Lacey Nov 20 '15 at 4:10
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    Raccoon Astro would get my vote, if we're not doing a cloud. – sfdcfox Nov 20 '15 at 19:33
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    If we go with the astronaut, I would like it much better without the 1 on the flag. Maybe change it from Salesforce1 to SFSE and it would get my vote. Hard to turn into a favicon though. – Adrian Larson Nov 22 '15 at 18:17
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    How is going with an astronaut that looks like Astro from trailhead any less of a copyright infringement than what Salesforce is trying to claim we're doing now with "THE CLOUD"? I just don't follow that logic. – crmprogdev Nov 23 '15 at 1:49
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    If we could have a SFSE specific astro, that would totally rock, maybe the SF/Dev marketing team who's behind this logo may even be willing to help design one ? – Samuel De Rycke Nov 25 '15 at 10:05
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    I have just asked the Dev Marketing team to check into the Astro idea and pointed them to this meta question. @crmprogdev corporate marketing do not recognize Astro as an official brand or trademark. (Not yet anyway.) – pchittum Nov 25 '15 at 11:22
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    @Peter, note what Astro's wearing on his chest. Isn't that "THE CLOUD"? Do you replace "Salesforce 1" on the flag with "StackExchange"? Not trying to be difficult, but just asking the obvious branding questions that are inherent to the image. I'd be surprised if it's not a copyrighted image. If it isn't, someone hasn't done their job and will get around to it eventually. – crmprogdev Nov 25 '15 at 13:42
4

I know of at least 2 other cloud providers who have a cloud in the logo.

Micrsoft Azure

Amazon S3

I am not sure what Salesforce means by the "cloud is sacred"!

4

I appreciate that you would ask our opinion, but I'm not sure how many quality ideas you'd be able to get out of this group. (There might be some talented artists here, it's just that I haven't seen many people here on the Graphic Design site).

One thing we could consider doing is having a contest for the logo design.

2

ones and zeros in the cloud.

I like that because we constantly build in salesforce... evolution is always happening.

2

One concept I really like is using attractive colors to enthusiasm, transparency to show collaboration in a single cloud. Now a days eye-catching colors are in use a lot.

Logo should give a feel of:

  • Energy
  • Transparency
  • Collaboration

Few of the designs which ca be referenced are:

Salesforce Platform Cloud:

enter image description here

another one:

enter image description here

0

We should just use a different cloud. There are plenty out there, many free templates. Not a problem.

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