Friday, February 13, 2009

What's Behind a Logo?

There’s a story behind the NEMO logo. We call the black and white part of the logo the "shield." The shape of the abstract “N” is reminiscent of a coat of arms and of an actual medieval shield. When I started NEMO in 2002 and designed the logo, it struck me that medieval arms made a great metaphor for climbing and mountaineering equipment: artisans would spend as much as several years making the perfect sword or piece of armor, putting an amount of care into the object proportional to the gravity of its use. I wanted NEMO to have this same spirit: if somebody's life or comfort would depend on our gear, we should put tremendous care into making it. Additionally, the association with a coat of arms is really about family and tradition, something which NEMO is just beginning to grow, but which I hope to develop a real sense of.

The word NEMO originated from New England MOuntain Equipment, but we quickly dropped the longer name in favor of a short and memorable acronym. (Before Finding NEMO was a Disney hit.) The letters NEMO on the red background are meant to loosely resemble shapes from nature. The “E” is like a river, the “M” like mountains and the “O” like a pond. I chose red because it is the first color your eye goes to.

Also, I forgot to mention it, but part of the reason for the black and white shield was so a portion of the logo could be separated and used as a stamp or machined logo. The shield is deliberately sized and shaped to be easy to machine and easy to place on a small product.


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