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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cow business

The past few years have been an incredible ride for me. I got to see what started as a hobby grow into a business.

Setting up a company is tricky. Now you must worry about many other things, it is not just writing cool programs anymore. One of these things is getting a logo. Since I have developed all this in public, I thought I could ask how you guys feel about our potential new logo. Here it is:
Yes, it has a red cow. We are considering this slogan to go with it:

"Don't be square"

You can leave comments as usual, but if you want to help us the most here is a form so you can vote and leave your feedback.

EDIT: I want to thank everyone for the feedback. We will do a new iteration on the logo and slogan.


69 comments:

  1. Not a fan at all, nothing to look with games or gaming universe

    It reminds me the logo of Zynga .. the most horrible company of the decade

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  2. Meh. Don't like it that much. Especially the font of VoxelFarm might look outdated in a year or two. Here's an idea: Try how the logo looks when you get rid of the cow and just keep the squares.

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  3. I love cows. Love them on my pink floyd album, love them on my earth worm jim, I'd love them someone's logo

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  4. I don't really like the name "Voxel Farm", from which the icon is created. The only reasonable link for that name is "render farm" - which is demeaning of the actual product you're developing. I also discourage the slogan "Don't be a square" because it is a too simplistic snide remark towards great games like Minecraft. Even if you're inspired by cube-voxel-examples I think you'll be selling yourself too short by implying innuendo.
    Your product deserves to be on a league of it's own and does not need to derive it's name or slogan from current popular culture. Even if you'll go with your current name and slogan - please don't derive your slogan from the Farm part of it.
    But that's just my 2 cents. Having a business also means that you have to make your own decision, even when some internet trolls like myself disagree with you.

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    1. Thanks for believing.

      A lot of nice things came out of render farms and other forms of digital farming, not clear why you find the term demeaning. Voxel farming is how people and algorithms can produce voxel worlds together.

      The "do no be square" thing is not aimed at Minecraft but to the comon misconception voxels need to be square. When someone hears "voxel" they think of squares. I would like to change that idea.

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    2. "I would like to change that idea"

      And yet you have squares in your logo.

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    3. Yes, squares that make a smooth cow. The voxels describe a square portion of space after all. They don't have to look like squares. So it is more about how discrete elements like pixels or voxels can describe something entirely organic.

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    4. True, a lot of nice things came from render farms, but it's just a cluster of computers. It says nothing about the (possibly complex) software that the computers use. I can't agree with the definition of farm as: "A collection of individuals working on the same dataset on some server".
      If your awesome product comes to see the light of day, I think it'll be pretty obvious that it's a voxel based game. I don't really think that people will deny you are using voxels just because they aren't square. So the motto itself will not be informative, just a funny way of saying voxels don't need to be square. Personally I think a motto should summarize general motivation. So what do you think is a better generalization of you efforts as a company?
      - People need to be informed that voxels do not need to be square.
      - We'd like to bring awesome modern voxel base games to our customers.
      I would think the latter seams more appropriate.

      Oh and something else. I have about 12 RSS feeds and every time I see a notification I can't wait to see what it is. Every time it's NOT a feed from your blog I think "meh". So keep up the good work!

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    5. I too would go with a different name altogether. I specialize in this sort of area professionally. I'd be happy to help you come up with a name and logo that is suitable to the powerful tech you've produced.

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  5. I've been following your blog for a while now and I'm so glad things are going great for you!

    I've sent in my feedback in the form but now I also realize that yes, it looks like the Zynga logo. Which is something you don't want.

    Also this chart is funny http://piclair.com/data/5rjd3.jpg

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    1. the weird happens when you turn the chart upside down. YOU SEE THE RED COW! It was meant to be.

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  6. Whatever you do, given the nature of the beast it seems absolutely imperative that the design has a 3D component. The orange squares overlaid on the red is a good start in that respect, but it could be taken further.

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  7. I think instead of "Don't be square", the slogan could be "Thinking outside the square." Also I'm not 100% sold on the cow, but I like the voxel aspect of the logo.

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  8. I like the general form of it. The squares 'becoming' the cow is quite neat, and ties in with the VoxelFarm name. I think I'd like to see more of an obvious progression from large squares to cow, but I'm not sure how well that would translate on smaller things such as business cards or company headers.

    I like the intent behind the 'don't be square' but it really feels too much like a dig (though until someone mentioned MineCraft I didn't really think who it might be aimed at). The 'thinking outside the square' idea that Nicholas has merit, but both that and your original seem a touch cliche to me. Personally I'm thinking something more like 'give me a cube and I can create the world'. But that would need to be reworked a lot to be not so...pithy.

    I think it might also be nice to see the 'square to smooth' concept used on the logo on some way. That way the logo can stand alone and still get the idea across.

    On the whole my opinion is: keep the cow and the general idea, and maybe tweak the rest.

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  9. Please don't let commenters decide your logo. Let a professional designer do it, and choose what you like.

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    1. It is his choice to ask for opinions, and he is not letting any of us 'decide' on the logo.

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  10. Just a random idea, don't know if it'll turn out nice, but perhaps you could have the logo go from cubes, into wire-frame, into proper cow? But yes, I definitely think you should always make the final decision, and indeed, as st4rdog said, go through a professional designer as well, though internet feedback is useful as well! Just don't exclude one over the other I'd reckon.

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  11. What if it were squares coming in to the right with a similar 'dissolve' effect but then have the outer edges of the squares become increasingly rounded as they approach the front of the cow?

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  12. I like the logo, very clever.

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  13. Wouldn't say its bad. The logo directly meets the name of the company that I understand you have been using internally for a long time. I would say: Keep iterating on it.

    I'd love to see some attempts at having the logo incorporate the true purpose of your product: To render entire worlds. The possibilities being endless. I don't think I get that from this logo currently.

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    1. Got it. I do think procedural voxel cows are the ultimate goal. It takes a whole universe to produce one cow. In some form, everything there is, is in that cow...

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    2. You were already up there, but now you are officially my favorite person ever.

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    3. I award you with the win of the day Miguel =P.

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    4. If procedural voxel cows are the end goal, you should name your company 'Voxel Cow'. Would give more meaning to your logo as well :)

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    5. What does the 'Farm' in 'Voxel Farm' mean? Originally I figured it had to do with using a computer cluster for handling terrain generation but that makes less sense now.

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    6. I was actually thinking the same thing recently. 'Farm' must just be a reference to his legacy render-farm before his optimizations for the on-the-fly rendering.. right? But if you listen through his most recent audio interview with GiantBomb, he finally explains the deeper meanings he found in the name: his method of creating a world with rich and natural content is relies less on the metaphor of building (hand-modeling, sculpting large areas, placing countless assets) and more on the metaphor of farming (proc terrain, proc rock layers, proc buildings via L-systems). In other words, Miguel plants the seeds, feeds the cows, and lets them grow into natural beauties far more efficiently than a biologist could construct them in a lab.

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  14. Generally speaking, you want to avoid contractions and negatives in slogans. "Don't" is both of those, so I'd recommend trying to reword the slogan, or generally rethink it. You're going for a "more than the sum of its parts" thing, right?

    Have you considered a tree for your logo? Your trees where what brought me here in the first place, so to me your blog will always be linked to trees. Trees are also generally seen as universally positive, while cows are bloodily slaughtered on a regular basis (a thought reinforced by your choice of red). A tree could also have transitional square fruit, making the effect you were going for more obvious.

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    1. Trees are a good idea. Thanks.

      You are right about contraction and negatives. It does work for Google with their "don't be evil". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_be_evil

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    2. I'd say trees are a good idea bu tare less related to "farms" (and I like the farm-cow wordplay here). Anyway the suggestion (in previous comments) to take the lsogan to "thinking out of the square" is sensible and follows the same principles as farm-cow.

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  15. I like it as it is. Most of all for its sense of humour.

    But I do also agree with Tentus that trees might be a good alternative. And I do think green would be a better colour for the logo than red, but maybe that's just because I like green. :)

    I like the slogan too, and I disagree with the comments above. "Don't be square" has meaning in both a 3D graphics/voxel context, as well as being very similar to "don't be A square" which is a light-hearted way of saying "get with the times". And VoxelFarm is all about the latest and greatest.

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  16. I like the logo, but the slogan is cheesy and used too often to be interesting.
    Good job and congrats!

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  17. I love the concept of square turning into an object. A cow doesn't make me think of the tech or anything I've seen in your videos, though, although I smile at your quote about the universe inside a cow. My first thought was also of a tree, since seeing your trees improve was something we saw firsthand how the tech was developing, and trees are about setting roots and growing, and 3D voxels sort of sound like they come in trees. But a tree could also be kind of cliche, and keeping a farm connection is good too. Maybe into a farmhouse or building also? Procedural architecture is also something characteristic for you.

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  18. I just saw Nicholas Smith's comment and thought I'd echo it, because a small change really does make a big difference in how I perceived the tagline: "Thinking outside the square" is much nicer! It changes it from an accusation (don't be a square) to a feeling of innovation (thinking outside the box), while not simply parroting the saying and still keeping the link to voxels.

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  19. Maybe add a Green tree with a blue cow witch took a bite off of a red apple hanging from the tree.

    The slogan a little more clear in what you really mean.

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  20. It looks more like a livestock pharmacy, than a fluffy computer game company. It's also very thick set and bull like, especially with the horns. Does there have to be an image? Can't the text logo be made from within the software? The 'T' could be a tree for example.

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    1. I meant, the 'A' could be a tree. : )
      Or, maybe the text could be sitting on the landscape as if carved out of it.

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  21. I have filled the form, but I want to give my opinion here so the others can discuss it.
    The logo is a really complicated and important question, is the first you see. And I Think it does not show wath Voxel.Farm is or do. Like somebody said, look for professional advice. The slogn is not bad, but if I am not wrong your idea is more like "Rounding the square"

    Monty. 40,0 N - 00,0 E.

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  22. It is important to state that that a logo doesn't need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. ie. Car logos don’t need to show cars, computer logos don’t need to show computers. The Harley Davidson logo isn't a motorcycle, nor is the Nokia logo a mobile phone. A logo is purely for identification.

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  23. To quote an article about logo design: "Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn". I think the voxelized half transitioning to the cow profile works very well in that sens. It is recognizable and distinctive and relates to the company as well.

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  24. Changing the squares to circles/spheres might add the ability to include a reference/nod to the mythical "spherical cow", which could be said to describe the Voxel Farm engine (in that it's a simplified scientific model of a complex real-life phenomena): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow

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    1. Yes, gotta love that spherical cow.

      At one point I was inclined to consider a flying ox. No special meaning in English, but in Spanish a flying ox represents the unattainable.

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    2. Trees (plants) are also food, and not everyone eats cows.

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  25. I don't like the cow. I agree with the others. Cow is food. Trees is inspirational, like your work.

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  26. i was more imagining the logo to be a L-shaped Farm where The roof showed an upside-down V and the walls of the farm constructed beams from the F.
    Then there is like a fence where the cow that broke the wall of the farm.
    The slogan would be "Think outside the box"

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  27. The name "Voxel Farm" is awesome.

    The cow's idea is fine. The squares seem a tad disorganized.

    The font is awful (it is already passé).

    Motto is cheesy (the reason it works for google is because "evil" is intrinsically bad. Square is peyorative or just mean.) You should be able to get so something clever (and probably funny) by iterating between the "box" or "square" and "thinking" ideas.

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  28. For a slogan, I will suggest:
    "We mooove worlds."

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  29. Had to leave a comment just because it seems to me most of the people here are crazy, I think that's an awesome logo. Very cool, describes what your company does, and is unique enough to be immediately recognizable. The cow is perfect. Do not listen to the people who criticize the cow.

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  30. Made me think of the win95 logo for some reason.

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  31. "Circling the Square."

    I'm opposed to the cow. I like the idea of a tree with geometric fruit.

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  32. Maybe a just as easy idea for a motto:
    "Squaring the circle" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaring_the_circle
    It's based on an old mathematical problem. It used to be a statement of "Something that could't be done" (because they never heard of transcendental numbers).

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    1. The statement is that "It can't be done using only ruler and compass", which is true regardless of whether you know about transcendental numbers. Sorry for being nitpicky, but it bugs me when people interpret "X is provably impossible" as "I don't know how to do X".

      Erm, back on topic >_>. I didn't realise the significance of the transition at first glance, but the logo does look distinctive which is maybe more important.

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    2. Not to be nitpicking but I said:
      It USED to be a statement of "Something that could't be done". People from that time truly thought it could not be done because the mathematical tools at there disposal could not provide an answer. Luckily they were wrong and after some ferocious discussions the mathematical consensus finally arrived at "trancedental number" exist. :P

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  33. I love how your a single guy in your PJ's, but yet you only want to support large studios with your engine.. Nice dude. What other "single guy in PJ's" can use your engine to make his idea into reality when you charge $50,000 for it?

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    1. Did you notice pajama prices lately?

      I too believe software should be free, but only when everything else is free. While we get there, yes, sometimes we won't get that pony we wanted. Just be civil and do not throw a tantrum.

      The reality is I have very limited time. For the time being I need to focus where it yields the most. It is not myself alone anymore. Other people's livelihood depend on this venture now.

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    2. And how many other guys in PJ's do you think there are that can make something the even remotely resembles production quality software?

      Most 'Single guys in PJ's' don't even have the skill to use this even if it was free. Thats why most free software out there is total crap. Good stuff you have to pay for.

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  34. Its a VoxelFarm, cows live on farms but the association is indirect. Why not have a farmhouse instead of the cow?

    Direct and matches what you do.

    We have seen a lot of voxel static geometry, but havent actually seen a voxel cow yet =)

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    1. "We haven't seen a voxel cow yet"

      Yet.

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    2. WHERE IS LIKE BUTTON?
      xD

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  35. This is my first post in your blog, but I have been following it a while and I am quite a fan. I wish I could afford your engine for my own projects, but at least I have some ideals to strive toward in my own efforts. It has really been amazing to follow your progression and decisions throughout your project.

    Back on topic: I think the logo is decent, but for a project as amazing as yours is, I believe it deserves a logo that is equally as impressive and immediately gives the right feeling for your business.

    I like the plays on "thinking outside the box" over "Don't be square", which I think feels a bit too 1950s. I would suggest maybe "Thinking outside the Vox" as a play on the same phrase and on voxels (obvious). Although your technology is all voxel based, the world itself is only based on voxel data and not actually rendering it. A good chunk of your voxel farm is used for the conversion from voxel to polys, so you might say that the farm is thinking of the world surrounding the voxel data, or thinking outside the vox :P

    I actually like the font you used for the logo, and I like the squares as well. I am just not a big fan of the cow. It seems a bit too comical, when I don't see anything comical about Voxel Farm. Since one of the big goals of your project is to create an entirely procedurally generated world (procworld), I would suggest the logo to use a planet instead of a cow. You could do something fairly simple that still clearly suggests the point of Voxel Farm without being quite as literal with the image. You use voxels to create a world, so the image would convey what the engine does instead of translating the actual name of the engine into a visual.

    I am sure that whatever you pick as the final result will be great. Anyone that has read your whole blog should know that you are very capable of creating just about anything you put your mind to. Even though you are not an artist, even your art within your worlds is far greater than most would expect from the average programmer.

    I know how hard it can be to pick a name, URL, logo and such. Getting feedback like you did in this blog was a good idea.

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  36. Quite like the logo but the slogan is bad. Sorry this isn’t very constructive...I just really done like that slogan (or any of the slogans suggested here so far)

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  37. The first thing that comes to mind from the "don't be a square" for me would be the "be there or be square" thing, which still seems pretty popular. Was that intentional?

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  38. I know I'm late but I wanted to comment too !
    Like someone else in the comments, trees and voxels are also what got me into this blog. I understand the attempt at linking the cow picture to the word farm but it feels weird.
    Cows (like many other animals in cattle farms) have a negative image where I live because of the ecology impact, how they are treated during their life and the way they are killed in slaughterhouses.

    I would have expected a plant like a tree and you could keep your original idea this way by making it's roots be made out of blocks. This would give a refreshing look and better illustrate the engine in my opinion. A tree is the first thing to come to mind but it could be any plant or vegetable like corn, roses, a tomato ...

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    1. Tree, vegetable or a fruit tree... And I don't talk about biten apple...

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  39. I think a planet will look cool, a semi-sphere (the one looks like a crescent) with a cow on top of it, then put the squares under the semi-sphere? Then the Voxel Farm can be put in the middle of the "sphere", or elsewhere.

    Just my 2 cents. :p

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  40. I think the LOGO is perfect for a starting company and will evolve just as your world has. The concept of the boxes turning into a cow is just enough for a LOGO. I don't see this Zynga thing people are talking about and most just seem to be rude to me. Keep up the great work and let LOGO change as it needs. Having this 'simple' base is perfect just like having the simple base of 1 and 0's to pixel's to the huge world you are creating.

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  41. I like the logo, and the font for the name. The name itself seems fine. The thing I would change would be the slogan: maybe something closer to "Defying expectations" would be more suited?

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