The history behind the Broadlook logo

Posted on Jul 6, 2008
The Broadlook Technologies logo has meaning. For the 5 of us that started in a single 400 sq ft office, it has a special place with us. When it was time to create the image/logo/icon that would come to be our stamp to the outside world, we stopped everything for 2 full days. No sales, no development, no marketing. It was white boards and debate; define our mark or die trying. For the first year and a half, here is the logo we were using. Original Broadlook logo Cute, my mom liked it, but not the mark of a world leading company. Here is how the current, official logo came to be. The original vision behind the company was building products that were the right mix between automation and human interaction. We wanted to create a company logo that somehow communicated that concept. One of the ideas tossed around was 2 hands, one machine and one human…intertwined. Neither myself (Donato) Igor, Kevin or Dan (working remote from Portland) were artists of any sort, however, Andy had experience with some photoshop so he was elected to sit at the computer while the rest of us tested his design skills. The machine-human hand thing was too complicated; it did not scale down to logo size image. A bunch of ideas were tossed around when Kevin suggested doing something with carbon, denoting human and silicon for meaning the machine. We then started working with the atomic numbers of carbon (6) and silicon (14). We tried to create a large “B” using a series of dots for our logo. 14 Dots were the background, 6 formed the B. I remember showing the first iteration to Dan, our first sales rep working remote out of Portland, OR. “What in the hell is that?”, said Dan. “It looks like one of those darn eye tests they give blind people” (Dan’s comments are famous around Broadlook and often repeated years later, we all knew he meant color-blind). We couldn’t find any of the “B” logos in the company archives (trust me, it was horrid). Back to the drawing board we went. Igor had a brainstorm. Why not use the ratio of carbon to silicon? It was one of those ideas the didn’t need any discussion. Rare for our meetings. So we went back to the dots. here are the iterations. Broadlook logo history3 Eventually we moved away from the dots and go towards solids and the Broadlook logo was born. Here is the first iteration that we still use today. Broadlook logo history The charcoal and the blue are the proportions of 6:14; carbon to silicon. If I can find it, we even have a math equation that defines the graphic (I’ll find it and post it to this article later). The most important thing that I learned when looking back at the experience is the team effort required. My contribution was the spark, but without the operational know-how, the out-of the box thinking, the strong logic and the feedback from the outside, we wouldn’t have our logo. To the outsider, it is a box with a slash through it. To us, it was the genesis that grew into the company we are today. The world leader in Internet research technology.