In his dreary workaday life, your Ned toils not a million miles away from the sort of people whose job it is to impress corporate-communications bods (and especially, oh dear me yes, each other) with the sort of verbal tohu-bohu that sells corporate-identity design to gullible SVPs of marketing. I've managed to put a nicely unbridgeable moat between us, and so it's only with the warmest nostalgia and a gratifying sense of better-you-than-me, that I read this, from the Quark press release:
According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, renowned color psychologist, and author of five books on color, “PANTONE 368 was the perfect choice for an innovative company such as Quark. This yellow green, a symbol of growth, is invigorating and revitalizing, and breathes new life into a brand, in addition to drawing attention to it. By embracing this color for its new logo, Quark is giving its customers the connotation of the continuing growth of ideas and concepts, and that it is on the edge of new technologies.”(Still trying to parse that last clause. Failing.)
Think of it, children: Only a world drowning under Himalayas of festering bullshit would confer prosperity on a "renowned color psychologist" who has authored five -- five! -- books on color, a person capable of uttering, without a hint of shame, howling inanities like "Pantone 368...[gives Quark's] customers the connotation of the continuing growth of ideas and concepts...." Yes, my naive and uninitiated friends, there are actually people who are paid very well indeed to shovel horseshit of this magnitude. And you thought Paris Hilton was a waste of carbon.
This Quark imbroglio does remind me, though, of an incident I was lucky enough to watch from the sidelines many years ago. The company I worked for, a small three-letter Beltway Bandit that reached liquidity during the Reagan Yard Sale of the mid-Eighties, decided the logo that had been hand-drawn by the CEO back when the company had consisted of three employees and a typewriter, needed a complete rethink. A gang of cutpurses from Rockville was hired -- the question of by whom, exactly, caused many a finger-pointing exercise later on -- but hired they were.
In the late Eighties, these people were still an absolute novelty. They filled their offices with plush toys and beanbags, flew gliders and Frisbees about the place, and encouraged barefoot brainstorming sessions on the floor of their cushion-strewn common areas. I participated in a few of these things, gaining just enough experience to inculcate a grudging admiration of their snake-oil skills while giving in to a growing conviction that the company's Corporate Communications office was paying through the nose for expert flim-flammery.
After long and stunningly expensive consultation, this is (approximately) the logo we were given:
Hmmm, we thought. "Equals PDQ." "Nothing Equals PDQ." By principle of inversion, "PDQ Equals Nothing."
No-no-no-no! Everything Equals PDQ! Expand your mind! Don't be so closed!
The CEO of PDQ (by the way, Not Its Real Name), a Jewish gentleman of skeptical bent, thought he detected something wrong with that equals-sign bug. Something, you might say, spoke to some sort of Racial Memory -- can't quite put a finger on it, but... Better do the Due Diligence, he thought wisely. Asked for a trademark search.
Oops! Yikes! Jinkies! Boomps-a-daisy!
The...Austrian...flag. Oh, dearohdearohdearohdear.