Over the past few years I’ve made hundreds of graphics for HubPages. Most of them have been total crap. Just real garbage. Everything in the image above has been banished from HubPages forever, and with the exception of this post, will never be seen again. We have also cycled through a number of terrible logos. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at every HubPages logo that has gone the way of the dodo.
At this time, I was using Photoshop to create everything. Logos are something that should be made in a vector based image editing program, but of course, I was completely unaware. Also note that the text “PAGES” is horizontally stretched. That is a cardinal sin of typography I was oblivious to. I was using the typeface Arial, which is of course Microsoft’s ubiquitous knock off of Helvetica. I am ashamed of this.
This graphic was proudly displayed on splash page. We even got some TechCrunch coverage with this thing. It’s more or less the same thing as before, rearranged in a wacky off-kilter sort of fashion. This logo just scares me.
A variation on the above logo using the (freeware) typeface Cafeta. At this time I thought dafont.com was the only legitimate purveyor of fonts, and Jay and Paul encouraged me to use the web-safe blue, in order to match their links. This is worthy of embarrassment as well.
Early July 2006
One of my first logos from Illustrator (finally a vector based program. Paul Edmondson seemed to like the idea of a sprocket as the logo. I chose the font Futura, which marks my first acceptable decision in typeface selection. The letter spacing is atrocious (look at the tightness of “ES” compared to the looseness of “PA”). The “beta”, which was inserted with HTML, is a startling shade of web-safe red, though Paul Deeds was responsible for that.
Late July 2006
Apparently the Futura was bothering someone because the logo got cropped into just the sprocket, and the text was added in with more HTML, this time set in the web-safe font Trebuchet. Someone was probably making an effort match the font used elsewhere on the site for headings at that time. The intensity of the blue was dialed back, and the red “beta” was swapped with a pink one.
I have no idea what “SM” means. I’m sure I could ask Deeds—he’s sitting right next to me, but that’s besides the point. I don’t think the average HubPages user would know what it means, so what’s the point? Nonetheless, it lasted surprisingly long. At least light gray is a nice choice.
When they did a major overhaul of the site design in April of 2007, another web designer added a placeholder logo that looked similar to what we have here. We switched from an HTML Trebuchet in all capitals to a image Trebuchet in upper and lower-case, set in bold, with tight letter spacing. The red, blue, and green (all with gradients), mark was inspired by the idea of a central Hub that would spin you off in myriad interesting directions. It was met with little criticism, and even served as the bases of the YieldBuild logo which was designed sometime soon after. It would be extreme to say I’m ashamed of this, but I think everyone has seen enough Trebuchet. The spaced between the base of each arrow are too tight and the colors bleed too much on the grey background.
And finally the current version. Notice how the space between the mark and the type was minimized. I switched from gray to white type and a lighter grey background.
Looking back on all this awful work, it’s amazing to me that I didn’t just give up and start doing something else. I suppose the hope of improving has kept me interested. My bosses at HubPages have always given me freedom to make plenty of mistakes—which is a good thing. Hopefully, the site will continue to look better as time goes on, and hopefully—after this week—we’ll never change the logo again.