Getting the Scoop on Missed Opportunities

Ice cream. You know when people quote Jerry Maguire and say “You had me at ____”? That word(s) for me is ice cream. So why not lead with it? Don’t fret, despite the title, I did not miss any opportunities for ice cream, quite the contrary. Our latest indulgence inspired this topic.

In “Naming Your Food Baby” we discuss the importance that the name of your business plays. It can also be a strategic move when it comes to your eventual logo design. When you’ve got a lot of material to work with in a name, the logo is more easily inspired.

The latest place we tried was Tangram Creamery (I’d love to link them, but they have no website. Find them on Arbutus and 11th-ish). It was delectable, by the way. You should definitely try the cookie cone—delish!

But I digress. You’re probably familiar with the tangram. Often they are given to kids in school to play with and learn about geometry. They consist of seven different pieces that can be arranged in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different configurations. Usually when you first see a tangram it is configured as a square.

A Tangram Example
‍The Tangram originated in China hundreds of years ago (date is unknown)

Tangram Creamery clearly has some pretty low hanging fruit when it comes to developing a logo. They’ve literally got all the shapes they could ever want to play with.

But unfortunately, this is the logo design they are currently using.

Tangram Creamery Logo
So many possibilities…

The graphic is the most basic form of tangram we are used to seeing. Yes, it’s easy to understand but I can’t help but think about the missed opportunity for something great. So while I usually refrain from logo critiques without knowing all of the details and goals, I will make this small exception.

Knowing the tangram can be manipulated into so many different shapes it begs the question, “Why not create an ice cream cone?” Or perhaps even playing with the tangram to create the written name from the seven geometric shapes? Tangram does happen to be seven letters. The possibilities are endless, and frankly, pretty darn exciting for a fully branded look!

Alas, they’ve gone a different direction for now. However, it really is never too late to reevaluate your name and look for missed opportunities.

Sometimes going with the completely obvious is the wrong move. Where a tangram ice cream cone is unique, a clip art cone is generic.

Lik Ice cream logo on a sandwhich board
Seriously, why the syringe?

Lik had a unique concept of using liquid nitrogen (which others are also doing now). They also provided a little flavour syringe as an extra shot of flavour. The syringe bit creeps me out, but it made them unique. Their logo does not.

It’s another missed opportunity because their overall concept differentiates them but their design says otherwise (also, 99% of the images of their product are ice cream in cups, not cones). Even their name suggests a Rolling Stones-esque design.

Of course, I don’t mean to rag on ice cream shops because as I said, I love ice cream. It’s just so darn heart-wrenching to see these missed opportunities hurting businesses. And I’m sorry to say, but yes, this one’s doors are closed permanently.

Last year Mister launched. They also do a liquid nitrogen ice cream I’d like to try. At first I found their logo basic and uninspired. This is because I didn’t have all of the information—just as I had mentioned previously. Evaluating the design now, it makes perfect sense.

Mister ice cream product and logo shot
Check out the shape their cup and ice cream makes.

A simple pentagon, which I thought was just meant to be sciency, is very telling. It literally is the shape of their ice cream as it is served in the Mister cup. No missed opportunities there. They were inspired by the product itself and that can be very powerful for a logo design.

But then you have a business like DIP.

DIP ice cream storefront logo
Where's the dip?

They tried to do the same thing by showing their product—an ice cream cone. But they actually showcased the opposite of what set them apart. DIP’s unique selling point was the flavoured dips that your soft serve is encased in. Their logo shows a virgin undipped cone.

Why? Just why?

And yes, DIP is also another ice cream shop that is no longer.

It may take a keen eye to spot missed opportunities but often it can be as simple as revisiting your design. Does it align with your product and your name? If your name is unique there is a good chance your logo can be too. How does the design fit within your industry and does it have too much in common with other logos?

It’s never too late or too early to look for missed opportunities, especially in stiff competition where businesses tend to melt.

March 13, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

Ice cream. You know when people quote Jerry Maguire and say “You had me at ____”? That word(s) for me is ice cream. So why not lead with it? Don’t fret, despite the title, I did not miss any opportunities for ice cream, quite the contrary. Our latest indulgence inspired this topic.

In “Naming Your Food Baby” we discuss the importance that the name of your business plays. It can also be a strategic move when it comes to your eventual logo design. When you’ve got a lot of material to work with in a name, the logo is more easily inspired.

The latest place we tried was Tangram Creamery (I’d love to link them, but they have no website. Find them on Arbutus and 11th-ish). It was delectable, by the way. You should definitely try the cookie cone—delish!

But I digress. You’re probably familiar with the tangram. Often they are given to kids in school to play with and learn about geometry. They consist of seven different pieces that can be arranged in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different configurations. Usually when you first see a tangram it is configured as a square.

A Tangram Example
‍The Tangram originated in China hundreds of years ago (date is unknown)

Tangram Creamery clearly has some pretty low hanging fruit when it comes to developing a logo. They’ve literally got all the shapes they could ever want to play with.

But unfortunately, this is the logo design they are currently using.

Tangram Creamery Logo
So many possibilities…

The graphic is the most basic form of tangram we are used to seeing. Yes, it’s easy to understand but I can’t help but think about the missed opportunity for something great. So while I usually refrain from logo critiques without knowing all of the details and goals, I will make this small exception.

Knowing the tangram can be manipulated into so many different shapes it begs the question, “Why not create an ice cream cone?” Or perhaps even playing with the tangram to create the written name from the seven geometric shapes? Tangram does happen to be seven letters. The possibilities are endless, and frankly, pretty darn exciting for a fully branded look!

Alas, they’ve gone a different direction for now. However, it really is never too late to reevaluate your name and look for missed opportunities.

Sometimes going with the completely obvious is the wrong move. Where a tangram ice cream cone is unique, a clip art cone is generic.

Lik Ice cream logo on a sandwhich board
Seriously, why the syringe?

Lik had a unique concept of using liquid nitrogen (which others are also doing now). They also provided a little flavour syringe as an extra shot of flavour. The syringe bit creeps me out, but it made them unique. Their logo does not.

It’s another missed opportunity because their overall concept differentiates them but their design says otherwise (also, 99% of the images of their product are ice cream in cups, not cones). Even their name suggests a Rolling Stones-esque design.

Of course, I don’t mean to rag on ice cream shops because as I said, I love ice cream. It’s just so darn heart-wrenching to see these missed opportunities hurting businesses. And I’m sorry to say, but yes, this one’s doors are closed permanently.

Last year Mister launched. They also do a liquid nitrogen ice cream I’d like to try. At first I found their logo basic and uninspired. This is because I didn’t have all of the information—just as I had mentioned previously. Evaluating the design now, it makes perfect sense.

Mister ice cream product and logo shot
Check out the shape their cup and ice cream makes.

A simple pentagon, which I thought was just meant to be sciency, is very telling. It literally is the shape of their ice cream as it is served in the Mister cup. No missed opportunities there. They were inspired by the product itself and that can be very powerful for a logo design.

But then you have a business like DIP.

DIP ice cream storefront logo
Where's the dip?

They tried to do the same thing by showing their product—an ice cream cone. But they actually showcased the opposite of what set them apart. DIP’s unique selling point was the flavoured dips that your soft serve is encased in. Their logo shows a virgin undipped cone.

Why? Just why?

And yes, DIP is also another ice cream shop that is no longer.

It may take a keen eye to spot missed opportunities but often it can be as simple as revisiting your design. Does it align with your product and your name? If your name is unique there is a good chance your logo can be too. How does the design fit within your industry and does it have too much in common with other logos?

It’s never too late or too early to look for missed opportunities, especially in stiff competition where businesses tend to melt.

March 13, 2017
Posted on 
Author photo in a circle
Kyle Lincoln

Kyle is a logo crafter, avid reader, and writer. His experience expands across a wide spectrum of clients such as Nandos, Shaw Business, and Destination Canada. Growing up, it didn’t take him long to go from doodles to design. Kyle’s previous work in identities for conferences and events left him longing for something more enduring. He’s got a vested interest in helping businesses thrive and an eye for brand incongruences. In Vancouver he can be found scoping out his client’s location and/or the nearest gelateria and is always up to discuss your project or favourite flavour.

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