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“Word of the Day: Octothorpe”

(Est. 2009) “NationBuilder offers everyone the technology and community infrastructure to lead people to greatness. Used and trusted by over 9,000 customers in 112 countries, our flagship software platform empowers you to tackle your website content, email communications, social insights, and people management all in one place — replacing multiple platforms with one scalable system. Our products and services include accessible solutions for nonprofits, advocacy groups, businesses, and political campaigns of all sizes as well as infrastructure options for networks and large-scale organizations.”

Design by
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Related links
NationBuilder blog post

Relevant quote
The new NationBuilder logo, with both boldness and simplicity, communicates not only who we’ve become, but also where we’re headed. It sheds the constraints of a physical building into two simple symbols which when combined, can tell many stories relevant to who we are.

The octothorpe at the center represents the internet and creation. The color circle surrounding it represents community, diversity, connectedness and inclusion. You can also think of the octothorpe depicting the leader, surrounded by the community. In combination, there’s a yin and yang relationship which gets at the heart of NationBuilder. The freedom of creating what we’re meant to create through the internet, in unison with in-person community building and education.

Images (opinion after)

New Logo for NationBuilder
Logo.
New Logo for NationBuilder
Logo system.
New Logo for NationBuilder
Certified partners logos.
New Logo for NationBuilder
City logos.

Opinion
Neither from the old or new logo — nor the name of the company — is it clear at all what NationBuilder is or does. The old logo suggested something to do with buildings and infrastructure but the software has nothing to do with that. The new logo suggests something to do with the internet by using the hashtag sign — né octothorpe — so it has a little more to do with what the software does but it’s very ambiguous and it’s an icon they can never fully own, since the octothorpe-pound-sign-whatever-you-want-to-call-it is now recognized 99% of the time as a hashtag for social media so it seems strange to want to build on a visual device that pretty much every company, product, service, and person already uses day to day. But let’s assume it’s a good idea… at least make it more interesting or interpret it in a clever way. Putting the pound sign, as is, straight out of the box, inside a multi-colored ring isn’t going to inspire anyone to want to “lead people to greatness“. Overall, it’s an improvement in that the logo doesn’t look like a Sims City add-on but the concept and execution are too bland and uninspired.