The word “dao” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “to learn”. We got our start creating courses covering ancient Greek history and philosophy. Our business has grown to encompass many philosophical courses — primarily in applied ethics (e.g. business ethics, medical ethics, environmental ethics).
We want our logo to be recognizable and evocative of learning, wisdom, and knowledge. But we will also consider more abstract and modern interpretations as well.
Our current logo was designed five years ago as a penrose triangle — a design which now is tied with brands like Google Drive and the Verge. It was chosen at the time because the founder is a fan of Escher and geometric design. Its shape also conjures up ideas regarding our vision system and philosophical problems that lie within.
Update (2014-02-07) – We have received several designs involving graduation regalia (cap and gowns, tassels, etc.). While the connection is completely understandable, we do not wish to use graduation symbols in our logo. It feels somehow less prestigious to us to incorporate this element for our company. We want to focus on the act of learning — not the act of graduating and moving onto other things — particularly since we design courses and do not offer the services of a university. I can see regalia working for an online university in the business of handing out degrees. But that is not our focus.
Update (2014-02-07 9:36 PM) – Removed orange from the desired color palette.
Update (2014-02-07 9:36 PM) – Based on the designs that we are seeing so far, we are really leaning towards a typeface design set in all-caps. It feels sturdy and academic to us.
Update (2014-02-09 1:23 AM) – Another typeface note. Based on the designs so far, we are preferring designs with sans-serif typefaces. They feel more modern to us and project the kind of emotions we wish to convey.
Update (2014-02-09 1:44 AM) – We often find ourselves wondering whether the company name would look better stacked (i.e. “Dao” on top of “Academy”) or in a more traditional horizontal layout. There might be great use cases for both types of designs. We would love to see design submissions in which both avenues are explored and considered.
Update (2014-02-11 1:05 PM) – Sorry about the confusion. We tried to extend the deadline by an hour or so to allow a few updates to trickle in, but apparently the only option is to extend by an entire day and that’s what they did.
We just want designers to know that we are definitely going to choose a design and that there are several designers that we are interested in moving forward with. We look forward to the next stage.
If you are still interested in submitting designs, we would be happy to consider them. As I said in the previous update, we are currently focused on trying to find a typeface design that is distinct for us. We like all-caps designs and sans-serif typefaces. Like many great company logos, we want the look of the name to instantly represent our company — which means avoiding overused typefaces and looking for a clean, modern look that is our own.