When Not To Do a Holiday Logo for Your Software

Earlier this week, graphic designers everywhere swapped out regular logos for Halloween-themed ones. Google, MacUpdate are just two I bumped into within my browser.

Outside of my browser – TextMate – also changed it’s normally non-descript logo earlier this week to a glowing jack-o-lantern.

The difference is huge.

Each day, I ignore Google’s logo microseconds at a time. It’s out of the way and I’ve been trained to use their page layout and CSS to identify ‘Google’. Same, but to a much lesser degree, goes for MacUpate. Web services can mummify their logos, because they’re like name tags at a conference. Nice to have, but after a while – completely useless.

Changing the logo on my paid-for, always-on, desktop software impacts my productivity. It actually slows me down by requiring me to think longer about what I’m doing rather than just do it.

Questions I’ve asked since TextMate changed their logo:

  1. Is TextMate open?
  2. Where is TextMate?
  3. What’s this pumpkin application?
  4. Where is TextMate?
  5. When will the icon revert?
  6. Why hasn’t the icon reverted yet?
  7. Man, this is annoying.
  8. What was I doing?

All of these questions take attention from what I’m doing, and put it on TextMate. I’m on the Mac to eliminate applications begging for my attention. Speaking of Apple, if you’ll recall, iTunes has tweaked their icons nearly with each new version – the extent of this change: a different color musical note.

Update 2 Nov 2006: [REVISION 1324] made it all better. Thanks TextMate.