Gone Autos has a logo.

Several moons ago, a wise writer friend of mine, whose networking skills I greatly admire, told me to tap into my social network for jobs and for help. She told me that there were friends scattered throughout my past who remembered me and liked me.

I dismissed her, because I felt guilty about not maintaining contact with those friends. However, I started to do just that in September when I beefed up my LinkedIn profile, established this web site, and drove down to Georgia in November to say hello to many old Turner Broadcasting friends.

One of those friends is Mike Tremble. He was a sports-promoting wunder-blizzard at TNT. He created NBA and NFL promotion packages for TNT that won a lot of awards and made everyone feel good about themselves. (It was only after he left that they remembered what idiots they are for letting him go.)

Mike now works for a company called Cinema Concepts. They do a lot of high-end post production for films and movie theaters. I took a tour of his place, put on his 3D glasses, watched his demo reel, jerked my head to the side when the flying metal logos rocketed toward my face, and was blown away by the life he had created for himself and the team he worked with.

I told Mike that I was done working for The Man and wanted to create my own brand on the internet. He volunteered to help. I warned him that I couldn’t pay him much more than the cost of getting his Mercedes detailed. He wanted to move forward anyway. I felt like he was a high-powered lawyer assigned to help a homeless guy beat a murder rap.

So we started working on a logo for Gone Autos, my forthcoming classic car web site.

Actually, he did all the work. I gave all of his concepts my usual critical eye. I would ask for variations of different ideas. None of them helped or improved the initial concepts. Finally - and this is totally unprecedented for me - I gave up control of the logo. I told him to do one more logo sheet with concepts that he loved and thought were cool. I would pick one.

And so I have. Here’s Gone Autos Logo 1.0:


One smart thing that Mike did: he put the logo ideas on t-shirts, billboards, and web sites to show the logos in context. Maybe that’s Idea Pitch 101, but I’ve seen few other designers do it. Let me tell you: I would hire you next time if you were the only graphic designer who did that. That’s an automatic Go Directly To Park Place card in my game.

We’ll tweak the logo a little bit. We’ll insert small illustrations of different orphan cars between the logos. We’ll play with colors. But these are the bones of my new brand’s visual identity.

I am beyond grateful to Mike. All he asked for was a kidney. I bargained him down to a few pints of O+ blood. But he’s worth every hemoglobin molecule.

Bottom line: my writer friend was right. If you have old friends who can help, look ‘em up. Chat ‘em up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I did, and I one couldn’t be happier/luckier.

As for my writer friend, unfortunately, we have the least contact of all these days.
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