Buisness Insider

Here's How Much Money The World's Biggest Brands Spent Designing Their Logos

Coke Santa

One of the most important parts of a company's branding strategy is choosing the right logo. The process takes a lot of time, vision, talent ... and sometimes money.

Stock Logos—a site that offers, well, stock logos—has compiled a list that reveals how much Coca-Cola, Nike, BP, and other companies spent creating their logos.

But you'll be surprised which companies spent millions and which spent the cost of a movie ticket on their iconic images.

Coca-Cola: $0

Coca Cola 0

Coke's famous logo was created by its founder's partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, in 1886. According to the soft drink's website, Robinson "suggested the name Coca‑Cola, thinking that ‘the two Cs would look well in advertising’. He wanted to create a unique logo to go with it, and experimented writing the company’s name in elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of the time."

The best things in life are free.

Google: $0

Google 0

Although Google's famous, rainbow logo has gone through minor alterations over the years, the original design was created in 1998 by Google co-founder Sergey Brin on the free graphics program called GIMP. Then Ruth Kedar, a mutual friend of Brin and Larry Page from Stanford, got to work on other logo prototypes.

Twitter: $15

Twitter 15

Twitter bought rights to the now-famous Twitter bird for $15 on iStockphoto. Artist Simon Oxley, a British citizen living in Japan, might have only received $6 for his work—without a credit. However, the bird has undergone a recent makeover.

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Zynga Employee: I Can't Buy A House Because Of The Stock Crash, But That's Life (ZNGA)

Zynga Headquarters Tour

Zynga's stock has cratered to $3 from a high of more than $15, and that's upset a lot of Zynga's employees.

Many of them have come out of the woodwork to complain on Quora, a question-and-answer site popular with the tech set.

Anonymously, that is.

They've written that Zynga made them work long hours and drove them into the ground, and the only thing holding them back from leaving was the impending IPO and the fortune they would make in stock.

But now Zynga general manager Niko Vuori has come out swinging against those anonymous colleagues on the site. Here's the core of his argument, in his own words:

NO ONE IS FORCING ANYONE TO WORK HERE AGAINST THEIR WILL. If you are a top performer, you WILL be rewarded (no politics required). If you are not a top performer, it might suck a little bit. But you can vote with your feet, and just take off. 

Vuori is not saying that working at Zynga is a cakewalk. Zynga is a young company—which means everyone has to work hard. if you perform at Zynga, you are rewarded—not driven into the ground. But if you are just sticking around for the stock price, that's the worst possible reason to stay at the company, Vuori writes.

It's natural to be upset about the stock price. Vuori has had to put off purchasing a house as a result, he says. But he also says he knew what he was getting into.

Here's the full post:

I have worked at Zynga for just over a year now, and am not afraid to hide my real identity, unlike the other answerers on this thread. I was working on my own startup before joining Zynga, and am now the General Manager of FrontierVille. I’ll start by actually answering the question, instead of using this as an excuse to bash the company (or blow smoke up your asses about how awesome it is either).
How do I feel about the stock price drop – I don’t feel great about it, of course not. It sucks to go from $10 at IPO, to a high of $15, and then drop to $3. And sure, my theoretical net worth has been impacted. I had plans to buy the house I am renting at the moment – those plans are on hold now, since the RSUs for which I just hit the 1 year cliff for are not worth enough to put together a down payment. That’s a very real impact on my life and my plans. And while untold riches are always in the back of your mind (“What if we go to $20? What if we go to $100?”), you can’t control the markets, and if you miss, the markets will punish you. It hurts, and is annoying and frustrating, especially with all the bad press floating around at the moment, but I walked into this with my eyes open – no one promised me great wealth or a guaranteed share price. The only promise that was made to me was this – that Zynga is a meritocracy, and if I work hard and do well, I will be noticed and rewarded. 
With regards to that particular promise, I have been very pleased, and my high expectations have been fully met. I did indeed work hard, especially right after joining, to prove myself and to learn the Zynga way. Late nights and weekends were frequent in those first months, especially since we were launching something big at the time. The learning curve was steep. However, morale was high, the team had fun, and we were excited about what we were (and still are) doing. Making great games that excite millions of players every day is a rush, and being a metrics-driven company means that whenever you get something right, the numbers tell you so immediately. 
In specific response to Anon User with over 600 votes, and the second Anon User with over 100 votes, I am surprised by your experiences. That is not my experience at all. Of course, the culture does not sit well with everyone, no company culture is perfect. Yes, we work hard. Yes, we care about metrics and numbers. Yes, we all wish that Q2 had gone better and that the stock price was higher. But no one forces anyone to put in “years being worked into the ground” and no one forces you to “put your life on hold.” If the only thing keeping you around was the IPO after “three and something miserable years” then your priorities are all wrong. 
I will not speak for anyone else at Zynga, but what keeps me going is the thrill of making games that millions of people enjoy. What motivates me are the regular, quarterly recognition and rewards (and no, it is not for people “willing to play the politics game,” it is for people who are high performers). What excites me are the opportunities that lie ahead, beyond this single-quarter hiccup. 
The stock price, today, is a turd. We have $1.6bn in the bank, and the markets are behaving as if we are about to go bankrupt. Over the last 4 quarters, we generated $350M in free cash flow. At times like these, if you believe in the long-term prospects of the company like I do, you are happy that Mark Pincus has special voting rights, because it means we aren’t at risk of a shareholder revolt or a hostile takeover. It means we can focus on the future and build that share price back up, one great game at a time. 
I have no doubt that there are indeed individuals at Zynga who have had a rough experience, same as at any other company. Start-up life is rough, as is life at a freshly-IPO’d company with a brand new business model (just ask Amazon.com– how the hell do you make money selling books on the Internet?). Meritocracies can be rough too – if you aren’t a top performer, you see all your peers reaping the rewards while you are treading water. There are strategy changes, and there are re-orgs, and there are late nights. The markets love you, and then they hate you. You take one misstep, and everyone proclaims your demise. The news media picks up on the prevailing meme and broadcasts it over and over into the echo chamber. It can be tough on morale. But ultimately, the bottom line is this: NO ONE IS FORCING ANYONE TO WORK HERE AGAINST THEIR WILL. If you are a top performer, you WILL be rewarded (no politics required). If you are not a top performer, it might suck a little bit. But you can vote with your feet, and just take off. 
On a final note, Zynga has in the region of 3,000 employees. Not everyone is singing kumbaya around a campfire. Shame on Josh Constine and TechCrunch for posting one anonymous individual’s unverified account on Quora of their alleged experience on an unnamed Zynga game team and calling that “news.”

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Here Are The Easiest, Most Affordable Ways To Beat Annoying Bank Fees


Nearly any way you slice it, checking accounts became a little more expensive in the first half of 2012.

That's the principal finding of the latest MoneyRates.com Bank Fees Survey, a semi-annual study that examines banking costs across the country to reveal trends in checking account and ATM charges. The latest data, which MoneyRates.com collected in July, suggest that the fee environment worsened for bank customers in virtually every way possible in the first half of the year.

However, the results also indicate that consumers still have several options for combating these costs. The following are some notable trends in bank fees -- and what consumers can do about them.

Checking fees rise across the board

Compared to the end-of-year 2011 Bank Fees Survey, average checking account fees rose in every major category tracked:

  • Minimum required to open an account. The average amount required to open a checking account was $408.76 in this survey, up from $391.41 in the previous. The higher this minimum becomes, the more poorer customers may be forced to go unbanked.
  • Monthly service fees. Among banks that charge a monthly fee, the average cost was $12.08, up from $11.28. At a total of nearly $145 per year, these monthly maintenance fees can take a serious bite out of your savings account balance.
  • Minimum balance for fee waiver. Banks will often waive the monthly fee for customers with more on deposit, but the amount you have to keep in your account to get this waiver is going up. The data show an average of $4,446.57 to get a monthly fee waived, up from $3,590.83.
  • Overdraft fees. Overdraft fees jumped to an average of $29.83, up from $29.23.
  • Percentage of accounts offering free checking. Contrary to many reports, free checking is not dead, but it is becoming more scarce. Only 35.3 percent of the accounts surveyed were free of a monthly maintenance fee, down from 38.8 percent.
  • ATM fees. ATM fees also increased, both for bank customers using out-of-network machines and for non-customers using a bank's ATM.

Previous surveys have tended to show more of a mixed bag, with some fees rising and others falling. But the latest survey shows a comprehensive trend toward checking accounts becoming more expensive.

Differences by size and type of bank

While the trend toward higher fees seems decisive, it is by no means universal. The average fees in the survey varied widely between different sizes and types of banks.

The average monthly maintenance fee was $13.88 at large banks (those with more than $25 billion in deposits), while it was only $9.87 at small banks (those with less than $5 billion in deposits). At medium-sized banks, the average monthly maintenance fee fit in between at $11.17. The average minimums to open an account and to qualify for a fee waiver were higher among the large banks surveyed too.

The results also indicate that small banks are much more likely to offer free checking. There was no monthly maintenance fee at 45.8 percent of the accounts at small banks in the survey, whereas only 21 percent of the accounts at large banks were free of those fees.

Fee structures also differed greatly between primarily online banks and traditional branch-based institutions. Two-thirds of online checking accounts were free of monthly maintenance fees, compared to just 34 percent of those offered by traditional banks. The online banks that do charge monthly fees also tended to charge lower amounts than traditional banks, and their average account minimums, overdraft fees and ATM fees were lower too.

How to beat rising bank fees

Here are four tips to help you avoid the jump in charges:

  1. Shop around. There is a huge variation in bank fees, so shopping around can make a big difference. Over a third of checking accounts still do not charge a monthly maintenance fee, which can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
  2. Consider an online bank. Given the clear cost advantage of online banks in the survey, switching to one may offer much-needed relief if you are fed up with fees.
  3. Think small. If you don't want to bank online, you may want to focus on smaller banks, since they offered several price advantages over their larger counterparts in this survey.
  4. Match your needs with a bank's fees. When comparing banks, consider your banking habits. For example, if you have a tendency to overdraft your account, the size of overdraft fees may matter more than monthly maintenance fees.

While this survey suggests a clear pattern toward rising fees, you can still buck this trend by doing your research. Comparing fee disclosures takes some work, but when it leads to saving month after month, the effort is likely to prove worth it.


To track these trends, the Bank Fees Survey uses the MoneyRates Index, which includes the 50 largest banks in the U.S. plus a similar number of smaller banks. This sampling is meant to be representative of the national banking environment.

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