Thursday, September 8, 2011

Attracting Easy

To get  ideas for a new logo for BehaveNet I viewed a dozen or so Web sites related to behavioral health care, mostly a variety of providers running the spectrum from psychotherapists of all kinds to drug rehab residential facilities.You can probably guess what I found: birds and butterflies, flowers and trees, waves and water, brains and molecules, happy, fulfilled appearing people, some with their arms in the air, and a variety of abstract shapes. You can probably imagine the marketing people pushing positive images depicting happiness and light, growth and fulfillment. Avoid reference to pain and suffering, failure and defeat. Avoid reference to reality. Talk about issues instead of symptoms and dysfunction.

I wonder to what extent this approach to marketing reflects the fact that most of us prefer to work with low risk patients, the worried well. And who could blame us? We want to help, but who wants to (or can afford to) accept responsibility for the too numerous horrible outcomes? Certainly not our society, always looking to blame the professional when someone who may suffer from a mental illness does something shocking.

To survive we may strive to shun the people who need our help most, even if only by the subtle means of attracting cases that allow us to sleep at night.

I hope the disclaimers will suffice to keep the judges and juries from holding BehaveNet responsible for bad outcomes. So when I started the logo design process I said no birds or butterflies, no smiling faces or flowers, and I mentioned Mr. Loughner. We pursue serious professions, and the serious problems exist. I welcome suggestions.


  1. I like the head used at "Thought Broadcast".


    Simple, gets the point across, and makes little or no judgment. The favico the site specifies (just the "head shot" w broadcast thingies) is simple enough that it is always easily discernible when I am visually trolling through my web browser's organized bookmark folders.

    Now, the fullsize banner on their homepage maybe looks a little "cheap" compared to a lot of other sites, but it's really genius branding, IMHO.

  2. Anon #1 here again.

    "Shrink Rap" has (IMHO) a great silhouette-based logo:

    (IMHO based on your specified criteria) which they also use as the basis for their favico, and it is this latter application in which their chosen image really (surprisingly) shines. I wouldn't have picked it in a million years for a site's favico - it seems too detailed and busy upon first glance - but like Thought Broadcast's, I never have to look at it twice in my bookmark browsing.

    I'm not so crazy about that rubber duck thing, however. The way it's featured on their front page sends a message ... from 1998.

  3. I couldn't agree more. We are in a serious business helping people experiencing pain and suffering. A good website should communicate competence and professionalism--that's where the hope comes from. It doesn't come from a website that looks like the online version of a gift shop.

  4. Thanks for the suggestions. Dr Balt and Shrinkrap do have great logos. Dinah should post the story of the rubber duck. I still don't know it. But what am I going to do with behaveNET? A logo with a net? Maybe I need a whole new name. Regardless, I just got the first 5 designs from The Logo Company, and I like what I see.