Turning Snark Into Humor

Last Thursday, my good friends at Standing Cloud (we are investors) got a nice (and their first) write up in TechCrunch titled Standing Cloud Gives You One-Click App Installs Across Multiple Hosting Providers. I’m proud of the Standing Cloud team as they’ve resisted all the cloud hype and just stayed heads down and built out some really cool stuff that they are now rolling out.  I tuned into the TechCrunch article and scanned the comments and lo and behold, Standing Cloud seemed to have a giant issue being called out – namely the font of their logo.


Who knew that Papyrus was so hated by TechCrunch readers? Who knew there was a Papyrus Watch website for font offenders? All I could think of was that the Standing Cloud font was better than the old Feld Technologies font, which was in Bauhaus.

feldbauhausfont.jpg bauhausfont.jpg

I laughed for a while, then laughed some more at several good natured emails between me, Dave Jilk (the Standing Cloud CEO), my partner Jason, my partner Seth, and Todd Vernon (Lijit’s CEO who is on the Standing Cloud board.)

Then Dave turned himself into Papyrus Watch and posted a comment about it in the TechCrunch comment stream:

“I failed to heed prior warnings about this issue and we will now have to pay our debt to society. In response to your comment and others, I have voluntarily turned myself in to the authorities at PapyrusWatch (http://www.papyruswatch.com), and we are already making plans to update the logo to something attractive and sensible. I hope you favor rehabilitation over punishment and would be willing to try the service, or at least read the article, despite our aesthetic transgression.”

Papyrus Watch did their part with a post titled The Story of Standing Cloud.  In it, Standing Cloud announced that they have put up the job of designing a new logo for Standing Cloud on 99designs for $395.  Please, no Bauhaus.

  • Just make sure it's not in Comic Sans: http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/08/cleveland-cavs-o

  • I love some of the logos that have been submitted on 99designs.. Don't know if any will get selected by the team but its an awesome exclamation point on the entire, hilarious thing.. Great job David handling our good natured ribbing!

  • hop

    Avatar went cheap on the subtitles too — http://prttyshttydesign.blogspot.com/2010/01/open

  • thanks for sharing, nice info 🙂

  • Ha this is hilarious I had no idea that people were this passionate about fonts. I will remember that the next time I design a logo. Thanks for the laughs.

  • my God… i haven't checked out the TechCrunch post or comments… but Standing Cloud does have a major problem. They don't seem to be ready for a 99Designs contest, much less a public presence on the web!

    Holy Toledo…. or should it be, Heavens to Mergatroid?

    OK, i'll keep my mouth shut!! Pull it back and re-launch in six months.

    • that really won't be necessary. check out our forums. 🙂

  • So wait, a company uses one of the most overused poor fonts out there, then turns to exploitsourcing to fix it?

    Huge logic problems there, red flag, red flag.

    Exploiting isn't the answer.

    • Yeah – I know how you feel about crowd sourced design. But not everyone feels that way, including the folks that participate!

  • I just gave the people on the Techcrunch forum a dressing down for making it an issue. It was smart use of a designer font for making it your brand banner. I get where they were trying to connect the Native American sound of their name to the script style font that is similar to the font used in Native American collateral. It really is only a typesetting faux paux if you use it for whole sentences or paragraphs.

  • Hey guys, thanks for all your comments, positive and negative, and thanks Brad for posting about us. If you want to get the latest on the logo debacle, or tell us we're awesome, or tell us we suck, or just find out what the heck we actually DO, please hit us up on Twitter: http://twitter.com/standing_cloud , in our forums: http://bit.ly/9FmWtI or on Facebook: http://bit.ly/9l7htp

  • Oh, and we promise not to use Comic Sans, no matter what else happens.

    • I submit that you guys (and gals) at Standing Cloud have missed the point. And by making fun of those that have been lightly critical (ok, maybe a little snarky) you are driving home how badly you missed the point.

      The point was: your site was ugly. PAINFUL UGLY.

      it is an unspoken truism that if you put up an ugly site, your customers can't get past that. Even if you have the best, most amazing product or service for them.

      Web users have a short atttention span, and one of first filters they use is, "did this site take the time to make it look appealing to me?".

      I would suggest laying off criticizing the messenger. I trust Brad that you are a serious startup with an amazing offering; but the ugly site was SUCH a turnoff. I see you've been tuning it, and I'd say it looks like a garden-variety web 2.0 site now. There are probably great things under the hood; i don't know.

      So lay off shooting the messengers! It's not trivial feedback, as you portray it. And it's DEFINITELY not about the font(s).

      That's my feedback.

  • David L

    God dammit, ever since this post I can't stop noticing Papyrus font everywhere I go and it drives me nuts. Just like the cowbell in "Don't Fear the Reaper" never bothered me until the SNL skit. Neuroses are infectious.

    • lol! David u should get the Papyrus award for this whole sordid episode.

      With any blog as busy as this one, things are bound to go off the tracks once in a while…