The case for "Appinstructor"

Added on by Rick Stawarz.

An attorney from Apple contacted my attorney to notify us that the Macinstructor name and logo infringed on a couple of their trademarks. He wasn't mean about it. We didn't receive a cease and desist letter -- just a pleasant, but firm phone call. Apparently, if you are operating in the realm of technology, your company logo shouldn't include an image of an apple. Or the word "Mac." Go figure. The bottom line is that I should have known better when I started Macinstructor four years ago. My experience also taught me that receiving a quick and quiet phone call like this is a big lump of grace. I'm a small shop. It's relatively easy for me to call a designer friend and have something ready fairly quickly. Going through the formalities of adequately responding to a C&D would have required many more dollars and time.

So, how did I arrive at "Appinstructor" and the app-tree logo? When it comes to picking a name, I wanted something that wouldn't throw off my existing clients. It needs to still be familiar. Thankfully, "app" is not trademarked, has the same vowel as the previous term, and has a connotation of mobile devices. A few have advised against using a name which is descriptive of the services offered, but given that most consultants out there choose to focus on troubleshooting rather teaching, I thought it is a distinction that deserves to be emphasized.

The logo was a bit more of a challenge. I regularly received compliments of the old logo: a red apple with green leaf and wearing glasses. It conveyed our combined emphasis on education and technology. But it was also a rip off and needed to change. My designer and I toyed around with a few ideas that I won't bore you about. We eventually landed on an app icon with a white tree. I really wanted it to mimic the artwork used throughout the 2013 WWDC marketing. That version is still being used in a few places, but its abundance of fine threads of color is a bit distracting on the website. Instead, I'll be using the simplified blue app icon with a white tree on it.

I realize that each of these terms and images are fairly generic. I hope that my company combines these symbols and words in a unique way that makes sense for those seeking professional instruction.