RescueTime Gets a Shiny New Logo

Sorry for the relative silence on this blog– we’ve been hard at work doing the following:

  • scaling RescueTime to handle the steady influx of users
  • fundraising (we’ve got some exciting news on this front coming soon)
  • hiring (if you happen to know a Rails, Python, or C++ developer who wants to jump in with us, send ’em our way)…  Our full jobs page is here.
  • working on the next iteration of the application

On top of all of this, we got a very polite letter from the Red Cross regarding our logo.  Apparently, we’re not the first to receive such a letter.  It can’t be a very happy task trying to enforce a trademark on such a ubiquitous image (if you’re a video gamer, how many “health packs” do you grab that don’t have a red plus on ’em?).   According to Johnson & Johnson and the Red Cross, it’s a murky landscape, at best (source: wikipedia)– J&J sued the Red Cross for… er… using the Red Cross (it’s an interesting story) and recently lost.

It honestly never occurred to us that we’d be stepping on their toes, as much as that image seems to be everywhere and as much as RescueTime is in a different market space.  Whether they are in the right or not, we know the Red Cross would probably much rather spend their money and time pursuing their mission than sending letters to us…  So we’re happy to adjust our logo.

I would like to say that working with the Red Cross on this issue has been a breath of fresh air.  They were pretty informal.  It wasn’t a legalese missive, but rather a request for a phone call.  The guy I talked to said he’d be happy to review any revised logo we came up with to make sure it passed muster before we went to the trouble of adjusting it everywhere in our app (he did review it, and it did pass muster).

Anyhoo, I’d like to introduce you to our shiny new logo.  Less red, still a plus, and the only one who might get grumpy is the Swiss (who are famously neutral… yay!).

9 Comments on “RescueTime Gets a Shiny New Logo”

  1. Bogdan Belcea says:

    Cool new Logo.

  2. Dmitry says:

    I like it. Maybe tune down the saturation on the red just a tiny bit, but the shape and metaphor are there.

  3. Galen says:

    Good work. It’s perdy.

  4. […] the red cross. If you mess with the red cross, you will have to mess with the Red Cross. Co-founder Tony Wright notes on the RescueTime blog that the Red Cross logo police were very friendly and helped to make sure […]

  5. Herve Kabla says:

    Guys, the Red Cross was born in Switzerland!

  6. Zed says:

    Although I don’t exactly see why the Red Cross was disturbed by your red logo, its great that you guys changed it yourselves!

    I think I like it better now! Great work, guys!

  7. Mike Koss says:

    I guess you have to pick your battles. It irks me that the American Red Cross is making this claim – it’s ridiculous as there is NO possibility for confusion, and the idea of a “red cross” is so ubiquitous I don’t think its protectable. Maybe Victorinox will come after you next!

    BTW – a search of the US Trademarks shows several users of “red cross” that are NOT the American Red Cross – since you’re not providing health related services, I think you could call yourselves Red Cross Time Management and still use the mark!

  8. Matt Kane says:

    Remarkably, I think this isn’t about trademark law: you’d actually be breaking the Geneva Convention by using the Red Cross symbol! Admittedly not an expected thing to need to worry about when creating a web app!

  9. Channa Connolly says:

    WICKED new logo guys!
    I’m a UX/Graphic Designer and just found Rescue Time – KILLER APP by the way! Kudos for a fab product!