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View Full Version : Pool has another fatal flaw


SkyscraperChris
05-25-2011, 09:02 PM
Everywhere you look in the pool and billiard universe - billiards magazines, pool halls, billiard newsletters, etc - bad, unattractive, and poorly designed logos, ads, posters, flyers, tshirts, all of it.

Just like any small business out there, billiard companies, cue makers, pool halls, and event promoters need only spend a few bucks on revamping an old logo or brand image to boost sales and make a name for themselves in a sea of competition.

There are literally hundreds of cue makers out there who have incredible designs, but do themselves no justice with their company logo or ad they have out currently. Not to mention all the books, instructional DVDs, or other services provided to pool players all around.

Why do these small businesses go year after year with the same, worn out, usually VERY cheesy (you know what I'm talking about, 8 and 9 ball logos EVERYWHERE) brand images? They have to compete with more legitimate companies like Schon, Predator, and Cuetec, who all have great branding and marketing. And it doesn't cost a lot.

How does the billiard industry expect to be more recognized when its VISUAL image to the public is so poor? How do these small companies, businesses, cue makers, event promoters, etc, expect to compete when their image doesn't stand out?

Is this worth taking time to consider? For the past 3 years I have been designing for the local billiard community here in Southern California, and I am reaching out further and further every month. It does make a difference. What do you think?

M HOUSE
05-25-2011, 10:33 PM
I think that if pool has more than one fatal flaw and it's still not dead, then there is hope...

westcoast
05-25-2011, 10:46 PM
Another flaw is the general appearance of many of the people that play a lot. I was in Vegas last weekend and saw some rather unattractive people playing in the league tournaments. Not saying I'm the most attractive person around, but it seems like many pool players take little care of themselves- overweight, smokers, terrible fashion, etc.

JCIN
05-25-2011, 10:52 PM
Another flaw is the general appearance of many of the people that play a lot. I was in Vegas last weekend and saw some rather unattractive people playing in the league tournaments. Not saying I'm the most attractive person around, but it seems like many pool players take little care of themselves- overweight, smokers, terrible fashion, etc.

Thats just Americans in general. Walk down the street and look around.

M HOUSE
05-25-2011, 10:58 PM
[QUOTE=westcoast;3030288]Another flaw is the general appearance of many of the people that play a lot. I was in Vegas last weekend and saw some rather unattractive people playing in the league tournaments. Not saying I'm the most attractive person around, but it seems like many pool players take little care of themselves- overweight, smokers, terrible fashion, etc.[/Q

Now you've got this thread going in the right direction. Everyone can just post what they think pools fatal flaw is here and they won't have to start their own thread.

Baxter
05-25-2011, 11:02 PM
Thats just Americans in general. Walk down the street and look around.

Huge lol.

Because it's so true.

Baxter
05-25-2011, 11:09 PM
Also,

Who are they trying to stand out to? Do you really think that the billiard industry is trying to market itself to the general (non-pool-playing) public? They have a demographic that they are trying to reach, and a pretty limited one at that. Let's face it. Their demographic is generally placed in an older age group. I'm 23, and don't know a lot of serious pool players my age. Most serious pool players I know are quite a bit older than me. If you are younger (like me) I understand your point of view completely. But the older crowd doesn't find the same things as cheesy and corny as someone my age.

You have to realize that.

M HOUSE
05-25-2011, 11:09 PM
Another flaw is the general appearance of many of the people that play a lot. I was in Vegas last weekend and saw some rather unattractive people playing in the league tournaments. Not saying I'm the most attractive person around, but it seems like many pool players take little care of themselves- overweight, smokers, terrible fashion, etc.

I was thinking of joining a league, but if it is going to make me gain weight, start smoking, and forget how to dress, then league play is not for me.

SkyscraperChris
05-25-2011, 11:13 PM
Also,

Who are they trying to stand out to? Do you really think that the billiard industry is trying to market itself to the general (non-pool-playing) public? They have a demographic that they are trying to reach, and a pretty limited one at that. Let's face it. Their demographic is generally placed in an older age group. I'm 23, and don't know a lot of serious pool players my age. Most serious pool players I know are quite a bit older than me. If you are younger (like me) I understand your point of view completely. But the older crowd doesn't find the same things as cheesy and corny as someone my age.

You have to realize that.

You couldn't be more wrong, sir. The artwork that exists currently does not exist because old people like it. That makes zero sense. If old people liked ugly design, it wouldn't exist in only small niches of the world. It exists because those who own small businesses, any type, don't realize the value in a good, solid design. I don't know where that logic comes from that you have brought up, but clearly it isn't founded on anything solid.

Island Drive
05-26-2011, 06:21 AM
Another flaw is the general appearance of many of the people that play a lot. I was in Vegas last weekend and saw some rather unattractive people playing in the league tournaments. Not saying I'm the most attractive person around, but it seems like many pool players take little care of themselves- overweight, smokers, terrible fashion, etc.

End of yr events should have a dress code for sure. There are enough people there one is able to borrow what's needed to look appropriate and then go buy a shirt etc. for the next match. Impose some type of penalty or warning. By imporoving the image, everything else starts falling into place. It's no different than big cities getting rid of tagging/graffitti and broken windows to turn a neighborhood around. Get rid of the hood and bring back neighbors, it works, was done in NY City yrs ago successfully. When everyone around you looks good, a Slob sticks out even more.

JCIN
05-26-2011, 06:47 AM
You couldn't be more wrong, sir. The artwork that exists currently does not exist because old people like it. That makes zero sense. If old people liked ugly design, it wouldn't exist in only small niches of the world. It exists because those who own small businesses, any type, don't realize the value in a good, solid design. I don't know where that logic comes from that you have brought up, but clearly it isn't founded on anything solid.

Most small businesses, of any kind, have limited resources. Design is an abstract thing to a lot of people. They just need a logo. They want to spend the least amount possible on it. Everybody on this board knows someone who thinks they are a design wizard. So the small business owner does it themselves or has the son-in-law who is "good with computers" do one.

As for paying someone outside to do logo's and such it is a gamble. One guy will charge you $5000 for the same thing another guy will charge you $100 for. Living in Vegas I pay a lot of attention to logo's, billboards, and advertisements. The companies here spend a metric ass load on that type of design and IMO half of it the son-in-law in the above example could have done better. Its not just small pool businesses with chintzy design.

example: The Beach Club at Encore:

http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/image-files/img_beach-club-encore.jpg

Also design is very subjective. I think the above design looks like a 12 year old did it. I'm sure the designer who did it would say its "elegant" and the bubble letters and colors evoke a classic beach feel. Everyone has an opinion. Its more important to make a decision and move forward than to waste time fooling endlessly with design options.

SkyscraperChris
05-26-2011, 11:16 AM
Most small businesses, of any kind, have limited resources. Design is an abstract thing to a lot of people. They just need a logo. They want to spend the least amount possible on it. Everybody on this board knows someone who thinks they are a design wizard. So the small business owner does it themselves or has the son-in-law who is "good with computers" do one.

As for paying someone outside to do logo's and such it is a gamble. One guy will charge you $5000 for the same thing another guy will charge you $100 for. Living in Vegas I pay a lot of attention to logo's, billboards, and advertisements. The companies here spend a metric ass load on that type of design and IMO half of it the son-in-law in the above example could have done better. Its not just small pool businesses with chintzy design.

example: The Beach Club at Encore:

http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/image-files/img_beach-club-encore.jpg

Also design is very subjective. I think the above design looks like a 12 year old did it. I'm sure the designer who did it would say its "elegant" and the bubble letters and colors evoke a classic beach feel. Everyone has an opinion. Its more important to make a decision and move forward than to waste time fooling endlessly with design options.

This is why bad design exists - those who don't understand the importance of paying for a well thought out, professionally made logo/ad/etc will have the son-in-law do it, and the logo stands for about 25 years, not attractive and not at all important to the owner. However, those who don't know the business owner, what the business does, what it's capable of, if it's product or service is good, only have the logo or ad to use to gauge what the business' level of competence is. You may THINK that if you are paying for the same logo if you don't hire a professional, but an amateur doesn't understand color, composition, clarity, typography, contrast, thematic design, the psychology of design, subliminal advertising, etc etc. You spend a few hundred dollars on a new logo, and believe me, it will be clear that the money was well spent.

My point was that it is VERY rare that I see a professionally designed logo or ad in the billiard community. Companies and businesses that expect to succeed and make more than just enough to get by know that marketing and advertising are incredibly important.

Tom In Cincy
05-26-2011, 11:22 AM
I always thought successful sales and/or marketing strategies never included negative comments or rhetoric pertaining cutomer decisions and competitor products.

Or, don't tell your customers they are dumb to purchase products from your competitors or that their choices are stupid and don't work.

You want to sell your product, sell it, if the cost is prohibitive for your customers, work out a deal.

Criticising others decisions and products in not a very professional way to introduce a product.

IMO.

This is why bad design exists - those who don't understand the importance of paying for a well thought out, professionally made logo/ad/etc will have the son-in-law do it, and the logo stands for about 25 years, not attractive and not at all important to the owner. However, those who don't know the business owner, what the business does, what it's capable of, if it's product or service is good, only have the logo or ad to use to gauge what the business' level of competence is. You may THINK that if you are paying for the same logo if you don't hire a professional, but an amateur doesn't understand color, composition, clarity, typography, contrast, thematic design, the psychology of design, subliminal advertising, etc etc. You spend a few hundred dollars on a new logo, and believe me, it will be clear that the money was well spent.
My point was that it is VERY rare that I see a professionally designed logo or ad in the billiard community. Companies and businesses that expect to succeed and make more than just enough to get by know that marketing and advertising are incredibly important.

LAlouie
05-26-2011, 11:23 AM
Lipstick on a pig.

JCIN
05-26-2011, 02:10 PM
This is why bad design exists - those who don't understand the importance of paying for a well thought out, professionally made logo/ad/etc will have the son-in-law do it, and the logo stands for about 25 years, not attractive and not at all important to the owner. However, those who don't know the business owner, what the business does, what it's capable of, if it's product or service is good, only have the logo or ad to use to gauge what the business' level of competence is. You may THINK that if you are paying for the same logo if you don't hire a professional, but an amateur doesn't understand color, composition, clarity, typography, contrast, thematic design, the psychology of design, subliminal advertising, etc etc. You spend a few hundred dollars on a new logo, and believe me, it will be clear that the money was well spent.

My point was that it is VERY rare that I see a professionally designed logo or ad in the billiard community. Companies and businesses that expect to succeed and make more than just enough to get by know that marketing and advertising are incredibly important.
If you think a few hundred dollars for a logo is what a real working professional or design firm charges then I think you need to get out more. The thing with design is every swinging dick who knows how to use Illustrator or Photoshop considers themselves a professional designer. Add in a couple college classes and it just gets higher and deeper.

Bottom line is all anyone would have to do (and it has been done) is post a thread soliciting designs with a free cue or some other other prize to the winner and you would have 20 people posting ideas and concepts. In the end opinions are going to vary on how "good" a logo is whether you spend $100 or $5000. If your entire budget for marketing is $2000 are you going to spend hundreds on a logo or on advertising ?

In the pool world its just not going to make that big of a difference. Predator does the best job but if you took their logo and made in straight block letters but pushed it through the same amount of adds I doubt the difference in the bottom line would be that much.

I agree that there is a lot of ugly stuff out there but chances are what I consider hideous someone else really likes. There have been a lot of Dead Stroke shirts sold over the years. Someone already posted "lipstick on a pig" and in most cases that is what it pretty much comes down to. I guess in my opinion its more about the product or service itself than a logo. Predator may have a neat shiny logo but the coolest logo in the cue world is a capital "S". Its about the product.

jrt30004
05-26-2011, 02:41 PM
seriously, we're hacking away over logos? there are two sure fire ways to sell and sell well. quality and word of mouth marketing.
make a quality product and your logo can be a duck taking a s*it and your product will sell. i have played drums for quite sometime and the logo attached is for dw drums. they are expensive as hell and have been one of the top selling drum lines since they were introduced (i loved me a well helled sucker when i worked at guitar center). a five year old with a bad twich could have come up with this.
http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp133/ronin33324/stuff/dw20logo.gif
pool is no different. you can put a pepper shooting fire out of it on a southwest. it's gonna sell. because of the quality.
the second part is word of mouth marketing. you can pay all the money you want to madison ave for an ad campaign and if people are walking the streets saying your product is crap you're not selling. however, get a few people to tell you something is good, and you might try it. if you like it and tell a few more people and they try it, you're off to the races. ads or no ads, logo or no logo.
in my life i have made and subsequently pissed away a pile of money working in sales. and i made my bones by giving my customers the best quality merch they could afford with the scratch in their pocket and then having them tell all their buddies who did right by them.
you want a flaw with pool here's one, i don't see enough people telling other people about good things with pool. all everyone wants to do is b*tch and moan. the racks suck, the rooms suck, the leagues suck, the streams suck, the cues suck, the palyers are a-holes, players are nothing but dump artists. were all guilty, me included. change our attitudes, change the perception, change the word of mouth and you can begin to change the numbers.
end of sermon, fire away..............

XXshotmakerXX
05-26-2011, 02:49 PM
the effect to outside it's all, the invitation to come and awaken curiosity.

here's an design example of a poolhall and sportsbar from Germany in my hometown

http://www.k-60.de/component/content/article/91-das-k60-darmstadt

and the pool hall tournament trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DkMt5sqGzE

makes this curious and would you come?

SkyscraperChris
05-26-2011, 03:59 PM
If you think a few hundred dollars for a logo is what a real working professional or design firm charges then I think you need to get out more. The thing with design is every swinging dick who knows how to use Illustrator or Photoshop considers themselves a professional designer. Add in a couple college classes and it just gets higher and deeper.

Bottom line is all anyone would have to do (and it has been done) is post a thread soliciting designs with a free cue or some other other prize to the winner and you would have 20 people posting ideas and concepts. In the end opinions are going to vary on how "good" a logo is whether you spend $100 or $5000. If your entire budget for marketing is $2000 are you going to spend hundreds on a logo or on advertising ?

In the pool world its just not going to make that big of a difference. Predator does the best job but if you took their logo and made in straight block letters but pushed it through the same amount of adds I doubt the difference in the bottom line would be that much.

I agree that there is a lot of ugly stuff out there but chances are what I consider hideous someone else really likes. There have been a lot of Dead Stroke shirts sold over the years. Someone already posted "lipstick on a pig" and in most cases that is what it pretty much comes down to. I guess in my opinion its more about the product or service itself than a logo. Predator may have a neat shiny logo but the coolest logo in the cue world is a capital "S". Its about the product.

I agree, there are way too many people out there who think they are the best at what they do. And I'm not only talking about Predator's logo, I am talking about their entire branding and marketing strategies. Their ads are professional, the typography is solid, all of it - and that is a big reason why they are successful. Sure, their cues and shafts are great, but without getting your name out there, word of mouth only goes so far. Most people don't give design any extra thought because, like much of the small business world, they don't realize its full potential. Cue makers, of all people, should understand the value of aesthetics. Ask any marketing executive or ad agency. We are constantly dumbfounded by the ideas and artwork that exists. However, without bad design all over the place, I wouldn't have a job as a designer.

SkyscraperChris
05-26-2011, 04:03 PM
the effect to outside it's all, the invitation to come and awaken curiosity.

here's an design example of a poolhall and sportsbar from Germany in my hometown

http://www.k-60.de/component/content/article/91-das-k60-darmstadt

and the pool hall tournament trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DkMt5sqGzE

makes this curious and would you come?

Exactly. This place has a beautiful atmosphere and great equipment, but so do thousands of pool halls. What's gonna make you wanna go though is their website (for the majority of people). Businesses and companies everywhere have to compete in the marketplace, but their products can't be sold until they grab the customer and make them want to come in and buy it. This isn't rocket science, it's marketing, advertising, and design.

SkyscraperChris
05-26-2011, 04:05 PM
seriously, we're hacking away over logos? there are two sure fire ways to sell and sell well. quality and word of mouth marketing.
make a quality product and your logo can be a duck taking a s*it and your product will sell. i have played drums for quite sometime and the logo attached is for dw drums. they are expensive as hell and have been one of the top selling drum lines since they were introduced (i loved me a well helled sucker when i worked at guitar center). a five year old with a bad twich could have come up with this.
http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp133/ronin33324/stuff/dw20logo.gif
pool is no different. you can put a pepper shooting fire out of it on a southwest. it's gonna sell. because of the quality.
the second part is word of mouth marketing. you can pay all the money you want to madison ave for an ad campaign and if people are walking the streets saying your product is crap you're not selling. however, get a few people to tell you something is good, and you might try it. if you like it and tell a few more people and they try it, you're off to the races. ads or no ads, logo or no logo.
in my life i have made and subsequently pissed away a pile of money working in sales. and i made my bones by giving my customers the best quality merch they could afford with the scratch in their pocket and then having them tell all their buddies who did right by them.
you want a flaw with pool here's one, i don't see enough people telling other people about good things with pool. all everyone wants to do is b*tch and moan. the racks suck, the rooms suck, the leagues suck, the streams suck, the cues suck, the palyers are a-holes, players are nothing but dump artists. were all guilty, me included. change our attitudes, change the perception, change the word of mouth and you can begin to change the numbers.
end of sermon, fire away..............

If word of mouth sold products better than logos and advertisements, why use them at all? Flawed logic there.

westcoast
05-26-2011, 10:20 PM
Thats just Americans in general. Walk down the street and look around.

Somewhat true. However, the proportion is even higher amongst many pool players for some reason. In terms of class, it seems like just a step above bowling.

I'm just stating what I see as the facts- I'm an avid pool player and fan, but sometimes I look around at some of my fellow serious players and fans and just shake my head. Anybody else get what I'm saying?

pwd72s
05-26-2011, 10:31 PM
Logos are a funny thing. The mutual of Omaha logo...I know the guy who designed it. They paid him $200.