Hi. My name is Marc Sylvester.
I own and operate Laughingbird Software
This is me ... and my family
Laughingbird has been around since 1998. I began this internet gig doing logos and websites for clients all over the planet. This was back in the days of DIAL UP modems! … I’m old.
In 2001, I decided to merge my graphics abilities with my programming knowledge and came up with …The Logo Creator!
And I’ve been running with it ever since.
I Recently did an interview for my very favorite hosting service: Lunarpages.com. I’ve been with them for years and have been very happy with their services.
I decided that this page would be a great spot to tell you about Laughingbird Software.
Hello Marc. Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about your company Laughingbird Software!
… Did you go to school for graphic design? If so, where and what degree? If not, what is your education background?
Thanks for taking the time to interview me
Yes. I went to San Diego State and majored in Art.
I only went for 2 years – then moved on to a computer graphics College to learn the art of Photoshop and a programming application called “Director” (previously owned by Macromedia, now owned by Adobe). This was back when Photoshop was on version 1.0!
I spent 2 years there (where I eventually received a degree in Computer Graphics) and learned, early on, that using a computer for design was the way of the future. This was back when color printing was too expensive for the general public. I remember paying $20 per page just to print a color picture I created from the computer.
Dot matrix printing was the norm back then
What does Laughingbird mean? Is there a concept behind it?
The company name was formed from a real bird.
I had been working at a company for 3 years. It was a multi-media company. The founder had a terrific idea of putting TV monitors in the aisle of the supermarket. Each screen would play a commercial for the products in that isle.
I was in charge of creating the ‘fun’ graphics in between the commercials. Trivia questions – funny animations, stuff like that.
Unfortunately, the company did not receive the funding it needed and it closed down. I was left without a job.
I knew I wanted to work on my own – be my own boss – so that this kind of thing didn’t happen again. So I began forming my Graphics-online company. While I was trying to think up a name for the company ( this was about 2am), a mocking bird in a tree outside my apartment was … Laughing. A mockingbird’s call sounds like a laugh. AND, they tend to call in the very early hours. It was driving me nutts – but it started to make me laugh.
So this bird became the Laughing bird. And the name stuck. The laughingbird kept me up for the next 2 nights – and both nights, I was able to focus on what I needed to accomplish to run my own business.
What would you categorize your software as? Something like a design program such as InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop or somewhat like The Print Shop, ext.?
Yes, The Logo Creator is a design program. Similar to Photoshop.
However, it’s not meant to be used instead of Photoshop – it’s meant to work with it. The Logo Creator is more template based. The user can choose from a predesigned template, then manipulate it. Using Photoshop can enhance the logo even further.
Are there any logos made from the software that are well-known?
Well known? Not that I can think of, but I’ve found logos created from The Logo Creator in unique places.
I’m a big iTunes fan and podcast listener. I frequently see podcast album covers that have used The Logo Creator.
I know of a toy store at a mall that used TLC for the logo above the store. And a high school that used a logo from The Cartoon Mascot edition for their school’s mascot! (My brother actually created the tiger for it!)
Who is the software intended for?
The Logo Creator is meant for the small business owner looking to create a logo for their business.
However, over the years, many graphic designers have used the software to provide a new business service for their own customers.
Is there anything that a client might want but the software cannot provide in a logo?
Yes. Vector art.
A vector image can be scaled to the size of a bus if necessary. Unfortunately, My logo maker doesn’t output vector images. A vector program (like Adobe Illustrator) is very tricky to use.
Over the years, I’ve found companies to help with this void. I’ve partnered with a great company called Logo2Vector.com – they’ve done a terrific job of converting a TLC logo into vector artwork.
What is the purpose of the software? Has the purpose of the software changed since when it was first created?
The purpose of the software; to have an easy way of creating a logo for your company without having to hire a designer. I wanted to make it easy to use – so I created the template-based system. The purpose hasn’t really changed over the years. But the end users are finding creative ‘non-logo’ things to do with the software. Page headers for websites, slide graphics for home movies … And podcast album covers.
What was your design process before the software?
Early on, I was doing all of my customer logos with Photoshop and Illustrator.
One day, a client wanted a ‘blue swoosh’ instead of the yellow one I gave him. So I changed it. … Then he wanted to see what it would look like as a green swoosh. So I changed it. Then he wanted purple!
So I created a software program – just for this client – that allowed him to colorize the swoosh himself (I learned how to create this small program from the graphic design school I mentioned above). He was fascinated with the software … And eventually created a full logo with it (I also gave him the ability to move the images around and place them where he wanted.)
Eventually, this small app became The Logo Creator.
I stopped designing as a designer, and became a software developer.
Where does the company hope to be in the next 10 to 20 years?
Right here where I am now. But with more sales
I love what I do. I work my own hours (which are a lot), and the sky’s the limit with the amount I can make. I just have to work the marketing end – daily.
Has the software been proven to increase sales in a small business?
A professional image for the company always makes the company more respectable.
A logo created in MS Word will make a company look cheap. A logo is a very important aspect to your overall marketing.
Have any general or graphic design publications reviewed the software? If so, what are they?
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today Marc. I wish you much success with your business.
Thanks very much for the interview LunarPages! It was nice talking to you.