27 April 2007

[design] Logoworks Owner Cashes In–HP Means to Buy Arteis

789 This appears to be breaking stuff.

HP, in its finite wisdom, is looking to buy Arteis, the parent company of the controversial online-design concern, Logoworks.

Logoworks became somewhat of a bête noir amongst designers since it debuted its business model for many reasons. I won't recapitulate the whole story here; Kat at Katz-i Design has the definitive archive of the imbroglio at her site here. Suffice it to say that undervaluing design services and plagiarism were two of the charges that made a big impression with me, as well as what I personally felt was an arrogant attitude on the part of Logoworks' parent.

Now that HP is seeing fit to purchase Logoworks' parent, my feelings are entirely mixed. I like HP hardware. I have an HP Officejet 6110 that is going strong despite its age (nothing in town is older than 3-year-old printer hardware) and have long admired their other products (I still own and use an HP-41CV calculator). As many people know, when you buy HP, you've bought quality.

But I wonder why HP would contemplate buying a company whose business model , in my opinion, undermines the ability of designers to make a respectable living–thus decreasing their ability to purchase the very products they produce? Logoworks injures one of HP core constituencies. It just doesn't make sense.

I've posted the press release from HP as a news item at Designorati here.

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