Many people have asked about the origins of our corporate logo. The quote above indicates there is some confusion as to who actually runs the place! When we incorporated on 02 Feb 95, about the last thing on our mind was a corporate logo - with all the other things to be done, there wasn't really time. Plans were already in place for a corporate identity, though, and initial ideas focussed on typefaces, fonts, letterhead designs, and such. A startup company always has more work to be done... usually somewhere else.
Finnegan, whom the company is named after, is actually a real cat. Rescued from certain doom after being abandoned in a barn, he came home with our president, Derek Keoughan (pronounced Q-N, or cue-an), on 06 Oct 91, at the tender age of about 5 months. Quickly earning his keep, Finnegan took to chasing bugs, stray beams of light, and the ever elusive goal of getting enough sleep. Such is the life of a cat.
Fast-forward to the summer of 1995, and Derek met a couple of artists at a local trade fair for entrepreneurs. When Derek mentioned the idea of "Borg"ing ™ his cat, Maria of Stickman Studios was the only artist Derek had spoken to that had any concept of what he was talking about. Her studio partner Dave was keen on the idea, and Derek quickly commissioned them for the logo development, giving them a pile of photos to draw from in selecting the perfect candidate.
This is a cropping from the one they chose.
This is concept sketch 1 from Maria - good start but lacking "oomph"
This is concept sketch 2, by Dave. Nice whiskers, but that's not really a tabby, Dave!
After some debate, it was decided that the logo was to have the top half from the first, and the whiskers of the second, with the nasal hose rerouted for an overhand curve. The "dead eye" from number 2 had to go.
This was the next draft, and, subsequently, the last.
Working quickly, the image was overlaid with a wireframe in CorelDRAW!, then printed out, shaded with pencil crayons, and re-scanned onto a couple of backgrounds that Dave made with water colours and paint thinner.
This second one was circulated in September 1995 to Canada Remote Systems BBS in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and eventually found its way onto more than one system as a background bitmap, according to sources within IBM who found it at Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas! What a small world.
Then winter set in... and we sat on the logo for a while, taking care of the Christmas rush and more marketing plans. Then, in February 1996, we wanted to get going with it - the corporate icon we'd been looking for. Enter Scott Chapman of Artistic Edge Digital Creations in Pickering, and yet another eye for the macabre. Derek really likes his artists out on the edge, it seems. Over the course of about a week, Scott put the finishing touches on the artwork, including the most dramatic change - grafting in the eye from another of Derek's cats, Mystique (no relation to the Matrox video card!) to give the look we were going for - stealthy, sinister, futuristic, and seriously competitive pussycat. At last, we were ready.
Mystique in early 1993. Isn't she just the cutest little thing?
Scott delivered this last pic to a graphics production house on a ZIP disk. The graphic, all 35.5MB of it (3321x3571x24bit) as a TIF file, was made into silk-screens for our T-shirts, expertly crafted by Premium House Graphics in Pickering. Derek was pleasantly surprised when he returned there about a month after taking delivery of the first shirts - they had our logo up on the wall as a sample of their best work!
We've since sent the graphic off to Scotland to get the badges done for the fronts of our custom-assembled PC's...
Finnegan? He's sleeping in the printer bin in Derek's Home Office, most days... some things never change.