Some of you may know that we used to have a different icon and the app used to be called MoneyWiz. After the recent update and release of iPhone version, we not only changed the icon with an entirely new one, but we also changed the name from MoneyWiz to SilverWiz.
Some of you have been asking us why did we do all that…well, if you want to know the truth, read on…
Changing the name
We originally launched as MoneyWiz for iPad, intending to add iPhone version named just MoneyWiz and so on… the company name was (and still is) SilverWiz, and our original plan was to release other products and brand all of them with a name ending with a “Wiz”. That would have made it easy on people to recognise the brand and immediately link it to high quality products.
In the early stages of development of the iPhone version though, we’ve decided to hire a law firm to trademark MoneyWiz, so that we have ownership of the name and nobody else can use it. After some investigation made by the law firm, it turned out that trademarking MoneyWiz might not be possible at all. The reason is that the investigation found several other companies that use similar writing or sounding of their names, which are already trademarked. It turns out (we didn’t know that before) that MoneyWiz and MoneyWize are practically the same thing when it comes to trademark law. Why? Well it turns out that spelling is not the only factor for the trademark law…pronunciation is another one, which we totally ignored. Since MoneyWiz and MoneyWize both pronounce very similarly, we cannot claim rights on MoneyWiz.
And so we ended up having to decide whether to invest a lot of money in legal battles with the potential to win trademark for our name, or just rename the app. Since the app is relatively new to the market, we’ve decided that it won’t be a huge deal changing the name. The next question was- what would the new name be? It was an easy question with an extremely difficult answer… so we’ve decided to man up and do it like the pros do… So this is what we did:
- We hired a domain broker, we hired a focus research group and hired one more law firm so they can assist in the process.
- We first came up with a list of possible names…we read about product naming principles, we considered the ability to continue on our Wiz branding idea, we analysed what the maximum length of the name could be, etc…we also had to consider using the company name as a product name, as anything else would just make for additional expenses to trademark the company name as well.
- Then we had to run them through the focus group, and remove the names that nobody liked at all and add names that members of the focus group proposed
- Having a refined list, we had to check each name for potential trademark problems and available domain
This was a nasty process but we managed to do it all in 1 week. It was curious that the biggest challenge was not the trademark but the domain names…we wanted to own the .com domain for whatever name we’re going to use. It turns out- everything out there is already taken, and the domain broker couldn’t cut a deal for less than $10k for the domain.
So after a lot of discussions we’ve decided that it’s not worth the hassle and we should just rename the product to be the same as the company and let go of the Wiz branding idea. That’s how MoneyWiz became SilverWiz.
Changing the icon
The icon saga dates back almost 2 years ago when we first started working on design and icon…Long story short- we hired 4 designers, all of them produced between 5 to 10 different icons, and I didn’t like any of them. I always wanted one of these slick looking icons that you just want to have in your pocket, and nobody came even close. So we originally released with the icon bellow, which was fine but not great. See below.
After we released a lot of people started asking us what that was… well to be honest I am not really sure either, but the idea was that it represents the core of a sphere, and the core has slices of a pie chart in it…please, don’t ask why…we could have stuffed it with an UFO as well, it wouldn’t have made a lot of difference.
The problem we had before releasing was that we could not “access” the big names in the industry and ask them to do an icon for us, because none of them wanted to pay attention to new, small company that on top of all is not VC funded. Put simply (18+ text follows)- we were screwed.
After the release though, I’ve decided that now that we can show off this awesome product that we’ve made, it’s time to start looking for a new icon designer and fix the icon nonsense.
Eventually, I managed to get in touch with Cian Walsh. He was very intrigued by the problems we had with the icon and decided to jump in and help us out. For those of you who’ve seen the icons of Billings, Billings Pro, Daylite and OmniGraffle – all of these – made by Cian Walsh.
I originally wrote to Cian and explained to him why creating the right icon for SilverWiz is not an easy task… let me explain my reasoning:
- I didn’t want a wallet or piggy icon…these are too cliche, everybody uses them, and such an icon will not communicate what SilverWiz is all about- being better!
- I wanted an icon that would stand out when you see it among a bunch of other icons
- The icon must look good in 57×57 pixels (the old iPhone & iPod Touch icon size), but it must also look good scaled to 1024×1024 or more (for Mac)
- I wanted to have a nice and unexpected touch to the icon, when scaled to large size…something that you discover only when you scale it up
- The icon had to communicate “personal finance” to people who see it
- The icon must demonstrate that this is a sophisticated app, with attention to details
Cian found my requirements quite challenging…but as I said- the guy is a pro…he offered a logical approach to solving the problem… he basically told us that we need to find an object that would serve a good metaphor for personal finance, and just put piggy bank and wallet in the black-list of such objects. I, Maria and Cian started brainstorming about such objects… among the noticeable possibilities we had:
- Tree with green leafs
- Credit card
- Golden blocks
- A banknote
- ATM machine
- An old clock mechanism, cut and made to look like sophisticated pie chart
Cian drafted up some of these, but we didn’t love any of these…check out some of the drafts.
Until one day, Cian proposed a coin…And I added – cut it, so it looks like a pie chart… (I don’t know what’s the deal with me and pie charts…probably because I love pies, and charts just flow naturally, so…). Here are some of our revisions for a coin:
And that’s how we eventually came up with the current icon, after many many revisions.
Also, for iPhone & iPad, we had to have a background behind the coin, as all iOS icons are required to have that…so we had to place the coin on something. We made two versions (which you can see below) – one where the coin is on reflective glass, and one where the coin is one of these jewellery boxes. We liked the jewellery box more.
That last piece of detail came from Maria actually…she thought it would be cool to have a quote engraved on the icon. We wanted the icon to be both stylish and inspirational. After some discussions we’ve decided to put a quote from Bob Marley. As many of you probably know, Bob Marley died long time ago from cancer. The story tells that his son visited him on his death bed in the hospital, when Bob Marley told him:
“Money can’t buy you life”
We’ve decided to go with this quote, as it reminds us that no matter how much money we have or don’t have, we’re all just people…
Check out Cian’s website: http://afterglow.ie/