Note: I no longer work with IonLab since Nov 12 of 2009.
One of the many parts in the creation of ion was the designing of the look and feel of the product.
We do very limited direct selling (we sell mostly online) and from what I've seen, people just see the finishing and packaging of the ion and instantly buy it. My understanding is that based on how the product looks and feels, we assume that the same level of "attention to detail" has been maintained even in the internals of the product. In other words, "if it looks good, the product must work good". Heck, we even apply the same logic to boys and girls, we obviously go for the good looking ones... must be something in the genes.
As I was saying, good look and feel increases the "sellability" of the product as well as the desire of the customer to buy the product. It so turned out that we were lucky to arrive at a combination of both good packaging and a solid product (thanks to Vikram's electronics prowess).
We sought help from a friend Diwan Babu (of Guru ColorTech) who did some "amateur" designing for us and it came out really well. He made some four designs (well, actually three since two are variations of the same basic design):
All four were good designs, and we didn't know how to choose between them.
My view was that I didn't like the black one because the long 'i' makes it look like 'j' and the red one was too bright. I was biased towards the blue horizontal one, especially because I remembered what Philip once said:
"Light blue is a universally neutral colour in that all other colours that exist are either offensive or have negative connotations in some religion, or culture."
We happened to be sitting in front of a Nike showroom thinking about what to do, and this crazy idea of asking real people came up (okay, I admit it was me who suggested it, but catching random people and talking to them is not my thing, so those two did most of the hard work). Several people, who tried to walk in to the store, were bombarded by us asking about which logo they would prefer. Just to make sure we were doing a proper survey, we changed the order of the logos (so that they're not biased towards the one in the center, etc.), we asked people of different age groups, and so on.
It was a clear decision - the blue (horizontal) logo was going to be the look of the ion.
It was "too blue" all the way, heh.