A Positive+?



At the moment here is much hoopla about Google+. The new rival to Facebook. It may well be the best thing since the last thing and those who know about such things are happily looking under the hood. There will be reviews aplenty, which will be useful and interesting, but that is not why I write today. I have a question for you . . . Those who have worked with me will already know that I think avoiding plagiarism matters. I also care about giving accurate credit to illustrators, photographers, designers and other contributors. Not claiming perfection but I came into this game via pro bono art direction of The Association of Illustrators magazine and think it is an important principle. In the melée that followed my departure from Pan, a lifetime ago, I was peeved that the crew failed to credit Helen Chadwick on one of my last commissions for Picador, The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. In March 2011 I reformed my website with the splash page Design Works. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that it also changed the nomenclature to Day-Ellison+ to do three things: Firstly to acknowledge that creative direction involves other contributors. Secondly, reassure client misgivings about hiring a one-man band. And crucially to set up for a forthcoming addition of skills to my store (more in a future post). I also like the way that it typographically developed my hyphenated name to an electrical & +. What is on my mind is this. Should I drop my new name now that Google+ has come along? My ‘+’ was unveiled 5 months ago and planned around Christmas. I certainly don’t want it thought that I am mimicking Google. Because I am not. And they are a behemoth whilst I am a minnow. Is it fair enough to keep my +? Is it a good idea to? In short, is my Day-Ellison+ a positive now?


  • Joanne Jacobs

    Keep the +. It’s your brand, and there’s no way that Google can enforce title of any use of the plus sign. (Otherwise primary school maths classes and pharmacies around the world are going to become *really* expensive!) Anyway I don’t think it’s a problem and could well be a benefit to keep the + so I say stick with it 🙂

  • 98rosjon

    You were here first and will still be here long after Google+ becomes another obsolete social platform. Stand your ground Day-Ellison +…(that said, if your resolve falters perhaps go with ‘Day-Ellison & …’)

  • James Mayes

    Keep it. The imagery is great, there’s no commercial conflict, it was a well reasoned choice in the first instance, I could go on, but….!

  • Kate

    Definitely keep it! It looks right and feels right. And I imagine you spent quite a bit of time and effort when first thinking about it. No need to waste that creative energy. Google is not god, thank god.

  • OlMoore

    Keep it – look at Apple’s ‘I’ it has been ripped off by anything and everything. You put it up before G + launched, so I don’t see any conflict there. And it is not in solation, the “- and +” are working in sync. Who knows maybe you inspired the Google team in the first place………..!

  • Tracey Berrange

    Copying you was the highest form of flattery that Google could have bestowed on you! 🙂 You are a genius! Yes it is a positive and no matter what you decide to do.. you are always a + in my eyes!On that positive note.. a reminder:“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”Herm Albright quotes (1876 – 1944)

  • sjukmidlands

    Definitely, leave the + in. Yours was there first anyway, and it is certainly not going to detract from your brilliant site with Google having copied the idea… 🙂 In fact it should only enhance it.Furthermore you quite eloquently describe how you came to name your site so and thus I’d say absolutely keep it as it is!

  • Gary Day-Ellison

    Thanks Steve. I do not think Google copied me. Just miffed that folk might think I copied them. Ho hum.

  • Kate Drewett

    I think its got to change I get your reasoning 100% and I really like the ideas too. But unfortunately its a tough world and you are not as big as google and as time passes people will just think you knicked the idea – even though you didn’t. I think you deserve to be more individual than that … so unfortunately that will back to the drawing board. I’m sure you will be just as brilliant next time! [if you happen to have won the euro-millions you could sue google instead] At least it isn’t iGary+

  • Lucy

    Keep it 🙂 it a) shows that you are trendy (which I clearly am not for using such a word as trendy) and b) (and more importantly) shows that you were trendy BEFORE Google ;)Also – in reference to the concerns that you may be seen as copycatting…. As with the “i” thing, the + may in time become synonymous with all things technologimical and everyone will be using it – there’s no shame in being associated with the big guns whether you were there first or not. It hasnt done “iplayer”, or “inewspaper” any harm and google themselves did it with “igoogle” – hang in there and you will know you were first even if no-one else does x

  • Nommie

    + is the sign for all things positive – so I say keep it and be proud of it! (just don’t change your font to catull or the colours to blue, red, orange, blue, green, red!)

  • woody_ben

    Tricky one isn’t it? Like others above, I hate that tech co’s think they can take something like language and make it ‘theirs’. ‘i’ everything and the fact that iPhone and iPad changes white to White like the colour was invented for their products. We should stand up to this. . . . . . . . . .but . . . but, your fears are founded on understandable concern. Is this blog designed for people you know, or people you want to know to provide you with business? (I think I know the answer to that). If it’s for us; keep it, we know you’re original. If it’s for potential customers; get rid of it, they may think you’re jumping on a new bandwagon and move on. GDE> ?Maybe #GDE might (be) trend(y)

  • Gregory Dolecki

    I see your point. Personally, I’d leave it as is and not wonder about my name because of Google. However, I wonder whether some form of “et al.” may not have been better from the start. How about et plures or et plus?

  • Gregory Dolecki

    That sounds like a really good idea! How does it look? Let’s see, &+ &+Day – Ellison &+ I don’t think it looks very good in print, do you? Day – Ellison+Day – Ellison PlusWell, I’d just leave it alone with the + there or change the + to a word, which gives Day – Ellison Plus

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