Michael Holland

About the Logo

The logo consisting of nine squares is probably the one thing about my sites that has changed the least. It's as much my personal brand as it is the web sites'.

The design of the logo was influenced by several factors. One was Frank Lloyd Wright, who used a single red square as part of his personal brand — fun fact: in the days of sepia prints for architectural drawings, Wright would include the block as a solid square which would print out brown, and then color over it with a red pencil.

Thailand, where I was living at the time I developed the design, was another big factor. Three is considered a ‘lucky’ number in Thai culture, and nine — three threes — is considered especially auspiscious. Nine was also the number of countries in Southeast Asia that I thought I would cover with my Asia for Visitors guide, although eight countries is all I managed, barely.

The color was an attempt to match the saffron robes worn by Buddhist monks in many of the countries. The image in the right middle square was an attempt to add interest to the logo at larger sizes. For my Asia guides, the image is an iconic representation of a Buddhist pagoda. Since returning to the U.S. I've started using a sillhouette of Mt Hood.