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Palm is Now 1337

Palm Inc. has announced the names of its newly separate divisions. The combination of Palm's operating system division and Handspring will be known as PalmSource. Its sister company focusing on hardware will be named PalmOne.

This interesting thing here is that after two years of market research and testing, they've decided the logo will include chatroom-style text, creating "pa1m0ne," in which they substitute a numeral one for the I.

The thinking behind the new brand identity is outlined in Palm's press release:

The name palmOne was chosen following interviews with a broad spectrum of Palm customers, partners, employees, naming consultants and industry influencers. When people inside and outside the company reflect on Palm's essence, three ideas emerged consistently:

— the company's heritage as a pioneer in handheld computing;
— Palm's worldwide leadership, which it has retained despite an influx of
competitors; and
— the conviction that Palm always would place customers first, thereby
delivering what matters most to them.

"Our brand promise is so well understood by the marketplace that the concept of 'One' in our new name was immediately compelling," said Ken Wirt, Palm Solutions senior vice president and head of sales and marketing. "'One' is a powerful addition to the instant brand recognition and identity of the Palm name."

The new name is characterized in two colors — deep red for the word "palm" and vibrant orange for "One," reflecting the subbrand colors for the company's Tungsten line of solutions for mobile professionals and business and its Zire line of solutions for consumers and multimedia enthusiasts, respectively. The lower-case treatment of the company name gives the word "palm" visual emphasis.

"The red/orange combination is a bold departure from the blue that Palm has used for many years and builds on our new subbrands," Wirt said. "Energy, enthusiasm, power and innovation come across much stronger in our new combination."

Am I the only one who finds this kind of marketing speak actually clouds a company's message? I think I would prefer to hear them say simply, "we think it looks pretty nifty."