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Connecting the Dots

Jackie Micucci
Tuesday, Aug 09, 2011 at 2:00 PM

It’s all about the dots. That’s what Bill Barfoot was thinking when he was “having fun” with Microsoft Tags. Barfoot, the business advancement content manager for the Compass USA Tag program, wanted to test what could be done with customizable black and white Tags.

Pac Man Tag image 

By using dots instead of triangles and replacing the background with an image, Tags can be customized. Additionally, more intricate designs can be created by integrating symbols and other design elements that disguise some or all of the dots. Barfoot began thinking about what designs already incorporated dots. His mind immediately went to old school video games like Pac Man, Asteroids and Donkey Kong. Because these games have dots as part of the design, the Tag dots complement the look.


“I started thinking about how can you modify an image and still make it look like a Tag,” says Barfoot.  “I thought, what has dots in it? That’s what drew me to Pac Man and classic video games; it’s a reproducible element and it doesn’t look out of place [with the Tag dots].”


For companies that have been using Microsoft Tag and whose customers are more familiar with Tags, the next step could be using elements of their logo on the Tag that embrace the dot design. “Many companies worry about brand image and their logo,” he explains. “But they can play around a bit with it and still maintain both the logo and their brand image. You can play with a logo in the Tag without diluting the effect.”


It’s all part of a learning process for companies and their customers. “When you first start using Tag, you want to use the standard Tag with the call to action to get people to understand what the Tag does,” notes Barfoot. “Then the next step is to perhaps do the logo overlaid with the dots. You have to crawl before you can walk. It’s the evolution of Tag marketing.”


What other dotty images do you think would work well for custom Tags? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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