I thought that I would have a little fun and be nostalgic for a bit. I have been working with Great Plains Dynamics since version 2.00 in 1994. The company I was with did look at version 1.00, but decided not to become a reseller at that time. Instead we watched the progress of the product closely and when version 2.00 was released, we became the reseller for Western Australia.
While I have been involved with Great Plains we have seen many changes in corporate image and ownership and I thought it would be interesting to see how the logos have changed over time. Maybe this will bring back some memories for the old timers among us.
1985: The original Great Plains Software logo with the sun and wheat image. This shows the heritage of the company being based in a wheat growing and farming region. This is from the first version of Great Plains Accounting (GPA).
1991: The logo changed from the original orange sun to the red sun. According to my sources, this was because it was cheaper to print red rather than orange on the marketing materials.
1993: The original Dynamics product branding.
1994: The Dynamics Globe logo used on version 2.0.
At the bottom of this post I have attached the “Welcome to Dynamics” wave sound file that used to play when launching Dynamics.
I can reveal that the voice behind this sound file is Deb Reynolds, the wife of Todd Reynolds. Deb no longer works with the company (having a family took priority), but Todd remains working in the Dynamics development group at Microsoft.
If you want the sound back in your system see the VBA – Welcome to Dynamics Example.
[Edit] See update in the following post, Revisiting: “Welcome to Dynamics”.
1995: Then it was time to drop the Software part as Great Plains was selling entire solutions and not just software.
1996: It was during this Great Plains era that we had Dynamics for the ISAM versions.
And Dynamics C/S+ for the Client Server versions. Later when version 3.15 (& 3.17) was released we had Dynamcs C/S+ for SQL.
Even Dexterity along with the other customisation and integration tools had their own logo.
Dexterity itself had a great logo on its splash screen. This was known as the “Exploding Head” logo.
The blank area underneath the Dexterity name was used to show the Dexterity version and build numbers.
If you load Dexterity and look at the Help >> About Dexterity window you will still see the original Dexterity logo included on this window.
So they would not feel left out, the training branch of Great Plains, the Great Plains University, also had a logo.
1997: Then after a year of work and millions of dollars, the logo was modernised, but the sun and wheat is still visible.. well sort of.
We still had the Dynamics product for the ISAM database platforms.
But Dynamics C/S+ for SQL was renamed to eEnterprise.
2001: The next stage in the evolution was with the Microsoft acquisition. It was a bit of a mouthful, but it showed where the Business Solutions division came from.
When Navision was acquired and the Business Solutions division grew to more than one product, the Great Plains logo and name were dropped. Well… we knew it would happen. Now we had a new name but the designers had not done their bit.
2003: There we go, that’s better.
Make sure you use the correct pantone colours for the three shades of blue otherwise the logo police might visit you.
The final step was to brand all of the Business Solutions products under a single brand name. And guess what name Microsoft already owned the trademark for (inherited from Great Plains). The only problem is they did not have a logo.
2005: Eventually, the design guys worked out the three ski jumps/sails/ice scrapers logo and the current branding was complete.
Now here is the fun bit. When the old red sun and wheat logo was going to be replaced by the new blue and yellow logo, there was a lot of secrecy about the new corporate image. Then the day before the new logo was going to be unveiled a picture swept through the partner channel explaining how the new logo concept was designed.
I found out that it was Todd Lefor who created this joke image for an internal newsletter. Below is the original image that started the whole joke.
The actual “Homer’s head” logo takes the GP logo and places it on Homer’s head. What struck me as interesting is that I made NO modifications to the GP logo in order to make it fit into Homer’s head. The skull lines of Homer fit perfectly with the angle of the sun.
Say no more.
Just to show how sad I am, here is my Great Plains baseball cap collection:
Please feel free to add your comments about how many of these logos you remember.
PS: Thanks to John, Leslie, Jon, Tom, Andrew and Todd for sending me some of the additional logos.
12-Aug-2008: Updated posting to name the people behind the welcome wave and Homer’s head.
26-Aug-2008: Added Dexterity Exploding Head Logo.
28-Aug-2008: Added Dexterity About window logo.
09-Sep-2008: Added Link for “Welcome to Dynamics” VBA example.
01-Oct-2008: For a bit of fun, go have a look Mariano Gomez’s posting GP splash bitmap files over the years.
14-Oct-2008: Added Baseball Caps picture.
31-Mar-2010: Add link to Revisiting: “Welcome to Dynamics” post.
28-May-2013: Added new 2013 Microsoft Dynamics Logo.