Close your eyes and imagine. Imagine you're a surgeon. Trained for years, you come with fantastic recommendations. The crème de la crème of medical professionals. I wonder if your patients would treat you the same as some clients treat the designer. They come in with a problem, expecting you, the expert, to solve it. Using all the skills that they have built up over the years, you reach a suitable conclusion and aim to solve it using the medium of surgery.
Imagine, for a moment, that this patient requested to go under the knife without an anesthetic. They are extremely adamant and wont give in on the matter. Against your better judgment, you agree, knowing full well that it could cost them their life (obviously you wouldn’t do this because you’re not an incompetent doctor but just go with it for a minute.)
You start the operation that has been estimated to last 12 hours.
Suddenly, your patient sits up and asks abruptly, “How long it will take?” In shock, you answer “As stated in the consent forms, it will take approximately 12 hours”. The patient throws a tantrum there and then, on the operating table. “I demand you do it in six!”
You are taken aback. Quite frankly, deeply insulted that they underestimate the intricacy of this specific procedure. They know nothing about your area of expertise and they are out of order for unreasonably demanding that you carry out your carefully planned process in half the amount of time. Don’t they realise their life is at stake?
“Why don’t you just cut through the main artery to get there?” They ask with irritation. At this point their partner, who also knows nothing about this surgery cuts in “Yes, I agree, just cut through the main artery, and you’ll save so much time!”
Thankfully, the patient lived, because you are just superb. You saw beyond the nonsense and did your job the way you were trained.
Now open your eyes. As a design client, by all means, involve yourself in the process. Fair play. But unless you want the designer to put you to sleep whilst they do the work, I would probably say that it’s a good idea to just let them do their job when it comes to things they are highly skilled at. Don’t make them cut their process time in half. You are encouraged to give feedback, and we do seek it. But don’t question their expertise, and definitely don’t tell them to just find images on Google to make the process quicker. For if we use the analogy of the surgeon; twee, stock images that have been stolen from another website is just business suicide. The bottom line is, always trust the designer.
"Trust me, I'm a designer" can be a very reassuring thing for your client to hear. But really, it's all in the face. A designer is visual by nature, so rather than verbalising opinions or recommendations, it will often just suddenly appear on their face. They'll get a confused look in return and possibly a request to clarify their expression. The designer may feel judged but generally, the client just assumes its a quirky way of being.... well just being. A state that is accepted in another realm but not totally understood in this one.
Here are some faces we've all made. Maybe not in person but definitely in response to a comment on the phone. There are some things that non-designers don't get. And that’s OK! But please trust us when we tell you that using Comic Sans is visual suicide, that a pixelated logo is not OK and that it’s generally not a good idea to edit anything in paint.
And one thing to note that applies to any job out there, it almost never takes 5 minutes.
Many people are under the impression that a logo is everything. “How much do you charge for a logo?” they ask, hoping that it would be super cheap. I get a lot of blank faces and long silences down the phone when I explain that a logo is part of a package. In response to the sheer confusion, I go on to explain why building a brand is more than just creating a good-looking icon that can be applied to a variety of different formats in the hope that it will string the “brand” together. Just like you, as a person, are more than just a face, a brand is more than just a logo. It’s the whole package. Your tone of voice, the words you use. The colours you choose to wear, the trends you like to set. Your opinions and feelings. The way you express yourself through your clothes. Are you bubbly, outgoing and quirky, or serious and professional? Or a combination of everything? Do you tell people how classy you are, or do you let them work it out for themselves? The list could go on and on…
Think about a dating scenario. Without wanting to sound prejudiced, a person who only has a pretty face to offer (even if it is “out of this world” pretty!) is less likely to receive as much respect and will not be as highly valued as someone who has the whole package. Someone with his or her wits about them, who knows who they are and what they can offer. Someone who has a clear ambition, unique qualities and personality.
Think of a brand as a person or potential life partner. Intricate. Multifaceted.
Obviously a logo is a crucial part of any brand. However if a business has only thought about its logo and nothing else, it will be hugely limited in terms of recognition and brand value. A business needs more than just a superficial face. It needs to reach out and connect with its target audience. It needs to be confident about its goals and aspirations. It needs to be dependable, trustworthy and straightforward. It needs to stand out from the crowd. But most of all it needs to know its own worth.
So, next time a client asks for a logo, you can tell them that a business is not just a pretty face. It’s a deep and meaningful entity.
It is incredible how many times I get a phone call saying "I want to create a new brand, can you help? I just need a logo!" or "all I need is 5 minutes of your time!" There is no such thing as "just a logo" and there is also no such thing as "only 5 minutes! when it comes to branding and design"
Many people are under the impression that branding is simply "logo design". Added to that, they think designing a logo is the easiest thing in the world! All you have to do is take a look at the quite amazing infographic below to get a little bit of an isight into how much effort and creativity it takes to build a brand.
Apart from anything else, the success of a brand isn't entirely down to the designer. It takes commitment, creative thinking and a lot of effort and consistency from the business itself in order to build a successful and effective brand. Most people take it for granted but it really is a quite a big deal to build a brand that won't fall to pieces.
These portraits by Bryan Drury are just phenomenal. Not only do these look scarily realistic but they illustrate an intense amount of patience and attention to detail - something every creative can never get enough of! Just looking at these images makes me feel impatient!! Just thinking about the amount of time spent on each millimeters
This is just incredible!! This illustrator Javier Perez has taken the most mundane objects and given them a life of their own that almost tell a story just by thinking completely outside of the box.
I find it amazing how, when put in a different context, the objects can suddenly look and mean something completely different. His illustrations are SO believable and work so naturally and effortlessly. This is truly one of those moments where I am saying "WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT?!?!?!"
These are only a few of my favourites. To see more, visit http://www.lifebuzz.com/simple-art/
Image is three signs, arranged in such a way that they overlap. The text, in total, reads “Be-be-be patient w-w-with pe-pe-people who st-st-stutter.”
This is a perfect example of creative thinking in design. Really thinking beyond the obvious and using the actual context and the physical signage to portray a very strong message.
This series of graphics strives to represent major schools of thought in philosophy through the use of really simple geometric shapes. Really beautiful and well represented! It is astonishing how striking and clear they are. A few little shapes can say so much! A true example of "less is more".
This magazine cover is a great example of simplicity. It drives me crazy when I see designers priding themselves on a "great" design that may very well be intricate and take technical skill and time to execute but it won't necessarily do the job and it wont necessarily display a good use of colour, type and layout. Design is a way of thinking and it is pointless to create something that looks pretty without meaning or purpose. This cover is a perfect example of "less is more". Each designer has to choose their style. Obviously technical skills are important and every design decision is unique but I would definitely choose great layout over "fancy shmancy curly whirly" especially when the latter has blatantly been used to conceal the non-thinker of a designer. Layout, colour and typography are often underestimated. They are overlooked and can easily outdo "curly whirly" when executed well.
I came across this logo for a company called Claimair. It has been really cleverly designed. The icon is obviously a paper aeroplane. The thing that makes its clever is the fact that this company specialises in helping people with the paperwork when making a complaint against an airline.
This is what design is all about. It is about thinking outside the box. Some people may look at this and think that its quite obvious, but guaranteed, most people would have just created something really boring using the name of the company and stretching possibly t incorporating something vaguely to do with and aeroplane. Although this is very literal, it is also one of the best concepts for a logo that I have seen. Really brilliant!