Concordance is the most common rule that I'm aware of. But most importantly, balance and symmetry in the blocks of copy they create. When objectively defining type pairs, I think it's important to consider the type of content, space it's being seen in, and the message it's communicating. There is not a generic rule. And I'm confessing to a crime I repeatedly commit: I shot the serif.
A logo is the introduction, and the sign-off. Nothing more than familiarity, thereafter. It is the epistemological value most associated with a brand, and how the person has experienced the idea, product or service (ips) of a brand. I consider it to be the single-minded key thought an individual has about an ips. This is not the single-minded key thought an advertiser broadcasts to them, but the one they have after they've experienced the ips, for themselves. It's how a person sums up this experience in their mind, how they recall it, and how they gauge it against other experiences. This is what it eventually becomes. I'll add, like all introductions: A logo should be clear, terse, unique and respect the prospect or its own content. And like a good sign-off, know when it's time to go, and how to do it in a memorable way, without offending. If you're lucky, you're a company that teaches and informs, with selling only as an extension thereafter. In this case, a logo can take on emergent qualities that begin to resemble metaphors for people. It's at this stage that someone tries to infer or inject these metaphors into the logo. In my experience, this is a bad idea. Logos are often tasked with to much information in an effort to say everything a company thinks, does, or feels, but we know that's not how we make introductions to people in casual or candid settings. Someone notices us, we make eye contact, we've got 1 or 2 key things of note to say, and then we listen (or vice versa). A good logo is an identifier first and foremost. At best/worse, it's a contrast to what may already be out there. Having said this, and in an attempt to make this a cohesive thought: The impact of a logo is relative to the context it's experienced in.
I do not believe roles should always be adhered to, or rigid in executional aspects. Especially given that seasoned designers have learned a great deal more about design and have the ability to overalp, negating the need for other positions. A model should be defined and built around the team itself, and the objectives that need to be met in order for the work to be a success. There are a lot of hybrids these days, both as fulltime employees and contractors. And clients don't know how and unfortunately, some 'managers' couldn't effectively evaluate process and structure without someone have already defined one for them. Which is to say, when it's new, there is nothing to gauge it by. Be willing to be new. It's what clients are paying for. Roles typically depend on the size of the project, the amount of people that need to approve it, and how marginalized a team's abilities are in an effort to create a factory assembly line for design. There is a belief that a designer is simply a hand, while 10 people are the head. This is destructive, and usually hinders, if not squashes, new design patterns and techniques. A designer is a problem solver, first and foremost. If the information used to inform the design is constantly changing, then the design needs to be re-evaluated in contrast with the new information. Put another way, personal opinions have no place in the design process. I highly respect the roles people play, but I appreciate when they're given the ability to look at and participate in other aspects of the same problem. Ideas and solutions can come from anyone, but it's usually one or two writs that are responsible for creating it. And once we actually have something tangible to look at; experience—tangible, the real thinking begins. Stick to the facts and information, try not to infer or inject personal tastes into your branding and marketing. If you're going to fill the room with words, let a professional designer handle the pictures. And understand that a narrowed perspective is just that, narrowed. If you're working within the mass market, narrowed isn't always the best focus.
I was recently asked about my personal identity—if I have one; how often it's updated; the process behind it. The short, concise answer:My work is my identity. My rationale: The last thing I want a perspective client to think is: It's a nice style.While many designers capitalize on styles, I prefer to use design as a toolset for solving problems relative to their respective challenges, versus capitalizing on styles. I've never invested in my own identity as a brand or logo. I have a DBA that I use occasionally, but its been simplified to a lifeless mark. In a sense, in an attempt to appeal to all, its evolved by removing attributes—not adding. Styles are transparent as new design begets new design. As business and technological problems evolve, design and the communication arts must follow in order to remain contemporary. Thus, we have new styles emerge as a solution to a unique problem. And then homogenized by others in an attempt to solve a similar problem. Or a client themselves may assume it's infallible as a solution. For better or worse, old and new, abstract or literal, illustrative or computer generated—my work is my identity. My pitch: And most importantly; my clients don't need styles. They need unique and idiosyncratic solutions to their respective problems. If they've subscribed to style as a solution, we should reevaluate their problem(s) and give the problem more analytical thought. This does not include problems that require an existing market to learn about a new idea, product or service. In this case, it's normal to introduce an evolution on what's existing in an attempt to migrate slowly versus abruptly. Software and UI design may call this gradual engagement. Principally speaking, this is very similar. The truth: Having said the above, graphic design does employee a basic and remedial, all though fundmental, set of rules that all designers employ. This could be considered by some to be a style, but it's more or less the equivalent of stating; all architecture requires engineering, craftsman, and interior designers. People often lump artists, illustrators, designers, photographers, and graphic designers into one group. This creates a lot of confusion because, an artist can certainly have an identity based off of their unique styles or techniques. But the end-result of their work isn't always commercial application. And so, they cater to the surveyor whom may simply love their work as it is with no expectations for what 'it should' or 'could be.' Design is considered an art-form. There is one formula with endless results.
A client recently hired me to create a few options to an extremely dense web-based Saas app. This is a small design job, a lot of pixel pushing and color models. Sometimes fun, depending on the application's theme, if it has one. If it doesn't, I often pretend it does. Here are a few recently completed. Some of the design criteria was focused on leaving the grid the same size as it's current width and height. This meant pixel width and height were finite. Tight rows and narrow columns. A few of the options below—explore typefaces as well as color and contrast. Skywalker Stormtropper AT AT Walker Chewbacca Typical
It's not easy getting one of your pieces published. I was recently humbled by learning that I have four logos published in "I Heart Logos", Vol. 3. It's an amazing privilege being featured along side talented designers from around the world. Pick up a copy if you're around a bookstore. In this day and age, it's nice to have some analog memories.Check out I Heart Logos→ website for some amazing work by hundreds of talented designers.
Security and Authenticity will be the new commodity The Web/Cloud is posed to resolve and de-throne the hucksters within this area of expertise. And Google has a few things brewing that could be really great for all of us, or really bad. On the other hand, as mobile content and desktop-client software ( or Saas ) continually provide opt-in features where users provide validated and quantifiable data about themselves, we may see extremely concise targeting with messaging and communication. Eventually leading to the end of any/all forms of disruptive or intrusive advertising. Interactive will survive, but I believe the definition of the word needs redefining. The technology that supports these mediums is not as ubiquitous as some would have everyone believe. This is not to say that everyone doesn't have access to the hardware that drives it but, rather understanding the software that controls it. Social marketing works because the message has moved from mouth-to-mouth, beyond the communications effort. It's either become a cultural element for some or a sad joke for others. And if this data isn't protected properly, or for some reason it is breached under the umbrella of a major brand, the medium will die all-together. *Insert Announcer Voice* Reputation Protectors! We'll encrypt your entire life. And sell you back your password, if you forget! (let's hope we don't allow this to happen) Device independence Mobile technology is/has closed a tiny gap between the dichotomy of web users; Searcher and Escapist. In doing so, people do not spend as much time in front of their computers, unless they're working or specifically tending to a few critical tasks. In a sense, they're there to get something done–use the machine as a tool. This gap will be widened again when retail and experiential spaces re-merge as a more engaging way for brands to communicate their ideas and services. You know, because we actually need to see, hear, touch, feel, and express ourselves in the tangible world. Technology will take its place by our waist side. Like most new things, once we've figured out the practicality of the new, we'll begin to reshape it to function more like ourselves versus dealing with the awkwardness of new. I'm not suggesting that the terminal(s) (TV or Computer/Set top box/device X) will lose its place in the home, I'm suggesting it's relegated to a passive experience again. Aging demographics, essentially a maturing person, will alter this a little. It's an X-Factor in my opinion. Brands will have true portals, but they'll be accessed no differently than one changes the channel on their television now Today, branding can instantly be restructured based on a participant's contribution. Wether positive or negative, a brand can react to the sentiment. I realize that latency in correspondence and response times vary from brand to brand, but eventually (and I hope soon), brands will be operating their own portals. Social networks are obviously too rigid for brands to fully express there ideas, products or services. I've written about this a few times over the years. By nature of the advancement of the mobile space, people spend less time in front of the big screen and more time being mobile. That's the point of smart phones. Subsequently, we may find ourselves with passive media entertainment again, while everything we think about the entertainment or even how we react to it, will be sent to the cloud for aggregation and observation. 'The more free software we use, the less free we are.' Creepy. Anticipate and deliver through aggregation of sentiment As technology and marketing converge; we slowly go from observation, participation and reciprocation through a permissions-based system to an almost eerily automated anticipate and delivery mechanism. Which would then make most of these anticipate and deliver mechanisms destructive to the greater whole of innovation and collaboration. Which then creates the need for: Value Centers We've unsuccessfully moved from being noise junkies to noise producers. We need creative value centers. We are coming dangerously close to losing our ability to provide well-thought-out ideas. Let alone, long-term memory retention of the things we've created. Their respective failures and successes are instantly magnified and then consequently reduced to nothing, tossed out, and overwritten. As a rapid-prototyping creative democracy approaches, we forget before we've learned. The most precious of commodities; exchanging, implementation, advancement of ideas through fair and ubiquitous streams of information, can potentially hurt us without a creative value center of some sort... And as the micro-centralized thought/idea people collect, where or how, do we continue to provide unlimited access and information through a synchronized operating system (the internet) without charging people and creating the same depreciated socio-economical walls that exist offline now? The You; We; Me and I in social media will eventually lead to what it has always led to–Us.
Through an email recently, someone asked me what I thought about a campaign they we're presenting. They wanted to know what I felt about it. And If it needed 'more.'
To be honest, I didn't feel anything. Mainly because I was now propositioned to remove myself from the engagement, the experience. I was being asked to step back, and evaluate the work. The problem with this is, consumers don't do that, now do they. I Felt like responding back, "great! you ruined it for me, I can't be excited or inspired or motivated now." Of course, I do this everyday with my work. And all of us wonder how the work will be received by everyone who surveys it. Consumers included. Naturally, I want to sound intelligent now that I've been asked for my 'opinion.' Who wouldn't?
More–NEVER, less, LESS! Naturally this is, ( as any good-hearted, charming and good looking creative would say ) my response before I've evaluated the work. But then reality sets in. Prior experiences come to mind. I found myself asking: What was in the brief? What did the client say? What did their husband specifically request? Their niece? The girl in media who loves fashion advertising. What does the guy that swivels back and forth in his chair all the time, think? Did his CD like it? What was the single-minded thought? Where is this running?
I thought about all of this before I even looked at the work. Sad, isn't it? Bad training. Never even saw the idea–yet, I had all these concerns before the work even had a chance to amaze or disappoint me. It almost failed because I was more concerned with what everyone wanted it to do instead of what the work was actually going to do. Imagine what goes through the head of our clients. 'Creative process' is an oxymoron. Advertising talks to much. Art requires no explanation. The consumer is stuck in the middle.
Allow the concept to create new context. This in-turn creates relevancy. And offers the client a chance to be little more then what they think they are.
My response to the email; Looks good. I like. Funny.