Great Branding Says No

To be effective, every brand must make decisions regarding when to say “No.” Your brand must embrace aspects that some individuals will perceive as a ‘dead-end’. A brand must do this to benefit from what your actual audience views as a strength.

Armed With a Purpose

I was asked to contribute an article for the quarterly publication on the subject of logo design—specifically how design should be approached as a business exercise and not simply a task of crafting a pretty visual. Armed With a Purpose outlines the importance for a graphic designer to understand context through research and not simply be a taxi driver.
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The Muni Logo Rolls With the Times

On a recent trip to San Francisco, the identity that connected most with me, was the logo for Muni. It’s a great example of how standing by a well designed logo rather than ‘keeping up with the times’ can sometimes provide a deep feeling of authenticity. The identity feels real, lived in and stylish to me—a reflection of San Francisco.
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$20 Logos. You Know They Can’t be Real Right?

I discovered a new website this week offering customers unlimited logo designs for $20. What do their customers expect in return for the price of a movie ticket? Do they really believe they are getting a custom identity? Thinking $20 pays for enough of a graphic designers time to create anything worthwhile is like believing in miniature hippos.

Why a Bigger Logo Can Harm Your Brand

Inevitably all graphic designers are asked (or told) to make the logo bigger by their client. Possibly out of a sense of pride? A need for their logo to be bigger than their competitors? Concern over an aging population, and their ability to see clearly? Whatever the reason, logos seem to be getting bigger and bigger.

I Saw Someone Zag Today

It’s not very often a brand surprises me and creates an immediate connection. What was once the domain of Girl Guides selling cookies seemed very rock ’n roll today. It convinced me there would always be alternative ways to reach your audience while remaining authentic to your brand.

Ugly and Bland Can Win the Race

As logo designers we are trained to make things look good. Much of the creative process can sometimes appear as a struggle to maintain both the strategic and the aesthetic nature of the solution. As a group, we are opinionated and are often very quick to point out what we like and dislike. We have dozens of graphic design sites that thrive on the idea of praising pretty design, but does everything really need to be pretty? Is the best solution always what is both traditionally believed to be 'good design', and the beautiful examples we go out of our way to praise?

Ideas Have Little Value

I think ideas are overvalued. Like billing design by the hour, I believe it is another misunderstanding both clients and designers have about logo design. You certainly don’t need to be a good designer to have lots of ideas. Ideas are relatively easy to come by, but ideas are not the key to logo design. Describe any great logo as an idea and it sounds ridiculous.
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