Branding Advice

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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Logo Design and the Misconceptions of Unlimited Choice

Choice can provide an illusion of security, a false guarantee that quantity will result in something good. The reality is that more crap results in a bigger pile of crap—it doesn’t make it better. Successful brand design relies on understanding, strategy and hard work. Design services that offer unlimited logo designs and revisions also offer very limited understanding and strategic value.

How to Choose a Logo Designer: 10 Tips to Avoid Logo Regret

Like rushing headlong into tattooing your lower back during a drunken stooper, fast tracking and penny pinching a logo will leave you with a painful and expensive reminder of a bad decision. Slowly, the full effect of your uninformed choices will come to light. The work might have been done by a relative, a “desktop publisher” or an online logo warehouse but the result will be the same—regret.

Designers Shouldn’t Be Taxi Drivers

“Over the years, I have traveled a great deal all over the world. When I arrive at the airport in a city, I have a business problem to be solved. I am at the airport and I need to get to my hotel. As I leave the terminal building, I usually see a number of taxis waiting to take passengers to their destinations. All I have to do is tell the taxi driver exactly where I want to go. The taxi takes me to my destination, and I pay a fee for this service.
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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?
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