Logos and Graphic Design

    Schultz Nicolaisen
    By Schultz Nicolaisen

    As a writer, I have a tendency to become involved in the graphic design process only peripherally, but I manage to learn useful lessons from it.
    I am fascinated by the process of logo design - not the amateurish effort of slapping clip art collectively, but the thinking and execution a professional brings to capturing the vision of a business at a superbly straightforward art element. I've observed the process many times and noticed designers get many fascinating requests from their customers.
    The most memorable came in the director of a company that manufactured tow trucks. Then he spoke.
    "I truly don't give a (bleep) what the (bleeping) logo resembles," he said. "All I care is that someone going the other way on the (bleeping) Interstate at 70 miles an hour is able to observe the (bleeping) thing and know it's my (bleeping) truck"
    Folksy? Perhaps. Crude? Definitely. But Graphic Designers ? Absolutely. He knew it was crucial that additional tow-truck operators understood who left that truck that was handsome. It's an industry where appearance is every bit as important as function, and his competitors would include any touch that may give them an edge. (Like me, you probably don't swoon over tow trucksbut I could remember standing in"tow shows" and hearing,"Now, that's a real truck" Fashion versions would have been overlooked among the chrome.)
    It is all too easy for those folks who work in the services industry to eliminate sight of this fact that our job is different primarily to make business for our customers. After all, we take great pride in blending our talents and what we've discovered to come up with work which makes us joyful and our coworkers. Most advertisements and graphic design award reveals promote that attention by rewarding fashion, instead of substance.
    We sometimes forget that logos, headlines, and other components of marketing communications need to be viewed to work. It's great if we can accomplish that and also make them visually attractive at the same moment. However, the most stunningly beautiful layout will fall flat if folks can't tell exactly what it is or who it's supposed to identify, and also the most award-winning ad concept will be a humiliating failure if it fails to induce earnings or meet the customer's other expectations.
    The best clients for whom I've worked have given me a great deal of freedom and trusted that my recommendations were sensible and sound. However, with this freedom and trust came an understanding that I'd be held accountable for results, also.