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 find out useful lessons from it. One of the most instructive design lessons came from someone who knew absolutely nothing about typography and colour theory.
    I am fascinated by the process of logo design - maybe not the amateurish effort of slapping clip art collectively, but the thinking and execution a specialist brings to capturing the vision of a business in a delightfully straightforward art component. I have observed the procedure many times and heard designers get many fascinating requests from their clients.
    The most memorable came from the director of a business that manufactured tow trucks. Logo Design talked.
    "I truly don't give a (bleep) what the (bleeping) emblem resembles," he said. "All I care is that someone going the other way about the (bleeping) Interstate at 70 mph can see that the (bleeping) thing and understand it is my (bleeping) truck"
    Folksy? Perhaps. Crude? Definitely. However noise? Absolutely. He understood it was crucial that other tow-truck operators understood that they made that good-looking truck. It is a business where appearance is every bit as important as function, along with his competitors would add any touch that might give them an edge. (Like me, you probably don't swoon over tow trucksbut I can remember standing in"tow shows" and hearing,"Now, that's a real truck" Fashion versions would have been overlooked among the polished chrome.)
    It is all too easy for those folks who work in the creative services industry to eliminate sight of the fact that our work exists primarily to make business for our clients. After all, we have great pride in combining our abilities and what we've learned to come up with work that 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 trademarks, headlines, and other elements of marketing communications need to be seen to be effective. It's great if we can accomplish that and make them visually attractive at precisely the exact same time. But the most intrinsically beautiful design will fall flat if people can not tell what it is or that it's supposed to spot, and the most award-winning ad concept is going to be a humiliating failure if it fails to drive earnings or meet the client's other expectations.
    The best clients for whom I've worked have given me a great deal of liberty and trusted that my recommendations were sound and sensible. However, with that freedom and trust arrived an understanding that I would be held accountable for results, too.