One of my favorite type of project is logo design. I’ve done over 100 logos since I began freelance work in 2000 — you can see 80 of them collected here. It gives me a bit of special pride when I see one of my logos “in the real world.” I have presented a few examples in this post.
Everyone has heard of “writer’s block”, the inability for a professional writer to get the right words down on the page. Designers experience a similar thing, that I call “Creative Block”. Sometimes it’s just something that happens on a particular day — I can’t get going on anything, and nothing I design pleases me. Other times, it’s a specific project that I’m stuck on and I end up frustrated and tossing out design after design.
In a perfect world, every design that I produce would be mindblowingly great. Clients would swoon and cut checks for massive bonuses; industry groups would shower me with awards; and complete strangers would record viral YouTube videos extolling my virtuosity. Sadly, we don’t live in that world. While I’m extremely proud of the work I do, I can’t honestly claim that everything I produce meets the definition of great. This post discusses some ways I use to try to consistently get from “gets the job done” to “amazing”?
When I am approached and given the opportunity to bid on a graphic design project, inevitably I am asked for samples from my portfolio. I am always happy to provide them, and to point them to my Web site where they can view more, but I wonder if they realize that my portfolio only tells a part of the story. The samples allow a prospective client to gauge my design ability, but give no insight into my reliability.
I was digging through some old design projects and came across a logo design and brochure project for a company named Hattaway Communications. This project was one of the first I landed when I went out on my own in the Summer of 2001.
A lot of the advertising and marketing I see, especially in the business-to-business sphere, seems aimed at simply getting attention, being noticed. It’s a poke — it’s usually vaguely annoying and it often the response it generates is either indifference or irritation.
The best advertising provokes a response. It makes the target of the advertising think and react.
Our lives are filled with stories. Great books, great TV shows, plays, musicals and movies are all popular in our culture because of the stories they tell. Stories engage us, fascinate us, and sometimes teach and inspire us. Even politics has its candidates with a “great personal story.”
Too many marketing campaigns that I’ve seen are based on features and benefits, rather than stories.
We sent out a rare email blast yesterday extolling the virtues of great presentation graphics. Sure, we did it to try and drum up business, but it wasn’t entirely self-serving. We truly believe that our clients who invest in professional PowerPoint artwork and diagrams end up delivering better presentations and are more successful as a result.