Recently I was asked to help with a logo design to launch a new business called bumcicles: cool bike seat covers for bicycle lovers.
The design work was one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had. The client knew quite clearly what they wanted, had a little sketch for me to work with, and could use the right language to say what was working and what wasn’t. The job was done in a matter of hours. In this particular case I could easily agree with what the client believed was a good idea as well as the aesthetic qualities of the design. Unfortunately that is not always the case.
Most of the time it has been tougher. I’ve worked weeks to find ‘the right look’, once even months. The client had no idea what he wanted, and I believe that client was not familiar with his clients! It worked out well enough in the end, but I can’t say I walked away satisfied by the experience.
Logo design may seem easy, but the simplicity is deceptive. A first impression is indelible, and a weak one can miss the mark and actually hurt a client’s business. Maybe even end it. That is a lot of responsibility! There are some guidelines to which a designer should stick, like knowing your client and knowing your client’s clients, but equally importantly for me is confidence. Confidence in my acquired and honed skills, as well as my ability to stand firm with conviction when I believe what the client likes is not necessarily right for them. A business owner may have spent a lot of time thinking of all the elements they would like represented in a logo, but I try hard to keep things as simple as possible. And if it doesn’t work alone in black and white, color can’t rescue it. Someone once wisely said that you should be able to draw it in the sand with a stick. And confidence allows me to break from the rules BECAUSE it’s what’s right! But again, it is really nice when I don’t have too!