The break Jeff Goins gave us at the weekend really was a break.
So I messed up. Means I’m an eager participant right! Got my coffee, got writer’s ‘mojo’ and Eurocup eurythmia – no wonder I tripped!
Back from the break we are asked not to procrastinate but to prepare: ship and tweak. Send work out into the world, let the critique wash over and tweak and revise. Then ship it out again!
I’m there, I send out work to my online crtique group, just started a face-to-face crit-group in town (by the way ladies, the lightning we witnessed at the close last week may have caused the High Park fire, now covering 20,000 acres with one confirmed missing (more later)), and I also send work to Rate Your Story, for a free manuscript rating.
And I’ve been lucky with the opportunity to have published authors read a few pieces and share their advice. Recently I made an exchange: a logo design for a manuscript read-through by author Natasha Wing: her ‘on-the-side’ business venture: bumcicles
Then I tweak, revise and throw it out into the world again. Goins is right – I should ship it out next time – it has a more respectful ring to it! And without a real ship the bottle of champagne is mine!
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!
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.