I would like to share some of the things I was pondering on about lately. I was planning on sharing posts on a regular basis relating to graphic designs and how to code. It seems however that time flies by so quickly that I have to decide every day if I spend it on creating something or writing about it. Difficult choice, right?
Anyway, I came across so many different opinions on a logo design. Some people are just happy with what they have while others are looking for perfection. Just look at my logo which has been amended and developed for the last 2 years a number of times. It’s still simple and it reflects exactly what my business is about. You will have no doubt when looking at it what I do. The colours are just mine, I mean, they reflect my personality and boldness in design of which I am not afraid. I love the pen tool and quality of designing in Illustrator, although it is a pain in the backside when you start using the software. With time and perseverance I have managed to get quite comfortable with it though. Returning to my previous thought, a logo should reflect your brand and also be of excellent quality. Personally, I don’t like to see a poor quality logo completed and sold to a client. I don’t think a logo should be sophisticated or complex. Sometimes the best ideas and ways to present them are simple in form and manner. As a designer it is up to us to remind anybody interested in acquiring a logo that it is the first thing their potential clients or competitors are looking at. Sorry but that’s true. You may say that if a business card is the first impression when you hand out your contact details, your logo is the same to your on-line existence.
Now, think about the price for that first impression? How much are you ready to pay? There’s no good quality without good money, as saying goes “good design ain’t cheap and cheap design ain’t good”. The logo will stay with you for the majority of your business life. Just think about how many times the big companies, namely Google, Apple or Nike have changed their logos? They evolved them and made them more modern but that’s about it. No more. So, how much are you willing to pay?
Same goes for other graphic designs, such as business cards, leaflets, covers, etc. Sure, everyone who has access to a graphic software can have a try in creating a graphic design. The key is not the software you are using but rather the idea and a proper way to transfer it onto the final product. It should be straight to the point and easy to identify, in short it should speaks for itself. The potential client/customer has little patience and time to dwell upon the meaning of a design. Unless, it’s a painting and they went to an art gallery to contemplate it. Therefore, a graphic design needs to catch the eye and leave an impression. It seems that actually both: the idea and the quality are equally important. One attracts and the other leaves proper impression on the audience. You can decide which one is which.
Another thought I have is about copying other people’s work. I don’t mind taking inspiration from the best in your niche. I don’t mind following some great minds and trying to re-create their masterpieces. What I do mind is to copy the same idea or design and try to sell them as your own. Really? Or even better. Making a few designs which are nearly identical or use the same elements and sell them to different clients. It creates only the butterfly or domino effect, namely the lack of originality. Or the lack of boldness in design. No great inventors or thinkers ever went forward by copying others work. We should not be afraid of taking risks even if they are small ones. On the other hand, wait where is the first one?, I do understand the carefulness in design when a designer is approacher by a client who asks for “something similar to this one”. So, where the similarity ends and copying begins? What is so attracting in a good design? I would say the predictable outcome. The comfort of knowing that a similar design would create similar effects as the already approved and known design. Unfortunately, no originality here.
Now, let me say something about size. The very notion and understanding of it tends to be questioned on every occasion. Remember, I am referring to graphic design (ehmm). I have come across some opinions about size of a graphics, if it is small it should be cheap. And of course the other way around. Really? So, following that course of thinking, if I design a big poster ie. A1 size then I should charge more than for a A5 flyer? Or if the logo is just 180x180px should I charge less than for the A5 flyer? Think about it. Personally, I would charge for the time spent and creativity of the final product. I know we don’t live in a perfect world where all designers are free to roam and do whatever they want. We have to set realistic boundaries and prices. We need to agree on the price from the very beginning even before we talk ideas. Still, if the client just want cheap design it “ain’t gonna be good”. Size is going to be a questionable and debatable notion for foreseeable future, I’m afraid. Again it’s up the graphic designers to remind the clients that for example a logo is designed in bigger size than 180x180px. I usually start with around 860x560px, so that it is scalable and I can see all the details on my monitor without zooming. Shall I charge for that? Nope. Shall I explain that to the client? I’m not sure. See, only when you start doing/learning something new you notice that what you thought was easy is not easy at all.
When you ask for a graphic design you also ask for designers knowledge, experience, creativity, fantasy, humour, quality, boldness, time, commitment, etc. Whatever graphic design is presented to you as a client, you receive all the aforementioned as a package. So, how much are you willing to pay? Think about your answer for a while.