After doing some reading on the subject, I’ve gotten a bit fired up once again about the subject of logo worth. Most of this content I’ll be linking to and discussing is from 2008/09, but I assure you, I’m not dredging up the past. This stuff is alive and well at the present time.
In particular, this little bit quoted from a response to designer Jacob Cass’ How NOT To Design a Logo is quite stirring. The quote in context was provided by Zach Dunn, a business owner who wrote this article in defense of designers. Here is the quote:
…Let’s be clear: designer = often talented artist who never made the leap into the *real world, and is desperately trying to make money off a personal hobby
That’s like me trying to make a career out of rock climbing. Possible, not likely. Maybe I’d find odds and ends ways to make a (barely) living from it, sure…
After I get over the taste of vomit in my mouth induced by reading this, I think to myself, “This has got to be as close to brain-dead as is humanly possible.”
What the fellow is essentially saying is that the automotive industry hires delusional hobbyists who haven’t yet made that crucial leap into the real world, to design their vehicles for them. And that business owners call in mere hobbyists when they want the interiors of their building to be modern, attractive and inviting. These are facets of the design industry and function much the same as logo and brand identity design.
Frankly, the individual quoted above doesn’t know what design is. If he’d sorted out that definition and its function in his mind, maybe he wouldn’t have made such an outlandish statement.
Design is the creation and/or arrangement of visuals that identify, communicate, promote and problem-solve. What person hasn’t drawn something out, to visualize it when he or she can’t quite think through how to construct something?
Universally, designers seek to solve problems through visualizing the solution in unique, creative and intelligent ways. Being a designer is a legitimate profession worthy of hire. Thousands of multimillion dollar corporations with large in-house design teams and a history of contracting independent designers around the world seem to think so.
It’s been said before but it can’t be said enough, nor can it be gleaned from sufficient sources: creating a brand’s image, its visual identity, is an incredibly lengthy, detailed and skilled process. The designer has to examine the past, present and future of the client’s business, his competition and trends. It’s the kind of job that warrants a bottle (or two) of champagne when the project is finally completed. Comparing professional logo design to a free online logo generator, therefore, is like comparing a soap box car to a Lamborghini Aventador.
Can a business survive without good logo design? Sure can. Just look at all the local businesses you know which have been around for multiple generations. But do you suppose those businesses are thriving? The goal for strong businesses is not to just make it by; it’s to excel and grow. Good graphic design associated with a business can raise the bar to an unprecedented visual level that instantly commands positive recognition. And this does in fact increase sales. For a recent example, just ask IHOP.
Designers need to get educated on the intricate details of their own trade, and businesses need to realize that good design work is not cheap. The only smart way to go about anything is to subject everything to informed decision-making; that way we’re not doing things for which we have no basis.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my hobby.