From time to time we may read in the newspapers about big national
and international corporations who have had a new logo designed or who have redesigned their current one.
Sometimes the redesign is so meticulously small and detailed that
people who are not designers or typographers can’t even see the difference between the «before» and «after» states.
An example of this is the change is the one Google made to its logo a couple of weeks ago.
Now, we didn’t hear anything at the time about the price of that exact microscopical change, but often in those situations the reports on the costs of design or redesign of logos can leave us totally gaping.
In these cases, the newspapers delight in the opportunity for more or less condescending and head-shaking remarks on the economic shamelessness with which some high end design studios are able to invoice their customers for a simple new logo or a slight change to an existing one. Thousands, or sometimes even millions of dollars, are spent. This state of affairs is a disgrace to the graphic design profession and can give the impression of graphic designers as people residing high above common ground in expensive offices at cool places and with pretty inflated egos.
Which is not totally wrong, I am sorry to say…
No wonder that people come to think that corporate visual branding is something extremely expensive and something that only big international corporations like Coca Cola, Nike or Apple can afford. I can understand that smaller businesses and entrepreneurs give up the idea of getting professional help for their logo and visual branding because they believe they cannot afford it. And what happens?
Often they try to make their logo and their visual branding themselves.
Being neither designers nor brand strategists, the results of their efforts speak the clear language of Do It Yourself, and so their businesses are perceived as such -like they are something «homemade».
OR, perhaps they use some of the very low-end options on the internet where logos are offered at ridiculously low prices. Often by contest-driven suppliers that let designers fight for the final deal, spending hours working on spec without getting a single dollar if their design is not chosen by the customer (I know, I have tried it). Or even worse, as I saw on one Swedish website recently: «Get your own logo for free». You can chose from a «bank» of some hundreds of symbols, some of them having nothing what so ever to do with a logo icon and nothing what so ever to do with YOU. Resulting in bad design.
This sad state of affairs is the extreme opposite of the million dollar «change of a t-stroke-businesses» of the gurus in the high towers. Both extremes are damaging to the reputation of graphic design. On one end it is suggested that graphic design is an almost divine discipline where graphic gods charge you a year’s salary or more just to lift their pencils to the paper or turn on their Macs. On the other end it is suggested that graphic design can be chosen at random. Ready-made, wrapped up, like a chocolate bar – at no cost at all.
Both views are wrong.
I will explain why in a later blog post, please stay tuned.
What is YOUR view?