Should a Logo Seen On It’s Own Have Clear Meaning? Why?

05.24.2010 / Question submitted by: Steve Zelle

Matt Van Ekeren:

Yes, a logo should be able to stand alone anywhere and people should know what and who it represents. A logo should be a harmonious combination of design elements that will be used to determine the rest of an identity. The shapes, colors, typography and composition of a logo should be the foundation for every design element throughout a company. Whether it be the die cut of a business card, the name plate on the corner office or the color of the company golf shirt. When people interact with those elements, they should be reminded of that logo and subsequently who and what it represents. If a logo can’t stand alone, then all of the accompanying elements will seem like a grab bag of random thoughts and your entire message will be overcome by user confusion.
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How do you formulate your pricing structure? Does it vary depending on the client or do you have a fixed policy? Also, how often do you resort to investing in additional work and/or design amendments that isn’t within the budget on a typical job?

05.12.2010 / Question submitted by: Graeme Stephenson

Michael Stinson:

We usually formulate pricing by balancing both the amount of time it takes for us to finish a project, and the value of the final deliverable to the client. Pricing is based on the specific project scope, and the cost of additional work beyond that scope that is requested by the client is quoted before amendments are performed. We will invest in additional work if we think that the project really needs additional time in order for the design to really make a difference.
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Do you think constant visual consumption of other designers work can lose its inspirational quality and stop being constructive?

04.26.2010 / Question submitted by: Michael Lassiter

Graeme Stephenson:

Keeping an eye on what your peers are up to should never regarded as a negative thing in any respect, but it’s easy to get lost trying to follow trends or replicate others and that isn’t constructive. I think it’s important to allow yourself time away to think on your own. The rest is just the current environment. continue reading

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How do you screen a client?

04.12.2010 / Question submitted by: John McHugh

Michael Lassiter:

For me to take on freelance projects, it usually has to either allow for creative freedom that may be missing from my day job, or be for a worthwhile cause/organization/business (such as a non-profit, a record label, an art gallery,etc.). I prefer to take on clients who trust my design sensibilities and experience, and won’t try to dictate how the process will go.
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How do you prevent scope creep when a client can not make up their minds or articulate what they really want?

03.29.2010 / Question submitted by: Andrea Cutler

John McHugh:

Most corporate identity or branding initiatives have a great deal to do with change, both personal and professional. If this is a new brand, has the client forsaken a steady paycheck to launch their dream business? If this is a rebrand, is the new CMO on the hot-seat to revive the business and get results? Whether embarking on a rebrand, or developing a new brand altogether, chances are you have caught the client at a time when they are under a great deal of pressure stemming from change. Part of your job as a designer is to serve as their steadfast guide through the entire process. Being sympathetic to the client’s position can really go along way here.

Jointly defining the scope of the project from the outset is critical. I like to discuss a client’s needs and concerns at the first meeting. I then follow up with another meeting and walk them through a previous project I worked on that was similar in scope. I find that most of my clients have had very limited, if any, interaction with a designer before. Simply showing and explaining the process to them can be a real eye opener, for both parties. This shows them what to expect.

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What techniques or processes do you use to open a client’s mind to broader, more innovative, or unconventional ways of seeing or thinking about their business, products, messages, or identity?

03.15.2010 / Question submitted by: Studio Junglecat

Andrea Cutler:

In a word “samples” (a.k.a. SWIPE) a picture is worth 1000 words. I like to inform my clients thinking by showing design work and solutions that are outside the box of the conventional. Whether it’s my own design or examples of clever promotion done by other designers — in annuals etc, I get the client to start thinking about solutions to promote their brand that exceed the average norm. I love brain-storming with them about various solutions and even have a “client punch list” that I offer to get them thinking about their identity and voice in the marketplace. It is helpful to define the brand and target audience. It lists 10 questions to steer conversation and creative efforts. You would be surprised how many clients don’t consider these basic premises before they hire a designer to help brand them.
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