The author did own up to not being a trained designer but a specialist in web design. He, like alot of others who know how to use a computer, Illustrator, Photoshop and more, consider themselves Ďdesignersí and are arrogant enough to write an article influencing other young designers and even worse a potential clientís way of thinking.
What made the whole thing so insulting to designers specialising in branding, is that the logo he created in the Ďprocessí was dated, had been copied from something overseas (they pulled him up on that one) and was what I considered first year student level.
I have not commented as the author is a local Brisbane boy and most of the agreeable comments came back from designers in the states, though thankfully there were some educated designers over there who showed their dismay at the authorís lack of branding knowledge and talent.
I can see why the author thought his work was worth talking about though, as here in SE Queensland many small businesses do not seem to care about brand strategy or trying to push the boundary to be different.
If something takes 5 mins to put together (and it has to, to be profitable to someone charging $280 for a logo), then you are bound to see it somewhere else.
The best logos in the world have all stood the test of time... most are simple, strong but slick and the slickness comes from the skill of developing, working and reworking and pushing past the first, second and third idea and into something fresh and unique.
All this takes time and time is money. There are huge variations on what design houses charge so thereís alot to choose from, but consider it this way... if you are investing in a business and you have real vision and a goal for that business then the face of the business, itís unique icon, should be worth investing in too... it then has a chance of standing the test of time.
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Take websites, HTML 5 makes website design exciting again... loving the copycat 3D movie effect as the screens move around in layers...awesome! But apparently while itís in, flash is out, and being a flash fan I am hoping not!
The advances in CS5 open up a whole new area of creativity in illustration, print design and electronic media. Seems to me the technology behind the software is advancing with every new upgrade which really does keep us on our toes re the technical side of design but helps us out in efficiency and then of course you and your bottom line.
Whatís Melbourne got to do with all of this... nothing... technology is universal but Brunettiís of Carlton, the best cake shop in Australia is not, and I have to say after all these years of visiting the shop religiously I am still in awe of their Rum Babaís... now thatís brand loyalty!
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He was mortified to discover that we offer an exit strategy to our clients and if a client wants to exercise it, they can... at a certain stage of the project.
My horrified colleague declared that this was 'negative, defeative even... and before you start the project!'
So why do we offer our exit strategy?
Well, in talking to potential clients and business associates it became clear to us that some have an issue with larger branding projects and the costs involved and the feeling that once they have started the project they are locked in. ďWhat if we donít like it, what if we are not on the same page, what if... ď and all these are fair comments.
This is the way we see it...
We know how good we are, we believe in what we do and we only take on clients that we are confident we can help, are confident we can really make a difference to their brand.... so the chances of any client wanting to use an exit strategy is minimal.
And when can a client use this exit strategy if they wanted to?
We believe it is fair and sensible to offer this at the conceptual stage. At this point we have established (or not) a good repoire with the client, we will know a stack about their business and how they operate (and vice versa) and at this stage we will have presented concepts and designs that should prove our worth.
There is always client feedback and revisions and this normally goes backward and forward a few times but if after 4 times we have not managed to lock in our client's confidence and they want out, well, we believe it best to part ways amicably.
This is not saying we will have spent hours of work for free. Our systems are such that a concept fee will have been discussed and approved prior to any commencement of work. If the exit strategy is exercised then a % of the concept fee is returned to the client.
We believe this is fair for both parties. This fairness is also backed up by our Terms and Conditions which state that should a client exercise the exit strategy they cannot use another agency to bring that concept/design to life.
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The tweet was linked to an article called 'Five Practical Tips for Dominating your Market with a Killer Motif'. http://blog.kissmetrics.com/killer-motif/
Itís an interesting article because what the writer is actually saying is a contradiction if you think about their actual tweet.
The copywriter talks about finding or creating a personality that is 'unique', establishing 1 line that conjures up a mental picture, something that is really different to what others are doing and has broad appeal.
In a branding strategy, creating a personality is actually establishing a brand personality. Creating one sentence that is memorable and conjures up an immediate metal picture is a tagline. A tagline is your brand promise which relates back to your... wait for it... Unique Selling Proposition!
Calling it a Motif... won't actually change the fact that it's no different to a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) it's just spelt differently.
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Hmmn, obviously for some I agree but for others... getting the word out there can be tough!!
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