I’m a logo designer; so designing logos is kind of my thing. I’ve been doing it for a REALLY long time now. I’ve probably designed at least 300 logos over the course of my life. Some were bad. Most, I think… we’re pretty good. If you too happen to be a graphic designer, you will probably agree that, of all the graphic design projects, one can take on, a logo is undoubtedly the toughest. Nonetheless, I would say that roughly 90 percent of the logo design projects we take on here at 90DD go pretty smoothly, resulting in the client being thrilled with the final product, and moreover, eager to do more business with us. However, every once in a “blue moon,” I have an experience that makes me run home, shoving my laptop screen in my husband’s face, and with extreme desperation in my voice, ask him: “Do I secretly just suck at this? Has everyone just been lying to me? Am I being punked?” I recently had one of those experiences. And I absolutely CAN’T NOT share this story. It’s too incredible to keep to myself.
A man, we will call him, Rusty, came to us, requesting a logo design for his cloud-based hosting consulting business, which we will call, “Company X.” Here were some descriptors he used in his Creative Brief: clean, modern, cutting edge. He also said he wanted “something that would look good on an employee ID badge.” He provided an example of logo which he really liked a lot: the fairly well-known Matias Security logo (of course, who wouldn’t love that logo, right?) For those who aren’t familiar with it, I’ve included a sample below:
Armed with what I felt was pretty good insight into what would be the right look in a logo for his business, I went to work creating three design concepts which I, and the rest of my design team, thought were pretty good (unless of course, they’re all lying to me – they’re in on it too!!). Below are the three preliminary designs I presented to him.
The next day Rusty returns an email to tell me that none of the designs really appealed to him. He said he was looking for something more imaginative and less expected – why, everyone that’s in a related industry uses clouds and nodes and power buttons in their logo. While I happen to disagree that “EVERYONE” is applicable here, I thought to myself, “Why yes; perhaps some do. It’s because those imagery elements make visual sense to the audience or end user and communicate clearly and quickly what the business does. And that, is what a good logo SHOULD do!”
Nonetheless, I’m a pleaser. I wanted him to be happy with the final product. So I told him that since he had purchased our lowest tier package, and since my vision for what would be best for his business wasn’t in line with his, the next step would be to provide me with some samples of logo designs that he did like. I would then do one final design concept based what he felt was the right “look” for Company X. He agreed and said he would get back to me.
A few weeks went by before finally hearing again from Rusty. Here’s what he said:
Finally we have a touchdown. I have attached the photo that I would like rendered via Illustrator for Company X.
Sorry for the delay.”
Excited at the prospect of both seeing his vision for the logo and for being able to complete the project to his satisfaction, I eagerly downloaded and opened the file attached. To my dismay, the photo that he sent me was a rough pencil sketch of woman’s face. Mind you, this will be logo for an IT Solutions and Support Company. So naturally, I assumed he had sent me the wrong image by mistake. Surely he could not want this for his company logo. It has absolutely no relevance to this field whatsoever.
So I replied back to Rusty asking him to please resend the logo idea, naturally assuming that he had attached this file by mistake.
He replied, “That is the correct image.”
I can only assume that Rusty decided that if he couldn’t get a completed vector logo for his business for the package he purchased, he would at least try to get a vectorized version of this pencil sketch. We politely let him know that this was outside the scope of a logo design and thus, not covered within the confines of the package he purchased. We never heard from Rusty again.
Now that we have grown to be a pretty busy design firm, we are definitely encountering a really wide gamut of experiences and an equally wide range of tastes and personalities. Most of the time, when we have an experience such as this, we just quietly enjoy the quirkiness of it amongst ourselves, always sending out gratitude to Universe for having made our day just a little more interesting. However, in this particular case, I felt I had to share. If you’ve had a really beyond the pale, quirky design project experience, won’t you please share it in the comments section of this page? Thanks for reading!