Identifying and Overcoming Style
Every designer has a style – a recognizable set of elements that makes their work recognizable as theirs; a certain way they balance type and graphic icons; a certain way they design graphic elements; such a recognizable look to their designs that those who know their work can look at it and say “That’s them, alright!”
I know as a designer that I do. I love rough-looking brushstroke design elements and elegant, serif fonts. I love earthier colors and a bold, strong graphic icon as part of the logo design that can be used separately, but also speaks to the design. I absolutely have a style.
And as a designer, that’s not necessarily a good thing. See, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, designers are not working to build their own egos. We’re working to help define a brand and tell that brand’s story to the world, and it’s that brand that should be the most important thing – not the execution of a designer’s personal style.
If, as a client, you look at a designer’s portfolio and hire them to make your logo in their style, it’s probably because their style speaks to you. Some high-end, big-name designers are absolutely hired to spew their own personality all over someone else’s brand, for good or ill. But chances are, that’s not what you want. You hired a designer to tell YOUR story, first and foremost.
Clients often don’t have a clear picture in their head of what they want their logo to look like. In that case, we might design several versions using our own style as a starting point. But then we start asking ourselves the tougher questions: Do those icons speak to the brand’s personality? Are the typefaces chosen in-line with the brand we’re trying to establish? Do the colors represent the brand’s personality?
If we are working with an established brand and building on it, then we absolutely need to put our own style aside and serve the existing brand. Because when it comes right down to it, as graphic designers, our purpose is to tell stories. The story of our client’s brand. We need to tell the world who they are, what they’re all about and what kind of a person that brand would be if brands could walk around and talk.
It’s all about the brand. Not the designer.
Written by Blog Contributor: Dee Fish