In Defense of Deliberate Design

It’s a tempting proposition. For a few minutes of your time and a couple hundred dollars or less, you can have a new logo delivered to your inbox at Amazon Prime speeds. The commoditization of design—and, let’s face it, most services in our industry—is everywhere. As a graphic designer, I’m often asked, “But really, what’s the difference?”

It’s depth. Continue Reading

Creating a Bulletproof Brand Guide

Consistency is crucial to the health and success of any brand. But maintaining a consistent brand presence can be a major challenge, especially when you’re working with a large team or collaborating with partners outside of your organization.

Without an internal reference point for your brand, discrepancies and confusion become inevitable, and that can seriously affect how your customers see you*. On top of that, if you constantly have to clarify what’s “on-brand,” you’re really wasting a lot of time and not arming your team with the tools they need to do their best work.

*Life Pro Tip: There’s nothing wrong with trying new things, but don’t be that guy trying to bring back frosted tips in 2017. It’s not gonna happen. Continue Reading

Interview with a Stock Photograph

I have no problem with the occasional, tactical use of high quality stock photography. But when stock photos become the default choice of imagery – especially those go-to clichés that have a built-in groan factor – I get really worked up. So much so that I can only find relief by imagining conversations like the following…

Interviewer: We’re talking today with “Businessmen Shaking Hands,” ostensibly the most famous stock photograph in the civilized world. How did you become so popular?

Businessmen Shaking Hands (BSH): Well, doesn’t everyone know that? I make a universally appealing visual statement in all languages.

Continue Reading