Cambio Falso

Why staying in place is your worst choice.

March 11, 2020

You cannot expect things to change without making a change yourself. Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Why the title "Cambio Falso?" I've been watching Narcos, so Spanish is on my mind. It translates to "false change." Meaning, a benign attempt that yields little progression, a band-aid to cure cancer.

The point? Dive deep. Look the ugly of your company in the face and decide to make a freaking change, a real change. One that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you fail, you're no better off than where you are now.

Cambio cierto.

More you say?

Cliche Branding No-No No. 1

A common phrase that you should exclude from your branding.

1.8.2020

It's hard to understand how some fads become established. Across all levels of business, I've seen a formulaic headline being used in ads, on websites, and anywhere else copy is used.

It goes something along the lines of this:

"Our (insert service/product here), your (insert benefit here)."

Most recently, I saw it in a Hootsuite ad that stated "Our social media tool, your success," to provide a concrete example.

There is something about this that feels off. Partly because it feels like I'm being lead by a carrot on a stick. Use our tool and all of your dreams will come true, they say. The thing is that no one actually believes these kind of statements because they know the real meaning behind them is sales. No one likes to be sold to, it seems needy.

What makes this distaste for a "salesy" ad even greater is when it's used over and over again in the form of a cliché. Think about it, how many times have you seen an ad that touted a similar phrase?

"Our team, your peace of mind."

"Our social media tool, your success."

"Our burgers, your satisfaction."

The list goes on and on and on, and for what? In the hopes that someone is going to feel something from a plug-and-play slogan, they've heard four times in the same day?

This phrase is for companies that don't have anything better to say or the courage to be authentic. Don't let that be you.

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Show and Talk

Why designers need to get over the idea of crawling into a hole to make changes.

12.19.2019

I was giving an identity presentation to a client today and everything was going phenomenal. He liked the strategy behind the mark, thought it had a lot of character, and he was overall pleased with it. He did ask if he could see a slight variation of the mark.

What he had asked for was not going to work (I could see it in my head and it would've ruined the integrity of the logo). But, in the spirit of transparency, I replied with "let's try it out, right now."

Within five minutes, we had the options side-by-side and could clearly see that the previous mark was the better option.

If I had said, "ok let me get back to you in a day with these revisions," we both would have been frustrated. It's an unfortunate trope within the design community to never show the client your workspace or your design files. Which I don't understand, because I certainly feel engaged and have more respect for other craftsmen who show me their process. More important, it helps me hold it in reverence and respect the decisions they make.

Design is no different. If we are willing to be transparent and walk clients through the entire process, show them how our opinions are formulated, and talk through the solution, everyone is happier.

Show your work and talk about it. Being creative is simply not enough, you have to be able to articulate your thinking.

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