Keep Playing

The absolute worst thing you can do amidst COVID-19 is quit.

March 16, 2020

I'll keep this short.

Things are weird right now, but you have two options:

Keep playing or quit.

You might fail if you keep playing, but I guarantee you will fail if you quit.

Get in the game.

More you say?

Branding and Design

They help each other out, but they are not the same and you need to know the difference.

1.30.2020

I'm currently working on a new website or San Diego Startup Week. Yesterday, the former director of the program looked at the new site and commented on how much it had improved from the previous rendition. Obviously, I was flattered. But at the same time, I felt a void within that work.

What is missing is personality, voice, and character. The cherries that make the entire sundae memorable. The new site works and has a streamlined flow to it. But it has no personality other than being well designed.

It's as if design has a brand in and of itself; sterile, refined, clean, simplistic, lots of white space, you get the picture. The next level is using design to communicate a unique feeling that reflects your company.

That's the difference between design and branding. Design is a set of principles that any creative wields as second nature. Using it to build a brand is the ability to bend those principles toward a personality.

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Why Boring Logos are the Most Successful

What Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola and all the greats have in common.

3.30.2020

Let's get on the same page. By "boring," I mean logos that are less detailed. They don't have 10,000 colors, multiple elements, nor do they convey every detail of the company they represent. Truth be told, without being placed in a specific context, they are useless (unless you're a logo designer interested in analyzing them). It would seem that it is the elements that surround the logo that give the logo power, its longevity, and then structure would be last on the list.

Surrounding elements
Logos live on things. Lots of things. From app icons, billboards, collateral, even products. These logos are almost always accompanied by some form of messaging or other interactive piece. What's the point? The point is that the logo has little influence in making someone respect a company. Not nearly as much as the surrounding colors schemes, messaging, calls to action, or personality of the brand that it is encased within. If anything, the logo's job is to be there without becoming a blemish.

Longevity
Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola have spent decades (over a century for Coca-Cola) using the same shape as their logo. There might have been slight adjustments in color or structure over time, but nothing that would make you think the mark was completely new. There's a reason for this and it's to drill the mark into people's minds. Thankfully, they have logos that have been able to serve them regardless of the surrounding political climate, era, or trends that make other companies feel the need to change their logos. It's the same reason cartoon characters don't change their clothes, the artists are making it easy for you, the viewer, to be visually primed for their character. By keeping the logo the same for decades, you are more likely to let your guard down when you see that logo, assuming the company is one you cherish.

Structure
This is the last point because a logo it's the cherry on top of the branding sundae. If the rest of a company's marketing, positioning, service record, products, and messages are on point, they can get away with having a less-than-great logo. Having a good one just seems to add the little extra delight or, at the very least, give a potential customer one less thing to have an issue with. This is accomplished be keeping the mark consistently recognizable regardless of where it is placed.

That's what all great logos have in common, they are boring and do their job really well.

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