Rebellious Logo Checklist

There are defined steps to creating a rebellious logo. Skip at your own risk.

January 31, 2020

What do you mean a rebellious logo? 

Well, rebellion in its simplest form is this: when everyone goes left, are you willing to go right? Rebellion means looking at the context your company is in and figuring out what is missing.

Discovery:
At the onset of every identity project there needs to be a common goal between the designer and the owner of the logo. This goal is assessed by drilling down on the story, voice and tone, character, ideal customer, and the mission, vision, and purpose of the brand.

Competitive Analysis:
After getting introspective about who you are, you need to see what's already out there, especially in terms of a logo. It's astounding to see how the marks used by your competitors are similar. In fact, I'd guarantee you find at least two recurring motifs like an image or color palette used multiple times. The goal here is ascertaining what NOT to do.

Concepts:
After observing what's already out there, now you can formulate concepts that are different from your competitors. My recommendation is to think of them in categories: a pictorial mark (something that is a representation of a real object), typographic (word-based mark), and abstract icons (shape-based marks that don't resemble something real). You'll find that at least one of these categories makes up the majority of your competitors' logos. Don't pick that one.

Black and White:
Every good mark works in both a solid black and a solid white version. If you have to rely on color to make the mark effective, go back to the drawing board.

Color:
If you're good to go on the black and white versions of your logo, move into choosing colors. Remember, the key is to choose elements that are different from what's already out there.

Applications:
Logos are special because of the things they live on. By placing your mark on business cards, marketing collateral, signage, digital environments, and at varying scales, you can forecast against placement issues in the future. This saves thousands of dollars ensuring that the mark doesn't incur printing hazards down the line and can retain its structure regardless of where it goes.

Go get em rebels.

More you say?

Lesson Learned No. 1: Get All the Copy

Real-life chronicles of moments that make me say "shit happens."

1.20.2020

New projects are exciting. After leaving a kickoff meeting with a client, it's impossible not to get amped about the work that is going to be created. The problem is that all the excitement propels my lizard brain to override anything strategic and necessary to ensure the project runs smoothly. This rarely happens because I have checklists and things of the like reference, but it happens.

Shit happens.

Here is the number one thing I've learned this month from a design project: get ALL the copy finalized before handing off to a designer.

Before starting, it is completely my fault as the designer if I don't ask for all the necessary materials upfront to get the project moving and on track to be seamless. With that in mind, here is why it's important to get all the copy needed for a project upfront and ready to go:

Type rules the design
Because typography is the core of all graphic communication, if the verbiage changes, so does the design. For example, developing a series of covers for a magazine is going to be seamless if all of the titles have a similar structure (say a 1-2 word headline and a 3-5 word subhead). Easy to manage.

But if the headline length varies from 2-20 words, more thought will go into the initial strategy of making all the covers uniform.

Things fall through the cracks if not packaged succinctly
Hand a designer one word doc with final copy and the transition from ugly word doc to beautiful PDF is easy. Multiple docs with Frankenstein-like parts that need to be communicated in separate emails, things are bound to go haywire. Granted, things do change. But the point is to get as close as humanly possible to final copy before handing off to a designer.

This small shift of getting finalized copy will save you weeks on your next project, guaranteed. Whether you are a designer or someone working with a designer, everyone involved in the project will be happier with getting all copy before moving into design.


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Rebels Are Focused

Key pillar number three.

2.19.2020

Be sure to read pillars one and two before diving into this article:

Rebels are Honest

Rebels are Confident

The problem with most companies, especially startups and small businesses is that they cast wide nets. They can't say certain things because it will offend people, and they have to appeal to everyone that walks through their doors regardless of how anomalous. It's in this fallacy of trying to please everyone that rebels gain the upper hand. Rebels are honest, so they know that even if they wanted to, they cannot help out everyone. It's physically impossible. Diving deeper, rebels have the confidence to stand firm and say, "I know that I cannot help everyone, but that's ok because I can help someone."

This gives rebels the opportunity to narrow their focus on a specific group of people with a specific problem. Everything else is a distraction to the mission at hand. You see, to rebels, it is better to have 100 true fans who cannot live without their services, than to have 10,000 fair weather fans that will leave them at the drop of a hat. Focusing on a specific group of people creates a virtuous cycle of respect and care for both the business and the people it seeks to serve. One that can only be achieved by having the courage to say, "this is not for everyone, but it is for someone who believes and needs this."

Rebels are honest.

Rebels are confident.

Rebels are focused.

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