The Value of Design – My 5 Year Old Could Have Done That…
Unfortunately there’s this weird stigma between designers and clients and this weird type of misconception that the finished product of a brand identity or “logo” is just that, a graphic that no design process or time was invested into. Because of this the design presentation or pitch can sometimes end with a client sitting back questioning the designer on the work because that finished product ‘could’ have been drawn by there 5 year old.
I agree with this. But before throwing stones. It’s very very simple to draw a graphic and I am 100% confident that any 5 year old has the capabilities to draw any logo that’s ever been presented. I remember sitting at my dads work till all hours on Friday nights while he finished everything off for the weekend and sit in the admin desk with a pencil and paper drawing brands and logo’s that I admired at around the age of 6 or 7 (later to find out most were designed by Paul Rand and Vignelli) so I am proof that it can be done, which brings me to my next point.
It’s very easy to mimic something that already exists. Once something already exists, it’s very easy to create a relation between how ‘simple’ and ‘easy’ it would have been to create or physically produce, but creating something from nothing to provide a solution to a problem which has never existed before.. that’s were the real value lies. Not in the logo or the graphic but in the design and thought process and years of experience honing a craft in business on a whole, design theory and communication.
The upsetting fact behind this is that great designers are sometimes seen to be holding back to simple and great solutions to clients problems of fear that their design is just not ‘creative’ enough to be presented. This gets on my nerves because logos were never intended to be ‘creative’ they were never suppose to be looked at as ‘art’ they have Always been a solution to a problem.
Somewhere along the line we’ve forgotten about this and because we’re always trying to ‘wow’ the pants off our clients in fear that the simple solution will be disregarded as not being worthy enough (for the amount their paying) that we’ve lost all links to what a brand identity really needs to be. A simple and clear graphical representation of the integrity and values a business or corporation holds, quickly and consistently. Great logos that do this time and time again are always the most common and simplest solution. Think Target, American Airlines, Audi, McDonalds, QUT etc.
Some of the greatest and most timeless logos to ever make their mark on the world are so simple and concise that any child very well could have designed them. However keep in mind, that graphic did not exist until it was ‘actually’ designed. With our fast pace living brands need to stand out quickly and efficiently.
It is said to take over 10 years and over $5M in marketing and media budgets to build a recognisable brand and realistically who’s got those kind of resources, or that kind of time! It’s much easy to opt for a simple and clear identity that is sustainable and cements brand recognition in consumers minds from the very beginning. If it works, why question it.
In conclusion; The reason your logo probably looks like a 5 year old could have designed it is because your 5 year probably could have. That’s exactly the essence of what makes a simple, great and sustainable brand identity. So if you’re agency or design firm proposes a logo thats simple, effective and hits the mark, at least consider it.
If it works, why question it?