Why Lending a Hand is Good

How many times do you lend a helping hand to fellow designers?

Sometimes the design industry is a cutthroat business and it seems like it’s all about beating each other to the client by any means necessary, despite the impact it could have on you, or others.

Yet, what I have found is that design thrives on positive relationships and respect for one another. But sometimes we are so focused on getting as many clients as possible to keep a business floating that we take on projects that just aren’t right for us. And at the end of the day, it’s our job to provide the best solutions to those who have trouble communicating their company message. How can we do this if our heart isn’t quite in it?

I’m not saying give away all your clients to those less fortunate. But our industry thrives on networking with each other in a way that is beneficial to all. That might be passing on a client to someone you know could help them, whether the reason is that you’re too busy, their budget isn’t high enough, or the work isn’t right for you, it doesn’t matter. Or it might mean that you give some advice to someone you know is struggling. Maybe their prices are too low and you want to let them know how valuable they are. Or maybe they’re having trouble writing a piece of code and you know exactly what the issue is.

It’s also a great way to learn new things and get different perspectives on things you once had set in stone.

So here’s my little bit of a helping hand. I was more than flattered when I was asked by a friend of a friend to read over her assessment for her design course and help her to point herself in the right direction. Laura Trenberth is an up and coming layout designer, who has written an article on where she sees the future of design going. I was lucky enough to read over it, and offer my own opinions on design, amongst a number of other creatives she contacted, to help her find her own position on the industry and where it is headed.

Have a read of it here.

Logo vs. Brand

It’s something that a lot of people mix up, and something that therefore creates a lot of difficulty when you’re trying to build your business.

So here it is, the difference between a logo and a brand, and why you need to know if you expect to have a successful marketing campaign.

Hands up who owns a small business and has gone to a designer expecting a cheap $250 job for a logo design? Come on, we know you did it. Did you get a price that seemed absolutely ridiculous? Like, a minimum wage worker’s yearly salary ridiculous? Let me put this into perspective.

An identity, or brand, is the gut feeling your customers receive upon viewing your logo, your products, your marketing collateral, your website, your employees, etc. Basically, the brand sums up your entire business; your views and values, the way you operate, your quality of service, everything.

Let’s take a look at Chanel. We see those two interwoven C’s and we think high fashion. We think quality, money, top of the range. We see people in Channel and we think that they must be very weathly. They’re glamourous. Why do we think this? Branding. It is not the logo that makes you think this, but the cleverly marketed core values of the company as a whole that makes you, the consumers, feel this way.

So we understand what a brand is, but how is it different to a logo? A logo is simply the foremost visual representation of this brand. It is a symbol that, when combined with all other aspects of the brand, represents in the best way possible these afore-mentioned gut feelings. A logo is not a brand, but merely a contributor to it: something that people can put a visual mark on whenever they think of it.

It is up to a designer to create this brand, this gut feeling, through all aspects of the designed material. We do not simply create a logo that means nothing and send you on your way. We create the entire base for this brand to grow and succeed.

It’s not about having the prettiest design, or making it pink because that’s your favourite colour. It’s about communicating who you are as a business. It’s about creating a message that your target market can receive without difficulty. And it’s about building an identity that can represent you in every aspect possible.