Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Art? I think not

Last week, a co-worker asked me to create a logo for something she was working on. I had to explain (for the 99th time) that we have ONE logo. It's our company logo. Each separate little project or initiative you do doesn't get its own logo. I'm trying to uphold the brand here people. The problem is, when I say "no," my clients often seem to hear "why don’t you go create your own 'logo' using horrific clip art."

With all the nice photography out there, why oh why do you need to use cartoon images and every craptastic color of the rainbow to help get your point across? I used to have a crazy clip art file at my desk where I saved some of the best (and by that I mean WORST) examples. It eventually got tossed during one of my 10 or so cubicle moves in the last four years, but let's look at a couple recent examples:

Nothing says we offer professional injury prevention services better than this guy.

Another client last week suggested we create a logo to promote some continuing education classes we were offering to staff.

Perfect to promote your kid’s kindergarten field trip to the zoo, but NOT for graduate-level education.

And bless their hearts. People have so much fun creating their promotional flyers with clip art and are so proud to show me what they've made. I have to break a lot of hearts when I "fix" them to remove any trace of the perfect images they spent two-plus hours searching for on the Web. I know. I'm being too hard on them and none of you ever want to work with me. I show no mercy. While I might chose something bordering on clip art for this blog, that's only for the sake of irony.


  1. Nice examples! Obviously, with a similar job, I can totally relate. I just had a clip art run in with someone last week (it had even been approved by their division president). Clip art can be fun outside of work, but imagine if businesses sent direct mail and other marketing pieces out that featured clip art...who would look at that and say "this is a professional company I want to do business with"??? I also hear you on people wanting "brand" every little thing with a logo. Sure, it's fun...but totally unnecessary. I think it's because everyone thinks they know marketing. Sometimes though, they should really leave it to the professionals.

  2. This was awesome. I just read this blog to my students in my business management class because we're in the marketing unit and I was going over the concept of how marketing requires someone to be responsible for the decision making so that there's one main message getting across in one main way. It was perfect and they laughed. If you want to continue to provide me with classroom examples, I'd love it! Thanks! :-)

  3. Wow...teaching the next generation through blogging. Heather - You should be proud. :)

  4. Love it!! Laura, I'm glad I could help! (Put that on the final exam.) I could probably give your class all kinds of examples of what not to do (well, hopefully what TO do as well). :-)