Category Archives: Rants & Ramblings

Perfection

It does not exist in software design, web design or business in general.

Perfection is something we all strive towards, but if you delay a product, site or business launch until everything is perfect you will never launch it.

I launched LogoGround almost 5 years ago. Most of it works perfectly and it is doing exceedingly well. There are also many things that don’t work perfectly. We have a to-do list with bugs and ideas for improvements. It has 91 entries. We are adding new items to the list faster than we are fixing old ones. This is a good thing. It is the way you work towards perfection.

Set your launch deadline and stick to it.

Facebook Twitter Email

Client Relations

I’ve been with my current accountant for three years now. We get along.

I owe her money. She owes me some too for a previous error. I owe her more than she owes me, so I suggest that she subtracts what she owes me from what I owe her so that I can pay her the difference.

No reply.

Today I needed tax advice and I sent her an email. She replied that she won’t answer my question until I pay what I owe her.

What?

Perhaps accountants aren’t naturals at client relations, but I’m an artist ffs. If I can do client relations anyone can.

Here’s how it works:

Some clients deserve your hostility. Some don’t. Learn the difference. If you don’t you will end up with nothing but clients who deserve your hostility.

Facebook Twitter Email

By The Book

We had a logo design client recently who studied our terms of service agreement and insisted, from the get-go, that we do everything exactly as stipulated there. She came in with the assumption that we would try to sell her short and wanted to send a message: Not this lady!

She got a great logo in the end, but so do our nicer clients. As a rule we over-deliver at Biz-Logo.com. She could have gotten more than she paid for, but she was so focused on getting exactly what she paid for that she wasn’t open to discussing options.

That’s one way to respond to a dishonest world. I feel for her.

Companies are only groups of people. People like you and me. Most of us try to do the right thing and to treat others fairly. Sometimes we will bend our company rules in your favor. You might get more out of life and you might enjoy the ride more if you give companies (people) the benefit of the doubt.

Facebook Twitter Email

Marketing

What if you opened a packet of [insert product] and found it filled right to the brim? No air, just product.

What if you phoned customer service and immediately got through?

What if the promises on the web site were routinely exceeded?

I would look again at the logo. Got to remember to buy this brand from now on.

That’s marketing.

Facebook Twitter Email

The Silence of History

So many voices. All the cries, conversations and laughter that we can’t hear. Imagine the endless chatter if the voices from those who have gone before could crawl into our ears. Imagine if we could discover a natural sound recording mechanism and start playing back recordings of every moment of human history. Not just the great speeches, but every trivial word, every embarrassed giggle, every exclamation. How we would laugh at our small, silly and arrogant selves!

Facebook Twitter Email

Bullshit

Bullshit is a tool you can use in business.

For some people it is an obvious, necessary, unmissable tool and integral to doing business.

For others it is best avoided, unless really necessary to get out of a tight spot or to land a big contract.

And for some it is “no BS” on principle.

I am a skilled bullshitter, but I decided about a decade ago to migrate to the “no BS” group. Since then I have made more money than most people make in a lifetime.

Facebook Twitter Email

4 Really Big Web Usability Mistakes

1. You’re trying to sell something, but you make us hunt for the “buy” button. Why not make it big and orange? Why?!

2. I have to create an account before I am allowed to pay you? Think dammit. You sold me. I have my credit card in my hand. Are you really going to now put hurdles in my way?

3. There is no way for us to send you feedback. And I had cool suggestions for improving your site/service/product. I would have given them to you for free.

4. You have a feedback form, but just like your order form it is hidden behind a login. Useful feedback from real users is rare and valuable. If you require a login, expect none.

Facebook Twitter Email

Logo Designer’s Checklist

1. Learn from those who can. Check out LogoLounge.com and LogoGround.com. Your personal opinion of what constitutes a “good logo” is unfortunately irrelevant. What counts is what your client thinks and, more importantly, what works in the real world.

2. Do not build a logo design site. Unless you are a marketing genius, creating a logo design site will be a waste of your time. There are many, many thousands of logo design sites that do not make a penny. There are easier ways to sell logos. See the next point.

3. Sign up at sites that allow you to upload logos for sale. See LogoGround.com.

4. Upload 10 good logos a day to those sites. Of course you can make ten good logos a day. (See footnote)

5. Don’t overdo it. Only 10 logos a day. You are not a logo machine. If you try to be one you will hit designer burn-out within a year. Take your time with each logo. Don’t upload anything that you would not proudly display in your portfolio.

6. Don’t give up after a week. Commit to uploading ten logos a day for six months. Every day. Sales will gradually pick up as your logo collection grows. After six months you will have around 1,800 logos up for sale. You’ll be making more money than most big ad agency designers make.

7. Collect good logos. Buy logo books like the LogoLounge series. Always keep looking at logos. If you stop, you will quickly start running in a circle.

8. Get Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw and become an expert in both. If you truly understand every aspect of those two programs you will create better logos in less time. You don’t strictly need both. Adobe’s new software renting scheme is BS and CorelDraw doesn’t run on a Mac. If you have to choose and if you’re on a PC, choose CorelDraw.

9. Don’t try to please everyone.

10. Study Saul Bass, arguably the most successful logo designer in history.

11. Expand your font collection and don’t hesitate to pay for awesome fonts.

12. Driving with the handbrake on is stupid. Poor communication skills will hold you back in the same way. The ability to talk to clients about logos is a required skill. If you are not very experienced or if you have a hard time translating ideas into words, read more. Work at it.

13. Developing a “style” is OK in fine art, but masters of commercial art are not confined by styles.

14. Craftsmanship is underrated in logo design. A craftsman is someone who uses their extensive subject knowledge to hone and refine their output to the point where it cannot be improved further. Aim for brilliant and be proud of every logo you send into the world.

15. Geometric precision matters. The logo you produce might end up on a billboard where sloppy little mistakes become huge eyesores.

16. Study colors. You need to understand the differences between RGB, CMYK, Pantone and HEX colors so that you can use colors correctly and intelligently advise your clients on colors.

17. Take time to learn about printing processes and the different file formats.

18. Respect intellectual property – over and above the minimum legal requirement.

19. Unfair criticism is something every brave creative professional has to deal with. Don’t let it dampen your resolve or inhibit your creativity. Every negative can either be ignored or used to improve your output. You decide which.

20. Be a generous logo designer. Make a meaningful contribution to the art of logo design. Help other designers. Treat clients more than fairly.

Footnote:
Most old-school graphic designers will strongly dislike my 10-logos-a-day suggestion. In their world, big clients pay big money for a team of creative professionals to spend days/weeks to come up with one logo. You are reading a logo designer’s checklist, so I’m guessing that you do not have clients like that. In the real world, where you and I make a living, small businesses need inexpensive logo design options. This is where pre-designed logos shine and where the 10-logos-a-day concept applies.

Facebook Twitter Email

Thanks for Your Patients?

This is one of the funnier typos out there and quite common.

Do not say “thanks for your patients” unless you are a medical doctor and I am referring sick people to you for treatment. Then you may thank me for those patients I’m sending your way. If you want to thank me for being patient with you, the correct spelling is “thanks for your patience”.

Facebook Twitter Email