Why it is better to choose a logo not only according to your taste

The most difficult aspect of our work is not finding the creative solution for the project we work on but getting the client to understand and accept our proposal. This is a recurring issue that involves everyone from freelancers to agencies, even the largest and most highly rated ones.

Generally if you go to a doctor or a mechanic, when they tell you what you need to heal or repair your car you accept it willingly because you don’t know the subject and you trust their experience and professionalism.

But when a designer comes to you with, for example, a new logo, you feel more entitled to have your say because you think you are in a field that you can apparently handle. You have your own taste, too, so you enter the game.

Your taste is personal, not professional

The problem is that your taste is based on personal preferences that do not necessarily coincide with the best result that can be achieved. Only a professional in the field can have a complete view of the requirements for a logo but this is too often not sufficiently considered basing the final judgment on a too simple, “I don’t like it.”

When we enter the realm of personal taste and not the best solution from a design and communication point of view, we take an uphill road that can branch off in a thousand different directions with no clear destination.
What happens is often a compromise solution or even worse a surrender of the designer who becomes a mere executor of what the client dictates to him according to his personal taste.

When Sagi Haviv insisted for months on convincing Conservation International.

There are designers, however, who patiently try to explain why their proposal works and why the client must decide not only on the basis of his own taste but by analyzing objective elements. These designers generally have a history and authority behind them that allows them to insist more while running the risk of irritating or displeasing the client. In an interview, renowned logo designer Sagi Haviv told how hard he struggled to get Conservation International, an organization working to protect the ecosystem, to accept the logo he designed for them (see the design on his site here). It is a blue circle with a green underline at the base. Accustomed to a very descriptive logo with trees and animals, those in charge rejected the proposal over and over again because it was “too simple and banal.”

It took Sagi Haviv months and numerous presentations to make it clear that that logo represented the concept very well and that its simplicity was its strength and not weakness because it makes it instantly recognizable by anyone regardless of country. Now Conservation International is happy with its logo and would not change it for anything else in the world, but for a long time the resistance was very strong. If Sagi Haviv had compromised we would now have perhaps a logo with a circle and a monkey hanging from a liana on it or something even worse! he would have done a disservice by accepting the client’s taste and demands.

Our system

This is precisely why here in EXM /creative we have a very precise and codified system to understand the client’s needs, acquire all the necessary information to start from a shared base that obviously has to take these needs into account. Our job is then to translate this information into a concrete result, keeping the example of the logo, into a symbol that represents the face of the company or product in the simplest and most easily recognizable way. The result almost never pleases the first one; it is quite normal for that to happen. Our brains need familiarity, and at first the new logo is considered a stranger. That is precisely why we always recommend waiting and looking at and reviewing the new logo, often familiarity comes with the passing of days as well as positive judgment. If this does not happen, however, we are always open to other proposals but never compromise precisely because we will not do a good service in the long run.

DIY Vs professionals

Nowadays if you want to do it yourself there are a thousand sites where you can have a logo for a few francs of low to medium quality so if you decide to go to an expert the advice is to trust his experience just as you do with a doctor or a mechanic and leave your personal taste as much as possible out of the final result.