Am I worried?

Blog

April 6, 2018

The internet is a great thing. It shows you things you like and things you don’t . It shows you things you should see and things you shouldn’t. It helps you in your job and it can also replace you in your job, unless you dig holes or flip burgers.

So, how can it replace me? There seems to be a worrying amount of DIY websites that have sprung up lately. Not the paintbrush and wallpaper type, but the build your own website, design your own logo type. In the past these were limited to the local copy shop or print your own business card machine. But now you can do it all online. Some good and quite a lot worse.

Am I worried that this will mean less work for me?

Well, let’s look at the results. The bad ones we can discount, but the good. They seem good, I mean really good. A decently designed logo where you’ve picked the typeface and the clip art to go with it. I don’t mean the Microsoft clip art of old. This is good stuff designed by some creative who can actually use some expensive software. I can even change the size and colour. The results are impressive.

Everyone has had a client that thinks they are a designer or copywriter and hey, with this they are! No more “my niece did a good job of her bedroom curtains, so she knows a thing or two about colour and she said that green is ‘soooo last season’”. Now, they can do it themselves and show you. Time is another factor. Crafting time goes out of the window. Just resize a logo and add a bit of colour – bingo, all done.

Using stock images mean that your logo is not unique. In that I mean that someone else can have that logo (or part of). What if, say they become more successful than you and want to ’own’ their logo more. Copyright it, and sue you for infringement? Where do you stand? I’m not too sure.

Then, is it fit for purpose? Will it scale, print on different media, full colour and mono versions? Is there more than just a web version? Can you turn it into a favicon? – hey this is getting complicated! These are all the things that designers have to sort out and live with later on down the line.

Just don’t ask me about typography. There is a backlash on slapdash – just bung it in, left on the standard software typesetting. With the reassurance of Letterpress printing, all those beardy types are using real metal fonts and printing with dirty sticky ink, using big noisy machines, that you have to tweak and fiddle to get perfect results. You then need the right pressure to indent it. Not to mention marrying it all with hemp paper or something. So all is not lost.

Hey, I can talk. The image for this blog post came from a stock library.

So, am I worried?

No, is the answer.

Because to design a great logo, it needs to be different and stand out. For a website, you need content, and they are the hardest bits. You need a strategy to hit your target market. You need a reason to use a certain colour. You need a perfect image that’s up to the same quality as the product you are offering. You need a crafted icon to match your companies look and feel perfectly. Not one that ‘will do’ or is generic and not specific. In this more competitive environment that we’re living in, you need stand out more than ever. Using the same template as 500 other companies doesn’t allow that. When your company grows and other people produce, let’s say signage or a brochure. Who provides the guidelines? What Pantone colour should they use to match the RGB logo you’ve designed on some generic site?

by Greg Mackenzie

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