Logos to Go

Corporate identity design is changing. There are designers for whom quantity matters more than quality.

Portrait of Erik Spiekermann Erik Spiekermann Berlin

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At last there’s a colleague who does away with a myth: designing logos and other graphic ephemera is the beginning of an extensive process in which the company first has to «find» itself, before it – aided and abetted by management-, style-, advertising and design-consultants – reaches the apex of Corporate Design: the logo. I quote from a website:

«We involve up to 5 graphic designers on your behalf in order to get as much variety of designs as possible. We now offer a new logo design, done by at least 3 different graphic designers, for just 199 Euros».

There you are: if 1 designer makes a bad logo, 5 designers can make 5 bad logos. One can hardly get a decent meal for that sort of money these days! But there’s more: «This is a unique offer, well below the common price structure in this business of between 500 or even 2000 Euros». Wow! 2000 Euros? Weidemann was rumored to have been paid 200,000 old Marks for his DB logo back then. «Why are our prices so low? Our designers work from home. Our services are based on communication via electronic media between designer and client: e-mail, SMS, Chat, Internet. And our designers work in economically well-placed regions». So there. While they’re sitting at their computers all day chatting, they might as well do a few logos on the side. And obviously these regions are in the Eastern bloc, where the Euro is hard currency, software is quickly appropriated and intellectual property is valued about as high as the Russian Rouble, but where every other person is a Grand Master in chess and ace programer.

Go for it, all you clients who keep complaining about the high cost of labor. Here’s another service, apart from Call Centers, which you can delegate to people without much knowledge of German. It’ll save money and tiresome discussions. And if you don’t like the results, simply order another half dozen logos. That will keep 30 graphic designers busy and create jobs, albeit far away. We need to think globally!

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This article was previously published in Form magazine.

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Erik Spiekermann

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Portrait of Javier Hernández
0
Javier Hernández
Mar 2015

Mr. Spiekermann: You are right!... "Why are our prices so low?", because designers have allowed to be that way, accepting from clients whatever amount of money they are willing to pay... for not being organized in any way to avoid this ridiculous situation... and for many more reasons that will take hours to discuss.

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Reply
Portrait of Joaquin Varas
2
Joaquin Varas
Jan 2014

The indignation swelling up within me cannot be harnessed into mere words. One can only imagine the sort of cliched, generic and disposable logotypes that come out of that cesspit of misery. But hey! The sweatshop "designers" that work in those slave houses, are at least making us a favor. They are driving the miserable clients away from us, they in turn shall receive sub par work that will reflect their dubious work ethics. It is a love relationship between misers, who shall fall under the weight of those years of low wage abuse. No real loss there.

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Reply
Portrait of Alejandro De Althaus
2
Alejandro De Althaus
Dec 2013

Yes, it is ridiculous. Thereʼs an old phrase in spanish that says "Zapatero a sus zapatos" which means something like "Each shoemaker to his shoes", what I am trying to say with this is that the problem resides in the involvement of people in the graphic design business who are not designers, in a proper way. Of course this is a business but it can be lead (and shoud be) by honest, hardworking and effectively creative people that get paid what they diserve because they deliver a true designerʼs work.

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Reply
Brandious Brand Bureau logo
0
Brandious Brand Bureau
Sep 2013

thanks erik! finally a recognized voice commenting on an issue that bothers us all and makes us all work harder. (nothing against working harder, itʼs just not fair itʼs caused by this kind of activities.) a great part of the problem is that the economy is hard to get a grab on lately, but - for our profession - the issue lies in the fact that educational institutions in the countries erik refers to are indiscriminately responding to a demand that is only based on easyʼnʼlazy. clients are also not helped by this because they are losing sight of what their brandʼs all about.

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Reply
Portrait of David Espinosa
46
David Espinosa
Sep 2013

Actually itʼs a fact around the world. Weʼre full of bad designer here in Colombia. They sell you a «logo» for, letʼs make a good offer, about 10 Euro. Final product? I wouldnʼt call «products». A lot of plagiarisms of big logos like CocaCola, IBM, British Petroleum. They just change the colours, the scripts and voilà! A brand new «logo». I think they are the busiest graphic designers around the world.

If our profession isnʼt globally associated it will almost impossible to avoid this issues.

1
Portrait of Paus Lemar
0
Paus Lemar
Sep 2013

Here in Mexico they wonʼt even change the logo, they use the same one and only change the name of the brand.

0
Reply

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