How about adding some rainbows to the logo?

We designers hate some silly demands… sometimes

You know what I’m talking about. You just finished the logo request, it’s simple, it’s clean and neat, it’s clever and even a bit funny, the right amount of funny.

It’s ok… I mean I like it but I don’t love it

The client, the one that -hopefully- paid you already 50% looks disappointed. You want them to feel the way you feel about the logo, you know it is what they need, you absolutely know you are right, why can’t they see it? Well, sometimes they simply can’t.

We always hear things like:

“The customer’s always right”

…and

“You need to pay attention to what your client has to say”

and you know in your heart of hearts you did so. Then again, what happened? The answer is quite simple:

You were afraid of putting your client in the spotlight and guide her… not lecture her, but guide her.

Take a moment to consider the following: you are called to design a logo for a carpenter. You want to know what’s in your client’s mind, so you ask… then she says something like:

I’m christian and I love Jesus, so I was thinking in a logo showing him in a enlightened rope, crafting a beautiful and yet simple wooden table, while 3 baby angels surround him playing trumpets of glory… Oh! And you know what else? Maybe you could add some glittering rainbows.

You procced to explain why 99.5987% of all of that is wrong… like eat-brains-dead-walking-zombies wrong.

You start lecturing your client about Gestalt principles of form perception, about the importance of simplicity, and Paul Rand and the apple from Apple’s logo… and then is your client the one that’s getting just a portion of what you have to say, while thinking:

…so, why you even ask me what I want?

So here is my humble advice to you:

Do not start by asking what do you have in mind?

Although is fundamental you take it in consideration, don’t put that responsibility on your client’s shoulders. It is your job to figure it out. Instead, try with little question, but make sure you guide her through. For example you could say something like:

So, carpenter. I bet there must be at least one carpenter in every city around the world, wich is a good thing buecause your logo must be memorable…
If you were to fly to China, and having just a piece of paper and a pencil to communicate, what would you have to draw in order to explain to a stranger what you do for a living…

Boom! There you have it: a hammer, a nail, a piece of wood… things you really can work with.

Guide your client, make her feel she is part of the process, don’t let her open up their heart to you and then make her feel dumb.

Finally, remember: there is no carpenter in this world who can come up with glittering rainbows in a piece of paper.

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