When It’s Too Late for the Ambulance

Man of infinite wisdom and ire to spare, Andy Rutledge, is back at it once again with probably the best essay we’ve read all month: “Logo Misapplication.” It’s a great take on companies who hire individual designers or firms to take a crack at helping them to create a new identity package. It’s also a terrific read because it seems to run counter to some of that designer-think wherein one begins to think that their work can perhaps inspire gigantic sea changes when there are flaws far deeper than anything a nice new sheen can fix. In a quick word, Rutledge is telling those occassional clients to wake up, but less in the sense of those typical “they just don’t get it” frustrations we all run into, and instead, into that “you just don’t need me” terrain. Terrific stuff. Here’s some:

I find it rather ironic and frustrating that while so many owners, executives and managers have absolutely no idea what design can do for their business, they have entirely unrealistic expectations for what a logo can do for their business. A logo’s purpose, as imagined by far too many, amounts to the very definition of putting the cart before the horse. In such cases it would be far better to send the horse off to the glue factory.

Seriously, the logo is just the simple mnemonic that can be used to mark (brand like a cow) products and marketing materials so that people know who made them or who is trying to say something to them. The logo itself only articulates what the brand already broadcasts. That’s it.