I came across the great website this morning – Fresh Creative. Not only is their work wonderful to look at (with some great event collateral and print advertising), but they have a great newsletter/blog as well. Their most recent entry focuses on the elements of a good brand. And they use a great example – FedEx.

Now, despite the fact that my father is employed with UPS – who butchered their logo a few years back – I am a big fan of the FedEx logo. As a designer, I am disappointed with myself when a friend pointed out the hidden arrow to me only a year or so ago. All this time! I love hidden images/words/letters in logos. Double meanings inspire me to create something that great. Something that will keep you entertained and your mind working. 

But I digress. The article is great, and they even have a link to an interview with the designer. At the end of the article there are some rules to follow for good design. These are perfect. Basically:

Hire a professional, not a high school student who loves Photoshop filters. If someone had been dumb enough/broke enough to hire me, even two years ago, they would have wasted both their time and my time. There just isn’t enough to be said for a degree and experience. And not just art experience. This is the part where I brag about a liberal arts education:

I can’t imagine going to a school where all you focus on is art. Where there is nothing else but typefaces and color and canvas. I went to a school where I took classes in history, science, math, english and art. I learned to speak in public and write a thesis and communicate my ideas. I really appreciate the value of my education. I tell everyone now that liberal arts is the best way to go. 

The other point I loved was this:

“If you feel a design isn’t working, explain what you think is wrong, not how to fix it….You hired the expert, let them do their job.”

While I love the easy work – where someone already knows what they want and basically hire us to trace their drawing – I love even more the challenge of someone who has no idea what they want. We are allowed to experiment and explore. These clients are open-minded and willing and up for anything. Though we have had clients that just can’t make any decisions. My advice: know what you like and don’t like, but save it for the first draft.

And sign up for Fresh Creative’s newsletter. There’s something to be said for getting a consistent bit of design and marketing into your life.