The ever evolving logo landscape

I love to talk branding, and consider myself somewhat of an expert on the topic. But there’s arguably no greater expert on the subject than Pentagram partner Michael Bierut. This short YouTube video presents four logo structures:

  1. The wordmark
  2. Pictoral
  3. Abstract iconography
  4. The logo system

Mr. Bierut recently recently sat down with 99% Invisible’s Roman Mars to discuss how he employed the logo system structure for the Obama and Clinton presidential campaigns, and how the rise of social media and online publishing has made way for widespread criticism of big brands.  Listen here, or download the podcast to your favourite mobile app.

I, Free Radical

I’m rereading 99u’s collection of essays Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career
In the opening piece, Adobe’s Vice President of Community and Co-Founder & Head of Behance, Scott Belsky identifies a new breed of creative professional he calls “Free Radicals.” Check out Scott’s Manifesto for Free Radicals and see if you’re among their ranks.

The problem with anger

The problem with anger is that it doesn’t do you any good. For a short while you may be convinced that it’s fuelling some sort of creative passion, that it’s shaping you into a fierce competitor or a more developed artist. But it isn’t. Anger is holding you back and impeding your ability to grow as an artist. Anger is stunting your emotional growth to a point where normal behaviour regresses; normal responses are replaced by scepticism, sarcasm and mistrust.

I’m a frequent acquaintance of Anger – he and I have hung out many times. Along with Worry, Anger is one of my two closest confidants. But I’m doing my best to hang out with more favourable emotions these days like Contentment and Peace. Sometimes, I even encounter Joy. I’m making new friends, and it feels alright.

Some time ago, I started a long-term working relationship with a client. Things were great at first. The connection began through a friend who worked there, which bridged the awkward early stages of a client/vendor relationship nicely into something that seemed quite healthy.

But as time went by I observed that things were not all roses with this organization. They had a difficult time embodying the positive persona they projected to the public. They disrespected staff and had unrealistic expectations of them. And if that was how they treated their own insiders, one can only imagine what their opinion of the contractors were.

I make every effort to permeate the culture of each client I partner with. The key word being partner. I look to build relationships wherever I can and strive to become a part of my client’s team. I know this isn’t always possible, and that it may very well sound like a pipe dream to even mention it, but it’s how I’m built. As time went on it became difficult to continue working with this client. Still I believed I needed the business, so I did what I could to press on. Eventually the professional relationship dissolved and we went our separate ways.

For a long time, this break up offended me. I took it personally and let anger seep into my thoughts and my opinion of the client was negatively exaggerated. I disliked talking about them and would even attempt to taint other’s opinions by my own jaded point of view. This was not doing me any good. My discontent was not going to bring me success, it would only sabotage my attempts to move forward.

Charles Swindoll compares anger to a flat tire or a dirty diaper: When left unattended, it will not correct itself. Sweeping my feelings of anger under the rug wouldn’t help. So I am facing my anger head-on, and seeking God’s help and the encouragement of others to change my perspective. I’ve held my grudge long enough. And what for? I’m sure this client does’t know that I had a beef with them. Why should my discontent concern them anyway? I don’t want the chip on my shoulder to negatively affect them in the way it has me. It’s time to move on.

Do what you can to purge whatever anger you hold on to today. Face it and confess to it, seek help and get back to being the best you you can be.

Scott Belsky, Founder & CEO of Behance

The best leaders have a high tolerance for ambiguity. They don’t go nuts over the unknown, and they don’t lose patience when dealing with disappointments. They are able to work with what they know, identify what they don’t know, and make decisions accordingly.

When “Trust me, I’m a professional” just doesn’t cut it.

I’ve been thinking about relationships lately. Both personal and professional. I still believe that relationships are the key to business success, and continue to make relationship-building a focus in my day-to-day interactions with others. But for a while there, it seemed every business was playing the “relationship” card, and I was afraid I’d sound just like everybody else. So, it’s been a bit of a quandary trying to figure out just how to express that core value without sounding disingenuous.

What I’ve discovered is that the glue in any relationship (personal or professional) is trust. Personal relationships will include not only trust, but among other things love, support, and security. Some of these things may spill over into my professional relationships, but as much as I love working for most of my clients, I can’t say that I love them (sorry guys). These relationships include common goals or interests, a contract or agreement, hopefully good rapport and camaraderie, but also trust. Always trust. Continue reading When “Trust me, I’m a professional” just doesn’t cut it.