Enabling Excellence in Custom Type Logos through Selectivity
Crafting custom type logos is my fervent passion. I enjoy creating a word mark that is contextually relevant to the audience of my client. My style is one of clean, readable, precision. Over-complication is something I staunchly avoid. Though while I favor simplicity, it is a uniquely charm-infused character I embrace.
I receive a great volume of requests on a daily basis. As a result, I am extremely selective about the commissions I take on. I discriminate on much more than just budget. From experience, I am able to discern almost immediately whether a project will be a positively enjoyable challenge and the client pleasant to work with. I make this distinction within minutes if not seconds of assessing the request.
My clients provide a clear overview of content and goals. This is the full extent of their responsibility. If there is a general stylistic direction they are seeking, this preliminary input is welcome. However, if I am approached with a very specific example of how the logo should look, I immediately decline. Allow me to explain.
An effective logo is the result of an objective process. I do not design on personal whim or individual preference. This means every design decision made is objective and considered in context of the provided goals.
A logo I design is a collective sum of objective design decisions. For this reason, an effective end result is not one that even I in my experience am able to forecast—let alone my client who is without experience. It is imperative that an iterative process be performed solely by a professional. The only external input that should be considered relevant is what an exhaustive preliminary brief contains in its entirety. To allow uninformed specifications to direct or influence the process is to solicit failure. This would be a disservice to the client.
I ensure the projects I accept are ones that I am thoroughly passionate about such that I am able to dedicate myself relentlessly to crafting a work of remarkable quality. Doing so requires that I not only devote the time spent at my desk drawing and designing, but also my thoughts throughout the day and in my time away from the office.
My process entails taking the provided goals and constraints along with the mediums, applications, and target audience to be considered. I balance these limitations with an embracement of the aesthetic of any stylistic direction provided. I explore numerous iterations and hone them down to a final concept based on what will be most effective for the project goals.
I spend several weeks refining this culled concept. I continue to draw and redraw the hand rendered form until I ultimately vectorize the work with meticulous precision. Even once this process is completed, I spend several more days tweaking the finer points of the vector and sleeping on any and all adjustments made.
Once the design is fully rendered, it is provided with a thorough explanation and visual documentation that outlines the design process from conception to completion. All of the design decisions made along the way are explained and shown to demonstrate how they serve the project goals.
I have absolutely no problem telling clients that if they want options, I’m not who they want to hire. I do not design for my client, I design for my client’s audience. I require that those who I work with thoroughly comprehend this distinction.
Because my process is an objective, iterative process, it should be expected that the result not be what may have been in mind. It is not my goal to cater to the subjective preference of my client or even my own personal tendencies. My value is the expertise I bring in the form of my experience to create an effective, objectively-designed logo. This single, refined end product that I provide is an intentional solution to my client’s goals. Anything less is a disservice and not the work of a professional.
I say no to 98% of the requests I receive, so I can say yes to the ones that I know will enable excellence.
My clients come to me because they appreciate the quality of the results I showcase through the custom type logo case studies in my portfolio. They desire this proficiency for their project.
The only way to produce the same level of results is through a strict adherence to a time-tested process. There can be no compromise on the process. The process is the catalyst and is required to realize value.
I am only interested in producing excellent work. This is only possible if there is an expressed trust in my approach from a potential client. I am selective in the clients I take on in order to ensure that I am able to continue producing work of high caliber.
There is no magic point you reach where you are able to be selective with clients. You are able to be selective by practicing selectivity.
— Sean McCabe (@seanwes) June 24, 2013