Friday, January 29, 2010

Design for yourself, clients, or the public?

As designers we are in a constant tug of war between what we think is the correct solution, what the client thinks is the correct solution, and ultimately what the public thinks is the correct solution. It's been said that designers should minor in psychology just to survive it all. At Design Hovie Studios it's something we deal with every day. How far do you push a client before they become upset and pull a project? Do you continue to push if you know what the client wants is wrong? All tough questions.

A couple of years ago we had an experience that added yet another ruffle to the mix. We pitched a client on a design we felt was perfect for them. After seeing the options the client agreed that our preferred direction was, indeed, the best way to proceed. They showed the new design to their focus groups and it was met with really good approval ratings. We thought it was all a done deal. Then an unforeseen wrinkle crept into the mix. The client's largest distributor saw the design and thought it wasn't right for their market. Having no other option (they had to have this avenue of distribution), my client was forced to come back to us and have us design a solution that wasn't what either of us thought was best, but rather what their distributor thought was best.

So, even if you, the client, and their public agree, there can still be yet another kink in the system to creating great design. Fortunately I'm old enough now to not understand that 90% of the time, designers have to compromise (if you don't realize this you'll simply go crazy or be depressed all the time). The key is inching out 5% or 10% more than you thought you could out of a solution. It's that extra bit that makes the difference.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New ID for MOKU of Maui Hawaii

We've been working on the new brand ID for MOKU Builders of Maui Hawaii for the past month or so at Design Hovie Studios. It's nice to get in a tropical state of mind when in Seattle in January. I'm very excited about the logo as it breaks out of the traditional logo box. It's fun with movement and action but still professional and in keeping with the Island aesthetic. Granted the unusual shape makes it more difficult to work with in layouts but, in the end, I think it will yield more interesting results. In addition to the logo above, we've created business cards and are currently designing a brochure and presentation folder for the company.