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AUSTIN WEST

Designing a Symbol Part Two

March 14, 2014

Designing a Symbol Part Two

Creativity takes many roads. In some offices, numerous designers work on the same idea, whereas in other offices each designer might develop a different idea or positioning strategy. Routinely, hundreds of sketches are put up on the wall for a group discussion. Each preliminary approach can be a catalyst to a new approach. It is difficult to create a simple form that is bold, memorable, and appropriate because we live in an over saturated visual environment, making it critical to ensure that the workhorse across various media and applications.

In projects that involve redesign, the designer must also carefully examine the equity of the existing form and understand what it has meant to a company’s culture. Paul Rand’s logos for UPS, Westinghouse, and Cummins were all redesigns. In each case, Rand’s genius was finding a way to maintain elements from the original identity and transform them into bigger ideas and stronger, more sustainable visual forms. His strategy was always to present one idea. His brilliant design sensibility was matched by his strategic presentations, in which he would trace the evolution of his recommendation.

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