It tends to happen to me a lot that I forget that I have a blog that I need to be posting to. When I’m pitching ideas to clients, I always say, “If you’re not going to update it, then don’t even have it.”
Ah, physician, heal thyself.
But here I am late at night piddling around and I decide it’s time to write a blog post.
So, what’s been going on? A lot of politics, scary stuff in our water, Guy Fieri in town hitting up the local food joints… oh, and the state’s largest employer spends $250,000.00 on a complete rebrand. Who might that be, you may ask?
According to Twitter today (and the News & Observer), the UNC System has done a complete branding overhaul. Yes. the UNC System is the largest employer in the state of North Carolina. This is actually pretty cool, because it’s higher education. Also, in a majority of the states of this great union, Walmart is the largest employer, which is, if you ask me, a kind of sad state of affairs.
Anyway, People on Twitter weren’t too impressed.
I try not to poo-poo on other people’s work because, well, I don’t want people to do that to me. However, my first knee-jerk reaction was to blame the designer but then my ire turned to the folks at the UNC System, but as of right now I’m reserving judgement. The talk on Twitter was making it look like the entire $250k was spent on the logo, but there was a lot of collateral that was included in that. Website, brochures, banners, signage — all this stuff had to be redone. So, there’s that.
Also, I get the challenge. There are 17 schools in the UNC system and they needed something that wouldn’t step on those identities, but could still easily be appropriated for various departments and efforts. They needed something uniquely North Carolina and this is that.
Is it a good logo? I don’t know. I need to see how they’re going to use this thing in their marketing. It certainly is simple and easy to recognize. I could nitpick about it being trendy, the font choice, and maybe how things might look a little off-balance, but really I want to see it in action before I make my final call.
It’s really easy for creatives to be overly critical of each other’s work. I don’t really get that. We all do the same jobs and face the same struggles. It’s easy to say, “If I were working on that it would have turned out much better.” but we don’t know what those meetings were like. At some point, you realize that it’s not really about what you want, but what the client wants. Yes, we give our expert opinion and advice, but in the end it’s not ours.
“I wouldn’t have done it. I would have walked away.”
You know what? I wouldn’t have. Yeah, it would be nice to be able to live by your finest principles and say no while you’re walking away, but just like Brendan Fraser, you’ve got bills to pay so you end up making School Ties and Encino Man in the same year.
And again, the job isn’t just about me and my creative fulfillment. It’s about a client getting what they need.
[steps off of soapbox]