There’s one thing I hate about knowing as much about design as I do now that I’ve been studying it for the past 18 months. I can pick bad design. It bugs me because I see people who are so pleased with whatever design they’ve been given by “designers” who have no concept of proper branding practices and haven gotten away with simply making things look pretty or cool without much thought into functionality.
Good design goes well beyond being “pretty”.
It needs to be functional. It needs to serve a purpose. It needs to present your identity in a way that doesn’t make people guess what you’re all about or at least, who you are.
It needs to be logical.
It needs to work in black and white and reverse type black and white.
It needs to be legible when shrunk down to business card or letterhead size.
It needs to show continuity with the rest of your identity (ie, websites, external signage, stationery, etc) or vice-versa.
The best tip on design I’ve ever seen is “if it can’t be appliqued onto a t-shirt it’s not good design”. You know what? It’s true. You think I’m kidding? Look at any successful brand and you’ll see design that’s simple, recognisable and can be easily appliqued.
Anyway, I won’t say I’m wonderful at logo design because I know I’m not. But at least I know what not to do now.