On Designing Logos

Designing a logo to “look more modern” is an exercise in  designing a logo that’ll eventually look laughably dated. Instead, I strive to design logos that look as though they’ve always existed. I’d like the logos I present to a client to be able to serve them for years to come with only minor revisions needed to remain attractive and useful.

I’ve failed this goal with every logo I’ve ever designed. However, I feel like I’ve failed less and less with each one.

It’s a bold move for any agency to fire a client, let alone one as recognizable as Panera. It’s also not necessarily the end of the agency’s problems thanks to this relationship-gone-sour: other potential clients may see moves like this and be turned off, perceiving the agency of being too rigid and preferring to work with someone else instead.

But it’s necessary to stand up for the culture of your own business. This sends a clear message to the rest of Cramer-Krasselt's clients – they value a healthy working relationship above all else, and they're not motivated by money as much as respect. Treat them badly, and be prepared to search for another creative partner. C-K may actually lose more clients because of this, but they may form tighter relationships with some existing clients at the same time. Time will tell.

A move like this also positions C-K well for recruiting experienced talent, as they’ve undoubtably had the Terrible Client Relationship Blues at some point in their career. A workplace that isn’t afraid to fire bad clients is very, very appealing to that crowd.

Still, it’s best to nip bad client-agency relationships in the bud, and keep communicating about how each party hopes to be treated when working together. There aren’t many bad clients out there, just bad relationships and miscommunication.

Meters in Midtown Alley

Below is a letter I’ve sent to the Parking Commission of the City of St. Louis, unsure if I’ll get a response or evan an acknowledgment.

Hello,

I’m writing in response to (seemingly) imminent parking meters being added to cross-streets in the Midtown Alley neighborhood, specifically Cardinal Avenue at Locust. I assume there are more going in nearby, likely on Garrison and other close streets.

I’m an employee of one of the many companies that calls Midtown Alley home (Atomicdust), and I’m concerned that the already inadequate parking situation in the area will be worsened. Are there plans or recommendations for what commuters that work in the area should do once meters go in?

For instance, Atomicdust employs 21 full-time staff, and additional freelance talent as needed. Very few are in a position to carpool, and public Metro transportation isn’t an effective option for most. There’s a gated, for-pay parking lot at Olive and Garrison, but its capacity is 28 vehicles — even if our company bought all of the remaining spots, there’s far too little parking for just our company. We are only one company in the area, we’re surrounded by a growing neighborhood of 9-5 businesses in addition to the restaurants and bars.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions; I assume the city wouldn’t be putting in parking meters without considering the impact to local businesses and their employees. But right now, those plans are unclear and we’re curious and worried. What’s the plan?

Jason

I’m not against parking meters; on the contrary, if the money they generate can be used to repair the dismal state of Garrison Avenue and better police the neighborhood, I’m all for it. I sincerely hope I’m simply uninformed about what we employees in the area should do once they go in. But I’m not sure that’s the case, so asking (and posting publicly about it) will hopefully yield some answers or insight.