Read the second part of the full interview to Ian Paget. Find out the points of view of one of the most influencer designer at the present.
3. What is it about creating logos that intrigues you so much?
Ian: In my career there have been 2 areas of design that I’ve loved. I’ve enjoyed illustration, and I’ve enjoyed solving complex problems. Logo design encapsulates both of those areas.
Good logo design is hard. It’s a real challenge, and although I’ve designed a lot of logos I still feel that I’ve not yet mastered the art – I’m on a mission to do just that. The best logos are very simple, but also cleverly capture attributes of the company it represents, targets a specific audience, and competes with other identities already established. Not only is the design phase hard, but convincing the client that what you’ve designed is right is also a skill on its own.
"THE BEST LOGOS ARE VERY SIMPLE."
Logo design has so many possibilities and directions for learning. With each project there’s something new to learn about the world, which is exciting on its own. I’ve also been really fascinated by the hidden meanings and stories encased in almost every logo. The average person has no idea, but if you take your time to really study a specific logo, you can discover interesting stories.
4. What logo design are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of the icon I designed for Bathily who are a supply chain based in West Africa. I designed a monogram of the letter B which looks like the rear of a speeding arrow and the wing of an eagle to symbolize the speed of the service. Colour has been used to extend the meaning further by symbolizing a service that can deliver both day and night.
Due to language problems the client was fairly difficult to communicate with at first, but fortunately loved every design I created for him and provided one of the best testimonials I’ve ever received. In that area of the world logo design is a real luxury, so it was very rewarding to help the family company take their business to the next level and see them succeed.
I was also lucky enough to win a gold award in the 2015 International Visual Identity Awards for this logo. Thanks to this success I was also on the jury for the 2016 awards, which has been a huge honor to be part of.
"I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO WIN A GOLD AWARD IN THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL VISUAL IDENTITY AWARDS"
5. As an expert in brand identity, could you tell us what you think about how logos fit into the brand story of a product?
A logo is merely an identifiable mark. It plays very little role in the brand story, other than being a symbol that allows people to recognize it. I do feel a well-designed logo will include attributes of the brand story, but I don’t think it’s essential to be successful. I could ask how flags fit into a countries story, which I hope will get you thinking about my answer…
To expand on this I want to quote from the legendary Paul Rand:
“A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. If a company is second rate, the logo will eventually be perceived as second rate. It is foolhardy to believe that a logo will do its job immediately, before an audience has been properly conditioned.”
6. If you could re-design any well known brands logo, who would it be and why?
I’d really love to redesign the Spotify logo. The wave icon has a flaw in its alignment that bugs me on almost a daily basis. The product and visual identity has evolved substantially, but the logo lacks the same characteristics. I wouldn’t want to completely change the logo as its gained recognition, but would certainly love to explore the potential of what it could become with a little tlc.
"I'D REALLY LOVE TO REDESIGN THE SPOTIFY LOGO."
7. As mobile app designers we are, we’d love to know where is from all your amazing knowledge about design. Could you share with us where did you learn your incredible gamma of skills?
Most of it has been through observation and experimentation. I like to find work to benchmark my designs against, that way I can focus on what works well, what doesn’t and why. For example when designing mobile apps I’ll experiment with the best and most popular out there to see how they are doing things, both in terms of usability and design. If you really zoom into the design work you can work out how to replicate that style.
I’m also a heavy reader. You can learn a lot from books and online blogs. As a kid I wasn’t a big reader, but since discovering that you can learn lifelong lessons in a few hours I’ve not stopped. I’ve been able to learn so much about design, business and project management, which has changed my life.
8. There are plenty of new graphic designers ready to leave the University or Arts school. What is your advice about choosing full time employment or freelancing? What offers more creative opportunities from your point of view?
Being a successful freelancer requires a lot of skills. From sales and marketing, through to account management and accounting. It’s hard – really hard, and I wouldn’t recommend it without any professional experience to back you up.
"BEING A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCER REQUIRES A LOT OF SKILLS."
I would strongly advise to work for a company or agency first where you can learn how businesses work, where you can learn to design for real life scenarios and work with and deal with clients, the good the bad, and the ugly. Companies will invest in developing your skills, so take advantage of it and learn from those around you. You’ll be able to screw up in their time, and have the guidance and support to help you develop as both a designer and an individual.
In terms of ‘creative opportunity’ it can vary. The ultimate creative opportunity comes from the clients you choose to work with. You typically find that the bigger better clients and opportunities will be drawn to design agencies who can deal with the demands. These companies will often work both internally, and will also outsource to talented freelance designers, so the opportunities are there on both sides of the fence. If you’re a talented designer I believe with a bit of hassle you can get involved in some really exciting opportunities.
If you miss the first part of the interview to Ian Paget, go ahead here.
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