AND TO FINISH SOMETHING SWEET...
Each new business begins with a letterhead and a logo... literally. Before anything else is accomplished, a letterhead and a logo is created. Sometimes before a business plan is created... a letterhead and logo is created. Often before office space is leased... a letterhead and logo appears! In fact, I’ve created entire identity systems even before the company telephone number is known... no kidding. Nothing is closer to the birth of an enterprise and nothing can be more important than a properly conceived, designed and executed logo and letterhead.
In addition to icons, words and numbers, business papers convey a surprisingly accurate and remarkable complete amount of additional information. In fact, that little 2 x 31/2 business card is probably the most influential seven square inches in the world of print communication.
Actually, the entire nature of an organization and/or an individual is evident on the surface of the simple business card; one can detect or deduce intelligence, self assurance, innovation and leaderaship. In addition, characteristics such as mimicry, inauthenticity, slovenliness and miseliness are also apparent, even to the casual observer.
If you are presented with a slipshod business card, you won’t be surprised when you step into a dirty lobby upon arrival for your first visit. Conversely, business papaers, created by bona fide talent, can generate a powerful visual statement which can set the cultural tone for an entire organization.
Curiously, not one of the nation’s leading business schools devoted even a single course to the subject of visual identities... in spite of the obvious succes of companies who have purposefully, accidentally or otherwise tapped into the power of design.
Consider, on a personal level, the visual imagery that has been placed in your mind by enterprises such as Benetton, Apple or Nike. If ou think advertising has created those feelings of yours, think again. Other advertisers have created the ads and spent the money, yet they have failed to get the job done on you.
Design is the real power behind this phenomenon of imagery. Advertising is only the conduit. Ads are the wiring, design the electricity. You get shocked by the electricity, not by the wires.
As you pay attention to the corporate identities around you, you will see the work of some of the world’s most amazing people... Graphic Designers. You will discover pleasant visual puns and clever metaphors as well as stunning interpretations of the traditional elements of typography, paper and color.
While most of the designs are interesting or beautiful, some of them are brilliant. Graphic Design is ubiquitious. It’s everywhere in our culture and, at it’s best, it contributes to the beauty and richness of our lives.”
Graphic Designer, U.S., 1991