There is good logo design, there is bad logo design, and there is the logo design that is right for the client. That last one is what I aim for, and so should you.
Few years back, one of my friend had approached me to design a logo for his new fitness clothing brand – Black Bulls. At that time, I was obsessed with monograms. I used to create monograms for everything and I was really good at it too (still am). So naturally, without having any conversation with him about his vision & mission for his new venture, I had set my mind to design a monogram styled logo for his clothing brand. And I started working.
But as I sketched out dozens and dozens of monogram logo concepts, I had a small voice in the back of my head telling me – This is not what they need.
And it was right.
The Black Bulls brand was all about Passion, Hard Work, and the ruthless love for the pump. A simple monogram didn’t had the power or the aggressiveness that the Black Bulls brand needed. What they needed was a mascot; a powerful, black bull mascot to be exact.
But even though I knew it I was ignoring it constantly because…well…I hadn’t made a mascot logo before.
I was afraid to move out of my style and create a mascot logo for them. I told myself that if I did, it was going to suck, and the clients would hate it, and it would not look good in my portfolio, and everyone would hate me, like a full on negative stream of consciousness started to roll out of my head.
But here’s the thing,
Being a designer, the most important skill that we have to learn is empathy.
It’s easy to get too attached to “your style” of logo design, and not give a damn about what your client’s business actually needs.
You maybe the master of 3D logos with intense details and effects, but if your client’s business need an authentic hand lettered logo that communicates their message and values clearly to their audience, then you have to create an authentic hand lettered logo. You have to put your ego aside and give them what THEIR business needs.
As a designer, it is YOUR responsibility to help them solve their problems. That’s the main reason they came to you in the first place, isn’t it?
Now just because you made them their logo, does it mean that you have to add it to your portfolio? No!
If you want your portfolio to display only 3D logos with intense details and effects (I don’t know why you’d do that, but) that’s fine!
But don’t use it as an excuse to run away from your responsibility.
Do the work that they hired you for.