Ask any designer and they’ll tell you that ‘design by committee’ can be one of the most frustrating types of projects imaginable – for both client and designer – especially when it comes to creating an effective logo or brand. There’s an old saying about ‘too many cooks’ that is certainly apropos here – a design by committee project often seems members of the ‘team’ bolting on various bits and pieces to a design, without any attention being paid to the overall image, while various ideas – often unrelated – fight for real estate. More often that not, it’s the committee member with the loudest voice who gets to set direction, not neccessarily the person with the keenest design sense. Adding these factors up, any design by committee project runs the very real risk of coming off the rails. Came across this news item that outlines, fairly graphically, the potential pitfalls involved. The Colony Courier Leader article entitled No Logo outlines how the city’s hunt for a new brand has dragged on, with a ‘non-official’ design being used on web sites and the like, while the city council struggles to finalize on a keeper –
The Great No Logo. The Colony logo story lives to see another day. For the third meeting, the Colony City Council inched further toward a choice of a new city logo, but did not approve one. The city staff has designed a new city logo, and has placed it on the city newly re-designed Web site. However, they have not adopted that design as the official logo.
At Monday’s meeting, the council heard a full presentation from Tony Seiler, a local citizen who presented a new proposed design for a city logo. Speaking about design principles, Seiler explained in detail the reasoning for his design, a primarily blue and white design that incorporates a sailboat and makes more prominent the word “The.” Seiler has said that the staff design de-emphasizes that word, and would make it difficult to see in some places. Seiler displayed several variations of a blue-and-white design that uses a sailboat and phrases “The Colony Texas” and “City by the Lake” with the words similarly sized. He also showed a smaller “stand-alone” design that is more easily adaptable to such things as business cards or street signs. That design would take the sailboat of the larger design and put in place the letters T and C, one on each sail.
“Make it clean. Make it good looking,” Seiler said. “Give the sense of something good,” Seiler said.
The council asked staff to come back with a stand-alone design that would allow them to compare one to that presented by Seiler.
I’d imagine this one’s going back to the drawing board for a few more rounds…