Today, we are joined by HANY . You can view their portfolio here.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently doing – give us a brief bio?
I’m a designer living in Brno in the Czech Republic, but I create without borders. After finishing my studies at art school I worked both in smaller graphic studios and in an international advertising agency. Since then I’ve worked freelance, as this suits me best. I like to experiment graphically through a combination of paper, drawing design and plasticine modeling. When it comes to identity design, the idea is paramount. I don’t want to create a purely aesthetic result, it must also have meaning and logic.
What are the common criticisms of identity design and is there any validity to them?
I believe that identity design is often neglected and is under emphasized – or forgotten – by many clients. A company’s visual presentation isn’t just a tool to sell itself in the market; if I work somewhere, I should be proud of my company’s mission and identity, and that should be reflected in the quality and message delivered by identity design.
Business owners often pay to have everything taken care of by professionals except their identity mark. Why should a business care about its logo?
An identity mark is one of the cornerstones of visual communication, therefore it’s a good reason to invest money in it by hiring a professional graphic designer or an agency. A logo is often the first thing that a potential client or business partner sees. It must be unique, engaging and reflect the essence of the company.
It should be memorable: when a client spots it on a business card, TV spots or elsewhere, they should remember who you are.
What constitutes a good identity mark?
The role of a high-quality identity mark is to visually abbreviate the company’s name or its focus. It can be difficult to develop a coherent identity mark if the company’s name itself is too complicated or verbose.The past suggests that companies with simple typographic marks are likely to be successful and gain broader recognition. But what constitutes ‘good’ is highly subjective. Both complicated and simple logos can succeed.Personally, I like “smart marks” which combine playfulness with a subtle, but concise, message.
What are some common mistakes which identity designers make?
Some designers pay slavish attention to trends:
what seems stylish now could easily seem unfashionable next year. Instead, the identity should have the potential to outlive the designer.
I also think it’s a common mistake to present too many distinct proposals.I think a designer should be highly critical and constantly assess their work: I personally prefer to do the final pick from at most two proposals.Lastly, a designer is sometimes unable to escape their personal preferences and see through the client’s eyes.
Can you detail the identity design process and how long this usually takes?
Identity design process is an iterative process that consists of several steps and none of them can be omitted. Consultation with client is important at the beginning to understand the company image. It takes up to two weeks to come up with the design proposals that are then further subject of ongoing discussion until client agrees on final form.Image in its final form is then applied on media chosen by client. It’s important to keep all logo visuals consistent across all the media platforms.Whole process needs time, which is often underestimated by client at the expense of the logo’s quality.
What are common challenges which identity designers encounter?
I’ve already touched on a few areas: “silly” company names or “clever” clients who believe their graphic design skills exceed that of their designer. This is a challenge for any artist who produces commissioned work. From time to time, it can be difficult to engage with a client, as they will give purely subjective evaluations, “I like/I do not like this”, rather than considering whether the design is right for their company.Surprisingly often, a client will ask for a design to look “just like Apple”
How do you account for the great disagreement over the quality of identity marks even among identity designers ?
It is a tricky question! I’ll try to answer as clearly as I can. Professionals are supposed to be able to reach agreement, because they are able to put aside their personal preferences and objectively judge the quality and functionallity of identity mark. Amateurs, on the other hand, advance their preferences, for example colours. They judge quality according to their personal life, actual condition, etc. The graphic designer should be able to explain how he gets to the final form of the mark. The client – amateur – has to be involved in the creative process to identify with the mark.A professional, whose everyday work is creation, consultation and other evaluation of visual work, will use subjective perspective as well, but only as one part of their process. It isessential that he can articulate his opinion based on arguments, long-term experience and knowledge of the discipline.
How much do top identity designers usually charge for a logo and how much is it really worth?
The price is determined by various factors. It depends on the background of the company (working for a local baker will differ from working for a international company), region and willingness of client. In general, it is profitable to invest to well designed corporate identity, because it saves money and time in future. The price should be also affected by the fact whether it is a competition, or whether the contract is awarded to one particular studio or artist. Reward should be much higher for competitions to rise motivation for participation amongst professionals who pay the rent, software, legal font etc.
In your opinion who are the top five identity companies in the world?
Perfect corporate identity can be created also by skilled freelancer. I appreciate originality and lusty attitude. For all that I admire the most I have to mention Snask, Philippe Apeloig, Vasava, Kokoro & Moi, Method, Stefan Sagmeister nebo Sulki & Min. From my city for example ARTISHOCK. I have more favorites from Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia, USA and Japan.
Can you list a few of the best well known identity marks and what makes them good?
1. Coca Cola – Simple color scheme in conjuction with amazing typography. Inherent part of the logo includes the bottle and its legendary shape.
2. Apple – Simple logo which hides the strong story.
3. CN – Canadian National Railway – Clean and recognizable symbol even after fifty years, made by Canadian designer Alan Fleming.
4. WWF (World wide fund for nature) – A powerful and perfectly chosen design symbol with outstanding graphics, location marks make it unnecessarily complicated though.
5. Swiss Helvetic cross – Not only is it applicable on the flag and national symbols, but fits on products too.
6. Berliner Philharmoniker – Nice abstract image of the logo.