Attachment & Feedback

Sunday 7 August, 2011

In this post I talk about my attachment to the first company logo I designed and how it took some direct feedback, followed by a little time for the feedback to sink in, before I did anything about it. It is also an excellent example of what I describe in ‘The Process’. In September of last year I met with a man who specialises in corporate design. I met him because I was looking for better business cards. I wasn’t really looking to alter the design – just change a couple of words – but he took time to discuss his work with me.

He had energy and ideas and was driven by quality, harmony and beauty. He also had the ability to deliver meaningful feedback. I showed him the first logo I had designed (you can view it here). He told me straight, he didn’t like it. I wasn’t offended but I do remember feeling protective towards something I had created and of which I was proud. Because I intended only to make small changes to my business cards we didn’t work together. But I made a point of telling him I thought our paths would cross again. And he definitely inspired me to think beyond what I already had.

So I asked my graphic designer to make the small changes I needed and, once I found a suitable printing company, I would have new business cards. That was in October. I did not take delivery of the new cards until March. Much longer than I had expected (expectations!), but by that time the cards had gone from acceptable to excellent.

And this is how it happened:

From the start, my graphics man was busy. Even though the changes I requested were small, they weren’t getting done. He was apologetic, but I told him not to be. Sure, I was keen to get things sorted but I began to realise I was also (too) attached to the whole process.

I remember Karaj making it clear to me that if you want something to happen, and you are clear about it, then it will happen: people will pick up when you phone them; they will remember to do things for you instead of forgetting. It’s not down to the others, it’s down to me. And that’s how it was here too. I could easily get mad with external factors, or I could stop, have a look at myself and ask why this was not working.

And that’s what I did. But not before the designer called me in December to say he was off to India until January and could it wait with the cards? Sure. It was then I decided to stop pursuing it. With a thought to the feedback I had received in September I decided to take time to redesign the logo. As I mention in the post, ‘Analysis: It’s All In The Logo’, it took me weeks to do it. But by the time I had finished, and also completed the final design of the business cards, I was very satisfied with the result.

It had clearly not been the right time and, when it’s like that, there is no use in forcing things. Instead I took the time to re-evaluate and produce the kind of quality and beauty I had wanted from the start and which the meeting last September had reinforced.

It was that conversation which had made me see how attached I was to the first logo. And it was the feedback I received that day, which eventually sparked the will to produce something even better. The attachment kept me rooted to the spot. The feedback woke me up, challenged me and liberated me to do better.

Related post: Analysis: It’s All In The Logo

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