About the graphic designer and the love of one’s own work

by | 01. Jun 2022 | Change Management, Communication, News, Our Company, Unternehmenskultur

There was the client – AB Enzymes – for whom a changestory had to be developed. Changestories are little stories that help employees to understand the abstract topics within a change process and make them visible and tangible. In our work, this includes a logo and a small basic story. At 3kubik itself, the framing story is, for example, the adventure of everyday working life that we go through with our clients. Within this story, we have developed various protagonists (Freds) who accompany this adventure.

Developing Visual Worlds

In a workshop with ABE, we developed different visual worlds that could support change in the company. One of them was based on the theme of flying in the broadest sense. In further development of this first impulse, I then landed in the area of space travel. My idea behind this was that the employees of the company in question are already professionals in their field who now only have to learn to fly – just like astronauts.

Scribble Ideas

So I started scribbling a team so that my counterpart could imagine what the project work might look like. It was important to me that this change team be as contemporary and diverse as possible. So there was a female commander, there was an old warhorse with a bionic leg and there was also a little dog, for example.

Captain Future Destroys My Work

Then came the first presentation to the client and the first reaction was – positive! They thought my design was great. Then one participant said: “They look like Captain Future! And that was the end of all the work, because nobody wants something that already exists. I learned two things from this situation.

#1 Don’t fall in love with your own work

This is more about the graphic designer himself and means that when you do something, it is always an offer for the client. If someone doesn’t like my design, I won’t be able to change that, but it doesn’t say anything about the quality of my work.

#2 The reverse search

I especially like to do that with logos that I develop. Because here, too, I want to make sure that no one gets something that already exists. To do this, I take a step back and ask myself, have I seen this somewhere before?

Lesson Learned

So since that experience, I’ve been checking myself much more clearly as to where exactly my inspirations come from. I wouldn’t claim at all that one uses the work of others 1:1, but there is clearly aesthetic inspiration. Then you have to sit down and ask yourself whether you’re too close to it, so it’s a copy, or an inspiration that is totally legitimate because you want to communicate the same thing.
For example, it is absolutely clear that if I make a logo with a tree, then I will make a tree that I have seen – how I then implement it is of course my work.

Diversity for the Clients

To ensure diversity for the clients in my designs, for example, when I develop crews, I look at stock material, identify the current standard and see where we can make a meaningful intervention. Take superhero teams – that’s usually where the boys outnumber the boys. I then make a team in my work with predominantly female protagonists. But that doesn’t always work out. If you have a client from the construction industry, for example, it is a fact that there is one woman for every 1,000 employees on the construction sites – so it would be absolutely inauthentic and not productive to develop an all-female team for change. You have to look very closely at what the customer needs individually and not just give him something that is currently woke.

The Advisor in the Graphic Designer

In summary, I can say that my clients only ever receive tested designs from me that I think will bring their change forward. At this point I am not only a graphic designer, but also a consultant. Of course, I consult with clients and respond to their insider knowledge and wishes, but not as an extension of the client, but constructively and with expertise.