Just read a thought-provoking post over at LogoDesignLove about a topic that’s been a discussion among designers for years.
The question is simple: “Are iconic logos designed, or bought?”
The answer seems to depend on what side of the table you’re on. When I talk to fellow designers most will say that iconic logos – or any logo – are bought because a budget puts real value on what you’re designing, and a budget also gives a cap to when development time is complete. For instance, most seasoned designers have a process from creating many logos over the years, and this process has an average number of hours built in so as to realistically estimate the time needed to design a logo. Logos that are bought have a well-defined scope, a set time budget, and are most importantly a solution for business.
On the other side of the table are the business owners, the managers, the folks who are actually paying for the design work. They will often cite Nike as a good example of a simple logo that didn’t take hardly any time to develop, and is a household icon. It’s a point worth taking. Certainly genius can strike in minutes. And if there’s one thing designers whom are not also business owners tend to be vastly disconnected with, it’s the cash flow implications of their work for their clients. On the client side is also the correct expectation that a designer will work on a logo until it’s done to the client’s satisfaction – regardless of how many hours that takes.
So who is right?
I ask: Why does it have to be “Designed or Bought”?
It must be both when we’re talking design.
Founder of the German Bauhaus school of design, an institution that changed everything, Mr. Walter Gropius said it best: “Art is self-expression; Design is problem-solving.” When we design, we are not creating pieces of art. By its very nature, Design is a creation process on behalf of someone or something else. Design is solving communication puzzles with aesthetics, not expressing how one feels about this or that.
I believe the premise of the question is wrong. Logos are not designed or bought, they are designed and bought.
If you want to express yourself, go paint. The world needs more painters anyway.
Cheers! ~ Dan