I saw something this past week that I found quite unsettling and I’m still not sure how I can make sure it never happens again.
I am working with a new client developing some direct mail packs for them. About eight years ago I designed this clients logo on a pro bono assignment through the agency I was working with at the time. Last time I noticed, they were still using the same logo.
In the midst of package development, the client sent over the “new” versions of their logos. The colour had been changed to a lighter blue and a light green (the original was a dark blue). In my books, that was no-no number one for reasons I’ve outlined before.
They also revised the bilingual logo to create an English only version - and by removing the French completely changed the meaning of the logo. Now the logo didn’t mean anything. It looked like some random elements thrown together.
Needless to say, I wasn’t terribly amused. But what can I do? In this situation I was a little more lucky because I now had a new contact with the client and the opportunity to “fix it” - but what about other cases?
I know that some charities can have massive turnovers. I know that often they have no idea where the logo came from or who did it, or even why it was developed as it was.
As a designer, if a client calls and asks me to change/tweak their logo - I tend think “no way”. In the commercial world, it is total taboo to mess with another designers logo.
But in our sector- it seems to be ok, acceptable - expected.
When I design a new logo for a client - I give them every variation that makes sense (2 colour, 1 colour, Black only and reverse out white options) and as well provide them with the common formats (.eps, .jpg, .tif) saved for the Mac and for PC users and tell them - put these in a SAFE place. I also make sure my name, contact info and font and colour information is included in the digital file.
That’s all I can do. I’ve come to accept that when I release the logo to client - it is no longer mine and people can change it at will.
But, how can I protect against this sort of thing in the future?