Logo and Clients

aoshjabro's picture

I am working on a logo for a piece of hardware that works as a fall safety device. The product was developed by a home building firm to meet specific code regulations and they are now testing the market to see if it may be something that could be sold to mothers of young children and insurance agencies through a mostly online marketing campaign. The device works by being attached to the track of your window and will prevent the window from opening more than four inches...in case of an emergency it can be easily be removed by pushing down on it. They are calling it the Window Warden.

The first proof of logo concepts that I emailed to them is in the pdf folder. I was disheartened when they returned that email asking my opinion on the below jpg file (1.jpg) According to my client, "One of the guys involved in the project, had a friend draw something up" and they want my opinion on it. How do I make them understand why what their friend drew up is poor design and lead them towards a quality logo.

Any feed back on my logo concepts (windowwarden.pdf) or how to deal with a client who thinks that the 1.jpg file is a good design will be greatly appreciated.

WindowWarden.pdf332.69 KB
1.jpg179.53 KB
aric's picture

You're client's not a designer, and I imagine when he looks at the other guy's image, he sees coolness, which is how he feels about his product. When he looks at your design in comparison, he sees lameness. At this point, he's not thinking about the finer points of what makes a good logo; he obviously hasn't considered what the other guy's image will look like when scaled down to one inch wide.

Ask your client what he likes about the other guy's image. Once you have a good idea of what it is, tactfully help him understand why that image is deficient. Explain what makes a good logo in terms he can appreciate, and tell him that you can create a logo with the elements (or the spirit of the elements) he likes from the other image, and that you have the necessary experience and expertise to ensure that it will look good at all sizes where it will be used, in any medium where it will be printed, etc. Emphasize that you will work with him until he's satisfied and that you are an expert and will save him from grief and embarrassment down the road. Make him feel good about himself and about you.

cfig's picture

I'd just scale down their "friend" design and show them that it won't work at small sizes, doesn't work without the fade/gradient, etc.

As far as your concepts, your type choices feel too friendly to me, solid and secure has me wanting a meaty, bold typeface. I understand you may want something somewhat friendly if you're going after a female audience but it can't be too soft. I don't see a lot of concept behind them other than playing a window form, what about the idea of a lock and window, maybe a gate or bars and a window, etc. Do some more exploring and see what you can come up with.

aluminum's picture

"One of the guys involved in the project, had a friend draw something up"

That's the red flag that screams "do whatever it is you have to do to invoice the client then walk away"

seventy7's picture

Tell them you had a friend (with no training in home building or product development) design a version of the Window Warden. And it's made of rubber bands and sticks.

Jokes aside, tell them your honest opinion is that the friend's design won't work. (for the reasons others mentioned above). Use this as an opportunity to educate them on logo design. Point out that a logo is a component of a product's or business's identity. The friend-designed logo is trying to do too much work with the shadow, stroked letterforms and the illustration.

Of your concepts, 2 and 3 work best for me. Continue pushing the ww combo idea in #2 to create an interesting mark that could stand alone. Perhaps this ww is reversed out of a shape. Try arranging "Window Warden" in different ways below or to the right of the mark.

I agree with Chris that your type choice feels friendly (with the exception of #3 and maybe #1). I can't say for sure if that's bad. Depends on what this product looks like, where it will be sold/marketed and who the audience is. My guess is that you want the type to communicate secure, but not too serious. If you go too friendly people may lose confidence in what the product promises to perform. If you go too serious, people may feel that the product is too complicated and may fear it would be difficult to quickly disassemble in a hurry. Mostly subliminal, of course.

Did you get a clear idea of the concepts your client wants communicated?

aoshjabro's picture

Thank you everyone for your astute comments.

For more insight into the project take a look at this image of the actual product.

It is really not a very exciting object...more something you would find on a rack at Home Depot. The client also was concerned with the word "warden" conjuring up images of unfriendly and restrictive officials. They definitely wanted to soften the blow of the harsh sounding title with a softer, kid friendly look and feel that, again, attracts women of young children.

Ratbaggy's picture

sits in stunned silence.


Eos's picture

Can i join?

Bloodtype's picture

I think you could work with one W inside another, as a neat word picture of window warden (presuming they're keeping that name). As far as bad clients go, they tried to warn me at college but it's always a complete PITA!

penn's picture

Nothing says friendly and secure like Arial italic and Cooper black! Throw in an all-cap serif to let them know you mean business.


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