Am I Good Looking? A Question we all ask, although deny the very inception of the thought if someone would happen to pry about it.
It is personal, intimate, – a very touchy subject for many as our confidence shutters the moment a good looking person of the opposite sex happens to share or reveal his/her negative opinion regarding our appearance. Such a critique is inappropriate, judgemental, rude, wrong, – subjective.
We are lucky.
Lucky, that this prejudice is openly accepted and discussed in the world of design. It gives us a very valuable opportunity to learn from one another, though we are only learning once the discussion is well informed. Failing to create a discourse filled with challenges, problems, and solutions will always lead to judging the very looks of the thing, whatever that might be.
A good conversation can lead to many things. It might let us discover something new; to hear something old – and we think to our-selves, “ah, I know that” – our vanity grows just for a moment, until we are silenced with the unknown again.
A good conversation might change our opinions. It just might convince that judgemental man or woman, who spoke so ungracefully about one’s appearance, to foolishly fall in love with an idea.
Unfortunately, in branding, we do not have the luxury to convince and change options in a delightful one-on-one discussion over a cup of coffee (or a glass of red wine if you will). We communicate in an instance. We must, because there is no time.
An opinion is formed within few seconds, for example, a poster gets an average four-second gaze from a traveller. We might get a little bit more on the Internet; or even less time once a branded van drives in front of us as we patiently wait for the green light at the zebra crossing (distracted by a bunch of bicycles zig-zaging all over the cross-road). We know that crossing recklessly would be risky; we need to look in all directions to make sure we get on the other side safe and sound. As designers, we always have to look in every direction, follow predetermined rules in some cases, respect books and approach research responsibly. We need to be modern and fresh; not to mention the numerous problem solving every project bears under its hat.
All the research and solutions are integral, giving us the tools to make a brand work and speak to our customers in the right language (whether it is in English or Spanish, in colours or black and white, portraying nostalgia or our potential future).
In order to reach our goal of an instant communication, we take time to fully understand all those answers nicely provided to us by consultants and researchers; however I have learned all of that can, quite easily, go to waste if the right amount of care isn’t put into play. With the appropriate care, even the ugliest of weeds can grow into a beautiful tree, blooming with flowers and delivering ‘always fresh’ fruits.
Because brands need to look great even if it’s just for a second; they need to cherish their looks with the most convincing of confidence, as nobody remembers a bad looking brand that works and speaks.