As I get older I seem to have less and less desire for anything but the simplest presentations of text and images. This economy of attention drives much of what I do though I often fail in executing on this vision – in my own projects and for clients. It’s hard to bill a client for simplicity as they often have so much to say and if it’s too simple they believe they could have done the same themselves. Which in some cases is true.
A year or so ago I had a conversation with a local client about his company logo. I’m not really into logos and tend to rely on other expressions of ‘brand’ – a word I dislike. He said he hated when expat.’s or foreign companies used cliché expressions of Chinese culture – name stamps or the use of red when creating their corporate dm. An uncomfortable silence followed for a few seconds as another person attending the meeting knew I expressed myself with these cliché expressions.
When I was playing with the design of this site, well deleting cruft mostly, this conversation was a driving factor in how I would design this weblog. Interesting how off the cuff remarks can be a driver for your work.
Despite not reading Mandarin I do love stamps and calligraphy but my cliché style was most influenced by a French artist in Vietnam who was selling all kinds of his art on paper bags, t-shirts, and prints. More pop art than anything serious but I loved the way he used stamps and black ink. Unfortunately I have long lost his name and Google has failed me.
So as hard as I tried I still can’t escape the use of red and black, and the use of a stamp as a logo. It’s fun and a nice break from stuffy corporatedom.