The Concept of Design
Reference vs Templates
As we understand it, Design plays a vital role in representing any business or identity. This brings the need to invest in a symbol or image that represents the identity and permeates a message that the identity is also a brand.
Thus we can easily differentiate between fine art and design as design needs to establish a meaning through communication via iconography or semiotics, whereas fine art will comment on social or economic statures with interpretive illustration or sculpture. So when it comes down to it how do we design our identity and create the brand we envision hundreds if not thousands of potential customers recognising and acknowledging?
Well in our local society advertising is a bustling field that has a high demand for public attention in order to boost publicity, productivity and credibility. South Africa has a very large small-business sector where many aspiring entrepreneurs wish to become owners of their own successful enterprises and this leads to many competitive brands vying for recognition with the public through promotional campaigns. As all of us are aware we are surrounded by different businesses with different styles, themes, colours, services and especially: Logos.
The point to this is not the differences in their design such as McDonalds and Burger King but instead lies within the development of their designs.
Quality over Quantity
If you have ever had the chance of pricing the design of a logo, if not yours, then you will find that the difference varies across areas and timing. Some places will charge you an arm and a leg, which at first seems unfair, so you try to find other places that are cheaper. When you do find one, you might even get your design faster than the previous business! So you make your deal and when you’ve paid and received your design it looks astoundingly… off.
Well it would if you had any design sense, but you don’t necessarily, thus it may look quite spectacular even though it has an old camera in it regardless of your profession being in sales. So what is your reaction when you come across another business that sports a logo remarkably similar to yours…? Wait, not similar. The same. Yes that just so happens to be a legitimately designed logo for another brand. The difference: the brand name. The similarity? A Template was used.
A template is a readymade file that contains the style and theme of a design all in place, allowing you to simply place in or alter text, images and vectors. This is a quick way to skip the tireless process of creating vectors, cutting and cropping images, scaling and tracking text and placing colours in specific spaces. This is essentially the same as the famous satire from Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q where he took a simple print of the Mona Lisa, drew facial hair on it, renamed it and claimed it as a work of his own. This caused massive controversy as it delves into the realm of plagiarism and ready-mades.
Now what did you actually expect from the designer? For a start they needed to ask you a set of questions relating to what your business is about, what it represents, what colours, fonts, images and logos you like and use all of these suggestions and research to create a completely custom and new design that is unique unto you and your brand. It would take time to do so, and that is why the previous businesses were quite pricey (remember them?). Most businesses charge a setup fee but when it comes to design time is allocated to research and development as well as how many designs you may demand.
However this does not necessarily dictate which route you should take as many businesses starting out are indeed small and cannot afford an industry standard package. Thus all you need to do as a customer or entrepreneur is some simple research on local prices and packages from hourly basis to once off commissions and determine a suitable course of action that will benefit you most. Check out the works of the websites you visit and compare the quality, styles and themes to help you decide on a suitable service provider.
Now if you've made it this far you're most probably wondering..
Burger King or McDonalds? Just kidding, in JDC Exec and Leverage Digital we strive to give our absolute best in service and quality. We prefer to go overboard like Burger King burgers and supersize our process, like the fries we are coated in questions and like the drinks we aim to keep you chilled and content. Simply ask and you shall receive. We are here to help, mostly design and binge on fast food, but definitely help.