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Get Out Of Here With That Nonsense.

There’s this post floating around on LinkedIn, and I’m sure some of you have seen it – it’s got over 26k views last time I checked. It’s by a seemingly sincere CEO of an unfortunately-named company that apparently specializes in the development and marketing of mobile apps. As in, the word “Marketing” is in it’s name. And this poor lady is stumped. She can’t choose between four logos that she’s posted because she absolutely wants the “RIGHT” one. And she’s looking for help choosing from basically EVERYONE on LinkedIn.

Trust me. THEY'RE BAD. 

Trust me. THEY'RE BAD. 

Problem is, they’re all awful. And focus grouping them to a group of people who, for the most part know nothing about logo design and even less about your business – is just as awful an idea.

And this isn’t coming from me as some highly-trained creative snob. My 11-year-old son looked at the choices and asked if they were for real. They literally looked like a colorblind person had designed them in Microsoft Paint… in 1997. Including bitmapped edger and ill-advised gradients. I mean, I’m all for retro if it’s intentional, but DAMN.

Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it couldn’t be real. All because of this line in her rambling description:

“…unless you have a killer idea, I would love to see it.”

 Pre-tty snea-ky, sis. 

I know my first instinct was to try to redesign it. (Actually to start from scratch.) That’s exactly what she wanted – some WACOM-tablet wielding white knight to ride in and give her a free logo. She knew they were awful (I think). She figured just throwing them out there, someone would save her.

Sadly, it’s working, like a box and a string in an old-timey cartoon, people are falling for it. Hell, my kids try it all the time – perform a chore so slowly, badly, or disastrously that Mom or Dad just has to step in and do it – it’s a classic.

But at this level? What the hell?

Are you so desperate and shady that you won’t even pay for the one thing that will immediately identify you to everyone you do business with? That you’ll try to trick some unsuspecting designer into just giving it to you? Sorry, lady, I AIN’T FALLIN’ FO THE BANANA IN THE TAILPIPE.

It offends me – for myself as well as for the hundreds of talented people out there who design for a living. The ones who are always being asked to give it away for free.


But, now I’m just getting worked up over a “what if.” Back to the point. Either:

A)   She’s legit and will be stuck with one of the worst logos I’ve seen in 20+ years in the business because she gave a podiatrist in Ohio a chance to vote on it.

B)    She’s legit and some well-meaning designer will step in and either tell her that they all suck – or possibly get sucked into designing it for her.

C)   She’s a brilliant tactician who has figured out a way to get a free logo on LinkedIn.

Ackbar knows the deal. 

Ackbar knows the deal. 

Any way you look at it – conniving or clueless – it’s not the kind of business leadership that inspires confidence… especially for a company that has “Marketing” in its name. 


© 2015, Kwame DeRoché


Kwame DeRoche