Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Putting on a show

Saul Bass with Mark Kramer in 1966

“I often think that presentations are more difficult than the work itself. A presentation has to share just enough of the process so that someone who has not been a participant can understand the ‘inevitability’ of the solution, and that the solution is the culmination of a rigorous and systematic investigation of all reasonable possibilities.

“When you present work to a client it is important to have a point of view. The tricky part is to provide several good solutions to a problem and then not allow the client to choose other than the best one.

“It’s surprising how hard that can be sometimes.”
— SAUL BASS

Quoted from Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design (2011, Laurence King).

Saul Bass in a meeting, mid 1960s

From the archives:
This is what you need — a magic dot.
The cost of a Saul Bass logo

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities, second edition

6 appreciated comments

  1. Totally agree! I would say that the presentation is definitely and by far the most difficult part of a career in design in general.

  2. You have to be able to give the client the courage to choose the best one. A client/non-designer will naturally gravitate toward the one that looks more like the logos (s)he has seen in the world at large. This is BY FAR the hardest part of logo design work.

  3. Arnaud

    Or, in three words: the “avoiding the average” strategy, and how to create a momentum that your client will recognize – and sign for it.

    Thanks for this relevant quote!

  4. “… someone who has not been a participant” stood out to me.

    I think that was the old-school thought of coming to a presentation meeting with a surprise solution. Modern thought would include the client at every step so that presentation meeting is less of a surprise and more of the logical meeting of established ideas.

    I would agree that presentations are challenging. But they shouldn’t be that scary if all the preceding conversations built to the solution you are showing.

  5. Brian Williams

    @John–you’ve nailed it. If good analysis and design generate something unexpectedly elegant this tends to scare middle managers. They know the unexpected dies in committee or during review by someone who hasn’t invested much in understanding the domain/problem/solution/whatever. It’s hard for someone who didn’t participate in the hard work of the creative process to “get it” sometimes. This is particularly true if they are one of the many who believe the designer is an artist who creates from thin air. Courage/commitment to something that really hits (or even almost hits) the mark can make all of the difference in the world and it is SO hard to come by.

  6. Yes, we have to put on a presentation of sorts not only when we are selling our designs, but also often when we are selling ourselves to the client initially when being considered for a job/project. It’s a learning process for sure. Thanks for the read David.


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