The most important second ever.

If you were given 1 second or 1 minute to make an impact on someone, how many people would take the latter? I’m going to say a vast majority of you would take 1 minute. Why not? One minute can mean an eternity in comparison to 1 second. Heck, 1 minute may as well be an hour. 1 day. 1 month. Well, you get the picture.

Well, the fact of the matter is, in today’s society, you don’t have a full minute anymore. People barely have time to be stuck in a drive thru before being stuck in traffic on our way to work. Or, stretching ourselves between soccer, piano, karate, yoga and all the other activities that we seem to be caught up in, in a single day no less.

So, what do we, as designers, need to do for our clients? Here’s your chance, I’ll give you a second to think about it.

Your second is up. Now, what’s your answer? Guess you weren’t given long enough. Here’s the simple solution, be memorable.

Society has developed intolerance for attention. So, have a look around you. Whether you’re on your couch, at your desk or in your vehicle, there are designs and logos all around you. But, what you don’t really think about is what you’re looking for, or at for that matter. You are so used to seeing everything on an everyday basis; you don’t need to think about it. You can glance at something and just know what it is or who makes it. That’s being memorable. You’re in your car driving down the road and start to get hungry. You see the “Golden Arches”. Instantly, you know that there will be food there, so you pull in. You go shopping for new running shoes and go straight for the “swoosh” or “3-stripes” because you know there will be quality there. We don’t even think about these things but we do it because we know these iconic logos. That’s brand recognition.

Your client wants that. Who wouldn’t? To have a product or service that people just “know”. Logos, business cards, billboards, email, shirts, whatever you have your design on, or what the client wants the design on, has one second to capture the individual receiving it before it’s retained or forgotten. There’s a famous billboard company uses this frame of thinking every time they go to promote their own business. You may have seen it. “Gotcha!” or “Made You Look.” Well, they did just that and I remembered it. Now, if anyone, me included, needs to advertise on a billboard, guess who we would be going to.

Designing logos, website graphics, business cards, et al., take a moment to pause. Think, ‘if I drove past this, would I actually remember it’.

When you only have that second to gain the interest of someone, why would we create something so busy that it defeats the purpose of what it is set out to do in the first place, which is being memorable.

More and more, businesses are losing the type font of their business names and going to a just a logo, a recognizable image of who they are. Businesses that have never even had a logo are starting to have them pop up, (i.e.: WalMart and the introduction of the 6 yellow “spokes”).  The automotive industry is a shining example of this. In North America, if you see a “blue oval”, “bowtie” or a “ram’s head”, you know exactly who they are and what they do. Even by the mere shape, you know what you’re looking at. The clothing industry is the same way. You see an intertwined LV or a small green crocodile, you just know. They don’t need to plaster their image or name everywhere because you already know it. And, usually, they are the simplest of things.

So, the next time you’re working with a client, help them become the next iconic image and not just another blend-in-the-background company that you just randomly choose out of the YellowPages. Help them become the different company that they want to become by coming to you as a designer.

How will you and your client use your second?

 

If you were given 1 second or 1 minute to make an impact on someone, how many people would take the latter? I’m going to say a vast majority of you would take 1 minute. Why not? One minute can mean an eternity in comparison to 1 second. Heck, 1 minute may as well be an hour. 1 day. 1 month. Well, you get the picture.

Well, the fact of the matter is, in today’s society, you don’t have a full minute anymore. People barely have time to be stuck in a drive thru before being stuck in traffic on our way to work. Or, stretching ourselves between soccer, piano, karate, yoga and all the other activities that we seem to be caught up in, in a single day no less.

So, what do we, as designers, need to do for our clients? Here’s your chance, I’ll give you a second to think about it.

Your second is up. Now, what’s your answer? Guess you weren’t given long enough. Here’s the simple solution, be memorable.

Society has developed intolerance for attention. So, have a look around you. Whether you’re on your couch, at your desk or in your vehicle, there are designs and logos all around you. But, what you don’t really think about is what you’re looking for, or at for that matter. You are so used to seeing everything on an everyday basis; you don’t need to think about it. You can glance at something and just know what it is or who makes it. That’s being memorable. You’re in your car driving down the road and start to get hungry. You see the “Golden Arches”. Instantly, you know that there will be food there, so you pull in. You go shopping for new running shoes and go straight for the “swoosh” or “3-stripes” because you know there will be quality there. We don’t even think about these things but we do it because we know these iconic logos. That’s brand recognition.

Your client wants that. Who wouldn’t? To have a product or service that people just “know”. Logos, business cards, billboards, email, shirts, whatever you have your design on, or what the client wants the design on, has one second to capture the individual receiving it before it’s retained or forgotten. There’s a famous billboard company uses this frame of thinking every time they go to promote their own business. You may have seen it. “Gotcha!” or “Made You Look.” Well, they did just that and I remembered it. Now, if anyone, me included, needs to advertise on a billboard, guess who we would be going to.

Designing logos, website graphics, business cards, et al., take a moment to pause. Think, ‘if I drove past this, would I actually remember it’.

When you only have that second to gain the interest of someone, why would we create something so busy that it defeats the purpose of what it is set out to do in the first place, which is being memorable.

More and more, businesses are losing the type font of their business names and going to a just a logo, a recognizable image of who they are. Businesses that have never even had a logo are starting to have them pop up, (i.e.: WalMart and the introduction of the 6 yellow “spokes”).  The automotive industry is a shining example of this. In North America, if you see a “blue oval”, “bowtie” or a “ram’s head”, you know exactly who they are and what they do. Even by the mere shape, you know what you’re looking at. The clothing industry is the same way. You see an intertwined LV or a small green crocodile, you just know. They don’t need to plaster their image or name everywhere because you already know it. And, usually, they are the simplest of things.

So, the next time you’re working with a client, help them become the next iconic image and not just another blend-in-the-background company that you just randomly choose out of the YellowPages. Help them become the different company that they want to become by coming to you as a designer.

How will you and your client use your second?

 

Author: Robert L. McMann

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Robert,

    Great article, I hail from Calgary myself. I am currently located in China and saw you are looking to build a start-up design company in Edmonton.

    Maybe we can team up somehow.

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