At the beginning of the month I took on a project with a Non-Profit Organization. They had their logo designed about a year ago by a local Design Company (shall remain nameless). I was brought on board by the Non-Profit Organization to develop branding and collateral design. During the design brief, when I was shown the logo, I immediately noticed that the kerning was off in a number of areas. When I got my hands on the Illustrator file, I noticed more problems. The font hadn’t be converted to outlines (artwork). This shows a lack of professionalism. After a quick online search I found the font, downloaded and installed it. Finally, I was able to go in and attack the kerning. As I zoomed in I discovered the font chosen for the logo was faulty… even the untrained eye can see the issues. What do you see?
It looks like the designer of the font started with Century Gothic and then set to butchering it.
1) it has abnormal edges and blips (indicated with the red arrows)
2) curves appear on the x-height and baseline rather than just above and below (indicated with blue arrows)
3) inconsistent use of angled and horizontal ends (indicated with the purple arrow)
But the story doesn’t finish here. For the second time in one month I came across another poorly designed logo. I was asked to update an older project with a Company’s new logo. I was supplied with a Style Guide and numerous logo files from a local Design Studio (name withheld, different company then the previous story). As soon as I saw the Wordmark (text part of the logo) I could tell that the font had been stretched. It’s a cardinal rule, never stretch a font! Sure enough I was right. If a font doesn’t fit in the area you desire, choose a new font!
Before I proceeded with updating the file with the new logo, I read over the Style Guide to ensure that I was using the logo properly. As, I read through the Guide I discovered that the Wordmark appeared as 3 different fonts. When I realized this, I checked the supplied logo files and sure enough they varied between the 3 fonts as well.
So, the Company thought they were paying to build a consistent brand, but instead they got files riddled with inconsistencies.
If you know a Graphic Designer, you know them to notice details and subtleties, complain about kerning, point out things that are barely off-level, etc. It’s like we’re ingrained (either innately or learned) to be precise and detail-orientated. So, the natural assumption is that these designers know they have created inferior work and are somehow OK with it, or maybe they’re weak designers. Either way, the work is not up to professional standards.
I feel really bad for the Companies who hired these Design Companies/Studios. I want to protect them and you from those who pretend to be Pros. Should I report these companies and to whom? Do you have similar stories? If so, what was your follow-through?
inspireling isn’t sure what do from here…