Case Study: Are You A Productive or A Creative Logo Designer?

We aren’t friends and we don’t have any connections with Steven Bradley, the man behind Vanseodesign, but we believe that his blog may be an enjoyable lecture for any logo designer. One of his interesting ideas was about the relationship between productivity and creativity. Are these depending on each other or are they in total opposition? Until I’ve read Steven’s opinion, I have considered that a productive designer is a creative one and vice-versa. More or less, these two features are interconnected and a successful designer must be at the same time productive and creative. The value of a logo designer may be defined (clearly, it’s not a very precise formula, but it’s still correct) by two major indicators: the fame amongst community and the quotes asked and received for a design project. In order to be recognized as a logo expert, you must design amazingly creative logos, while satisfying all client’s projects, you must be extremely productive. In this light, it’s clearer why a successful logo designer must be creative and productive.

On the other hand, it’s pretty normal to ask yourself – does it matter to correctly determine the relationship between productivity and creativity? A logo designer has his projects to do and is interested in finishing them as soon as possible so the client will be satisfied. In this equation there is no term related to creativity and productivity.

Productive or Creative Designer

This problem doesn’t affect the workflow of a logo designer, therefore it may be ignored. Still, a good understanding of it may give precious hints to better sharpen the skills. The next lines represent a personal interpretation of the creativity-productivity bynom. Of course, you may agree with me or disagree, there is no winning formula and it will be great to have more opinions. If you have some thoughts to share with us, please feel free to use the comment form.

Personally, I think that productivity and creativity are situated on an opposite scale; this opinion is in concordance with Steven’s idea. If you are 100% creative, then you automatically are 0% productive and vice-versa. A successful logo designer must assure a very stable balance between these two states, but there are many good logo designers that are very creative but less productive or more productive and less creative.

#1. The creative logo designer

Creativity is a very instable and subjective state and no one may predict the creative capacity at a specific given moment. Being a creative logo designer is a risky choosing, but only the ones that assume risks will win. A creative designer spends considerable more time for researching and sketching than others. Thinking that creativity is a nature gift is wrong… more or less the creativity may be stimulated and trained. A good working environment, a positive state of mind and the lack of pressure are some must-have conditions to make up a creative climate.

More or less, a creative designer is one that prefers spending way more time only to bring to market an original logo. The artistic part of him is predominant while for a productive designer, the pragmatic part is dominant. Briefly, these are the most important traits of a creative designer:

  • the unlimited desire to come up with something new;
  • more time scheduled for research;
  • quality is primordial;
  • sometimes, the new clients are ignored just to impress the existing ones.

#2. The productive designer

Unlike the creative logo designer, the productive one is focused on production, to create more logos for more clients. In this context, it’s crystal clear that it’s impossible for the productive logo designer to fully concentrate on research and develop original concepts. The most experienced designers may allow the luxury of shortening the research phase, but the less experienced ones would most probably create poor logos. No doubt, a productive logo designer is a very active person, but the chances of sharpening his/her skills are very low.

The creative one is very interested in quality, while for a productive one the quantity seems to have a more important role. The next features are specific to productive designers:

  • work hard to create more logos;
  • more time scheduled for execution;
  • quality is important, but quantity makes the difference;
  • any new client is welcomed.

I think that the above short descriptions were enough to realize which side you embrace. It’s enough to give frank answers to the check lists at the end of each description. Instead, I can’t give you a clear answer about which side is better. I am sure that there is no pure creative or productive designer; we all are a combination of these. I see the problem a little bit different, you should determine if you are a creative-productive or a productive-creative designer.

The human beings prefer to think about themselves that they make choices, but the reality is different. The context is very important and it determines a lot of decisions. A designer under pressure that must finish in time some important projects won’t be able to be creative. He will be very active and focus more on the productive side. As a result, if you want to correctly determine your profile, then the context shouldn’t be ignored.

I consider that the best approach is to be a creative-productive logo designer. In this way, he/she can make enough logos to have a good income and the projects realized are satisfying the quality standards of the clients. I consider that the ideal proportion must be 55-60% creative and 40-45% creative, but it depends very much on the talent and the mentality of the designer.

Are you a more creative or a more productive logo designer? Do you think that my check lists wrote down in order to determine the appurtenance are complete? I am very interested in your opinions and I will be waiting for your thoughts.

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