I have wanted to change my business structure to an LLC for a couple years. Other work and life priorities gave me the excuse to procrastinate. But last year, amid all the pandemic interruptions and delays, I finally got it done. This of course created a series of other changes I needed to make to all sorts of related things. Updating my logo was a priority and a dear friend (who is an amazing editor) gave a me a referral. She told me that she was young, but so talented and that she completely trusts her instincts. I hired her after our first conversation.
So, we engaged and she proceeded to ask me questions about my business, my clients and how I work. We talked about my mission, vision and passion for the work I do. She asked me to send her colors and objects I love. She also reviewed some of my writing and did all the things you would expect a professional designer to do.
When she sent me the first logo it was nothing I would have imagined. And she included this note:
“This logo represents both you and your company. It communicates that there are various parts that make up an organization and they intersect and work together to form one structure. The arrangement of the shapes has a very “architecture” feel which communicates how your work is foundational and is an essential building block for efficient and effective change. Another interesting aesthetic that this logo achieves is that organizations can be complex and implementing change even more so. The shapes in the logo represent the different moving parts of a company but are placed and represented to show harmony and stillness, which is the effect of your services. I also like the idea of using these unique shapes because it is very human. Too often in corporate logos we see stiff, bland, safe images because it shows “professionalism”, but it is actually cold, dense, and relatively meaningless. This logo has a very human-centered feel and is clean and concise which makes it professional. It shows that creativity and human emotion make up a huge part of a company’s culture and are essential elements of the employees and how they work. My favorite thing about you is that you are not afraid to use creative practices and acknowledge human emotion, while maintaining a high level of professionalism and effectiveness. I think this logo communicates just that.”
When I saw the first logo and read her note, I felt emotional. It was clear that in a relatively short time, that the designer had really listened to and heard me. In my experience, this is kind of rare. I showed it to my husband and he said, “Wow. I love it! You can tell her creativity hasn’t been ruined yet by corporate America.” I agreed.
Still, I asked her to come up with another option. And then we tried out various changes to both options. After some back and forth I knew that with one small change, her first logo was really perfect. I told her I was making her first design worse not better!
I was so glad I figured this out pretty quickly. And it also reminded me that if you want creativity to truly flourish in your organization, you have to create spaces, free from too much direction and criticism so that it’s safe for the best ideas to emerge. You don’t ever really “manage” creative people. You nurture a climate where they can thrive and then you need to get out of the way.
Moira Clarke founded Leadership Consulting Partners 21 years ago to collaborate with leaders, teams and organizations to create more productive, effective, and human people systems and practices. If you are reading this to the end, and you find value, please say so and share with others on LinkedIn and Twitter. Thank you!
Welcome to Moira's blog. I write a (mostly) monthly post about the work of building better work places: people strategies, systems, teams and leaders.