Does your business suffer from “good enough” marketing?

Anyone with a pencil or a computer can design a logo. But, they probably shouldn’t.

My name is Michael Nelsen, and I’m a professional artist.

It’s taken me a long time to admit to myself that I have a successful career as an artist. Furthermore, to even say that “I am an artist” has always seemed fake – like I’m a pretender, a no-talent hack, or a liar. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps, I feel guilty about having a job I enjoy. Perhaps, I have low self-esteem. Perhaps, I have high self-esteem, and I don’t want to admit I’m a fancy pants, artsy fartsy type. Whatever. It was hard for me so back off. 😉

I work by trade as a Graphic Designer and Web Developer, which is a fancy way of saying I make art for marketing material. These marketing-focused artistic renderings are merely Art, but Art with a purpose. Before my artist friends gasp with incredulity at such a claim, let me state: All Art has purpose, but it is often undefined, subjective to the viewer, or has several intents. Graphic Art has one purpose: to convey a marketing message. All I do is speak the mind of branding through the voice of graphic art.

All art is the result of skill through the lens of creativity. Marketing stands on the line between art & science – between method & intuition. Logos are carefully planned-out, well thought, skillful expressions of ideals composed by wild leaps of faith and willful inspiration. Or, you know, you put some fonts next to a picture of a funny animal.

As I said earlier, anyone can do this (or at least lay down some kick-ass Papyrus fonts into Corel Draw and gussy-up a logo), so why do you need a guy like me? It’s not like professional marketing and design services come cheap, but remember, nothing of quality does. I’m not trying to say your son/cousin/school chum isn’t a good artist, I’m just saying they might not be at a professional level. And, do you want the best for your business or just “good enough”?

In theory, anyone with a wrench can fix their own plumbing, but without the experience and training, you’ll probably end up getting wet. In my experience, you’ll end up calling that plumber anyway in the end. So, if you wouldn’t trust something important as your home to a non-professional, then why would you trust something just as important, like your company’s marketing, to a non-professional?

Branding is more than fonts and colors and a name. Logos are symbols – complex thought and meaning rendered in a simplified, totemic image. Your logo is a touchstone. A singular junction of form and function that is at the vanguard of your image. Your logo represents your company but when combined with an effective branding campaign, it also conveys your style, your mission, and your company’s personality.

It is my job to do more. To exceed. To encapsulate in shapes and letters, curves and forms, an immutable idea. An icon that forces a conceptualization in the viewer. A picture is worth a thousand words. A symbol is worth a million. Obviously, we don’t charge a million dollars to design a logo for you, but you get the idea. 🙂

“Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.”
Lia Habel, Dearly, Departed

Written by Michael Nelsen, Interactive Media Director