Potato, Potahto. Tomato, Tomahto.

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Ok, ok. Before we call the whole thing off, let’s simmer down and talk this through.

As Ella and Louis demonstrated (jump to the end to see what I mean), two people (or two groups of people) getting on the same page is no simple task. The client-designer dynamic is a case in point. The client may mention the word “potato” with an image of a hearty russet potato dancing in their head while the designer imagines the more delicate red potato. Or the designer brings up tomatoes as a reference, picturing an heirloom tomato and skipping ahead to ideas of sustainability, organic farming, heritage, etc. The client, meanwhile, is thinking about a beefsteak tomato, hamburgers, summer barbecues, beer … Mmm, beer.

If branding communicates an organization’s philosophy and personality, and communication itself is about exchanging information, perhaps we need to start with what means what, and to whom. We can never get away from using words (and we wouldn’t want to!) but taking the time to create a mutual visual vocabulary can help all parties involved get on the same page to ensure a smoother, more effective logo development process.

Justin Bilow of AUFM and I recently looked at logos together while he explained which were compelling to him and in line with the AUFM vision. He also talked about some that were unsuccessful and why. After reviewing these, I chimed in with some image research of my own to see if I was in line with his vision (no pun intended) for the new AUFM identity. It’s reassuring to both parties when a mutual understanding is reached. It’s also quite beneficial when there is a misstep since it provides a pointed opportunity to bridge the gap. After that all-important exercise, I took some time at The Farm to create three initial designs for the new AUFM logo. Justin and the rest of the AUFM team have been considering the designs this week and I look forward to hearing their thoughts and moving on to the next phase.