One of my first projects in self-employment was to create a logo for a South African web hosting company called Circle. In my eagerness to please, and when my initial ideas weren't accepted, I suggested that I publish a blog post showing all my sketches, inviting readers to share their thoughts. I was at a stage in learning where I didn't understand the downsides...

white circle black background

  1. It's never a good move showing all of your ideas. There'll inevitably be poor ones in the mix, lest we forget the influence of Sod's Law, where if you show a client 10 ideas (nine good, one bad) the odds on bad being chosen are significantly shorter than 10:1.
  2. When you present your client with too many options, the task of choosing becomes much more difficult — it's easier to choose one from two, than one from fifty.
  3. Inviting the general public to pass judgement disregards both your client's target audience, and whether or not those commentating have any notable design experience. When your client is able to read the comments, it throws a further spanner in the works.

Needless to say, I never did finish that logo.

This post was prompted by Creative Amnesty, Nick Asbury's brilliant scheme to have designers talk about their worst work, leaving Nick looking golden. Creative Amnesty was part of Nick's day of guest tweets for @CreativeReview.