LogoArchive is an online gallery and series of collectable monthly ‘zines’ focused on researching and restoring mid-century logo design, featuring work by designers such as Burton Kramer, Rolf Harder and Tomoko Miho. This is one of the self-initiated projects founded and run by Richard Baird, a British freelance designer and writer.
In this episode we discover how Richard started his career, why he focuses 50% of his time writing, and have an in-depth discussion about Logo Archive.
Books & Resources Mentioned
- Richard Baird Website
- Logo Archive Website | Instagram | Online Store
- BP&O – Brand identity and packaging design opinion
- Logo Modernism on Amazon UK | Amazon US
- Fedrigoni Papers
Richard Baird Interview Transcription
Ian Paget: I understand you studied furniture design for four years, then started your career freelancing as a designer for a small furniture business, where you had opportunities to work on furniture brand identity and packaging. Could you tell us a little bit more about that early part of your career and why you eventually made your mind up to focus on visual identity?
Richard Baird: Absolutely. I left university in 2005 and I had no idea what I wanted to do, that I hadn’t secured a job. So, you get that moment where you’re sort of scrabbling around for any kind of opportunity. And luckily, a former graduate, who graduated at the same time as me, Milo, he’d moved away. But while he was at uni he’d worked on a live brief with a furniture company in the city, which I hadn’t. And he’d impressed them and they’d asked him to work on a project for them after university.
As he’d moved away, as had many, in fact everyone except for me, who decided to stay in Nottingham because I didn’t really want to go back up north, he’d passed on my details. Milo was a significantly better designer than I was. And so, it was very lucky that he’d just thought of me and knew I’d stayed there, and had passed my details on.
This company had got in touch and what they really wanted was some headboard designs and some visualisations, I’d had some experience working with 3D studio Max. It was a very, very simple project and at the end of it I’d been given this cheque for £300 and I had no idea what to do with it, in terms of tax. And I rang my dad up, who has always been a very good person to go to in terms of business, being a freelancer himself and having had a business in the past. And he said, “Well, what you need to do is just register as self employed and then you can pay tax on the cheque.”
And then following that, another opportunity had come up with another graduate who I’d studied with, and she was working in Richmond with a product design company. And they needed help with visualising a series of home phones. I had a lot of experience with Photoshop, from university, but none with Illustrator. And I said, “Well, I can use Photoshop,” but she was like, “But they really need Illustrator.” And I thought, “Absolutely, I can do it.”
So I had to learn that in … I think it was a weekend. And I got myself down to a B&B in Richmond and I started on the Monday. And I did two weeks of rendering out phones on Illustrator, and this is how I learnt Illustrator, it was pure necessity. That I had no income and it was quite a good fee. And that’s, as I say, how I learnt Illustrator.
I went back, banked the cheque, that got me through another month. Luckily, the furniture company had asked me back, to do a few more bits and pieces. And this was really the dog end of furniture design. There wasn’t very much in terms of creativity, these weren’t your Habitat kind of pieces of furniture, which I’d always wanted to design, but I just dug in and did it.
I was working on site and what had happened was, that you become this dog’s body as well, it was that kind of place where they had their furniture company on the top level of a storage facility. And they were taking deliveries from China and I don’t mind getting stuck in but some of my days were literally just unloading furniture from the back of a container. And then I would get to design a bit more furniture.
He was also, the owner, very entrepreneurial. He would import different products, he was South African. And he had a series of memory foam mattresses that he would rebrand as his company’s product. And that’s where I moved over into graphic design, that’s the furniture to graphic design transition, memory foam mattresses, boxes.
And I was just doing all of this in Photoshop, huge … These were two meter wide packages. You can imagine the photography files on that were huge. And then I got to do things like … Self heating cans of coffee. That would be a nightmare now, right, environmentally? And he had an investment in an electric company in South Africa called Netolec and I got to do the logos for those kind of things.
So, it was very, very bitty. But I never thought that it was rubbish, I was very grateful to be designing something at that time. And that’s how I built a graphic design portfolio from nothing and I just shopped that round to a few local design studios. One of them took a punt on me and it was really … I think it was because my rates were so low and living in Nottingham, I was paying £200 a month at the time, all in. So there wasn’t a financial pressure, that I could slowly get the on site knowledge that I needed to build a portfolio and start working directly with clients, that I had proven track record.
I started working directly with a cosmeceutical company, and again, these people were taking risks on me. I didn’t have anything to show them that was related to what they needed but I was so passionate, saying “I can learn, I’m very observant.” And I was just researching the legislation around ingredient lists and application, formulation, all these kind of things.
Yeah, so that’s the early days.
Ian Paget: I really love the honest and relatable introduction of your career. I know myself that when you first start out, you’re really reliant on someone giving you an opportunity. I was lucky enough to have that myself, when I first started at a medical company, when I was about 18. I first started in a warehouse in that business but I soon worked my way up, and due me mentioning in my original interview that I wanted to work in graphic design, eventually they actually gave me a three month position in the office team, which was an amazing opportunity, because a small part of that was graphic design related.
People would come to me to ask me to work on things and I didn’t have much experience in those early days but if people didn’t come to me and ask me for the work and put some faith in me, I know that it would be very unlikely to be where I am now. So, it’s why I think that small businesses are great for new graphic designers. Because in these companies, once they recognise that you have some kind of skill, they’re going make to use of it because it has value to them.
It sounds like that was very much the case for you. They brought you in for this one job at the beginning and as he was very entrepreneurial, you had pretty much any opportunity, you had all of the opportunities to work on those businesses because you was the first point of contact. And because they came to you, that’s what gave you what was needed to take things further on your own.
Richard Baird: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, it was.
Ian Paget: So I understand here today, you don’t just focus on graphic design, you actually write a lot too. I read I was something like 50/50. So, what is it about writing and critiquing work that’s driven you to put so much focus into it?
Richard Baird: As with many, many things that I do, it usually just happens. There’s something inside me that says … I wake up and I say, “I’m going to do this.” It never really is this sort of pre planned thing. The blog and the zine, both of them, it was an on the day kind of thing. I said to my girlfriend at the time, “When you come back from your day out with the girls, I’m going to have a blog. I’m going to build it, I’m going to post the first thing.”
I remember I was reading David Airey’s Logo Design Love and Brand New, and I’d spent so much time commenting on these blogs with a sort of … Half wanting to get involved, half looking for visibility, as a way to move forward. That I thought, “Well, you’re putting so much time into writing these comments on other people’s sites, which help them. Why don’t you just take ownership of what you’re doing and see how that goes?”
I make no bones about it, that it is inspired by Brand New. But I knew that my writing style was going to be different, as soon as I started writing that first post. That Armin has such a conviviality about him and I’ve met him, and he’s actually really, really humble. It almost feels like there’s a dissonance between that online personality and him in person. And i thought that I could offer something that was more formal in tone, that I could … I’m not naturally funny, so I just wrote as I thought about it.
I never had the intention to keep it going for so long, I just thought it would raise my profile. But as it continued, I started to see it as something of a way of expressing a particular point of view. How I saw the world or how I saw the graphic design industry. So in the collation of other people’s work, in writing about projects individually but bringing these together under one blog, that I was able to share with people what I thought good design was.
And furthermore, that over an extended period of time you could see how that had changed. That you could jump back to the earlier posts and see, “Well, his writing style is a bit different. He’s got better there. He’s writing very localised opinions about the visual aspects of things and now he’s talking a bit more about ideas and strategy.”
And I really like the review, as a way to share something of your own ideas. And that’s what I look for now, is projects in which I can not exclusively, but use to say something a little bit bigger about the industry. So, that’s where I come from in terms of writing.
It’s got a lot harder over time, as I feel like I understand brand identity more. It’s harder to find projects that I feel like they’re founded on something really distinct. And what I mean by that is, not that the project is unique, that it is actually intelligent in the way that it uses the visual cues of a particular group of people. That are familiar but also gives it that 10% twist, in which something new comes from it.
And that’s the thing that really drove me forward from the very beginning is, this moment where I would see something and think, “Oh wow, that’s cool. I really want to share that with people.” And that’s the thing that keeps me writing, is that desire to share that moment of, “Wow, I’d love to do that.”
Ian Paget: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think that’s a really great way to approach this. You’re not only sharing good work that will inspire others but I think by writing in the way that you are, you’re also able to properly study the work and learn from it and hopefully put some element of the best work into your own work too.
And as a side note, what you said about Armin being very humble, now that I’ve actually spoken to you for a while, for this podcast, I would say the very same thing about you too. Because, you’ve created quite a body of work and writing across multiple websites now, you should be really proud of what you’ve done because from an outsider point of view, you’ve done such an incredible amount of work.
Richard Baird: Thank you very much, I really appreciate that. I, like many designers, feel inadequate. That we’re not doing enough, we’re not spending enough time working. When I’m not working, I feel guilty about not working. When I sleep in, I feel lazy. It’s this sort of constant internal battle. And it’s because what you see around you is this collectivised industry where, when you see people tweeting the hours that they’re working or the projects that they’re working on, these are single people with single projects, but when you see it collectively streamed on Twitter, it seems like everybody is perpetually busy. But they’re not and I’m just trying to be a little more comfortable in my self, with what I’m doing and the opportunities that I have. But there’s always that, “What’s next?”
I did BP&O and LogoArchive. They’ve seen a little bit of success, so now I’m like, “Well, what’s the third thing? You don’t want to be a two trick pony. What’s the third thing you’re going to do?” And I don’t know, and that’s very, very scary. And I don’t want to just keep on leaning back on to these two projects, there’s more to do.
Ian Paget: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Its interesting that you talk about that internal battle of wanting to do more because I know I face that challenge as well. I work a lot, probably more than I should and understand the feeling. Because you, like me and probably most designers listening, they follow all these designers on Instagram, they’re in all the Facebook groups online, just basically any network that’s there for graphic designers. A lot of people listening to this will probably be in that same boat and they will be facing that internal battle of trying to work out what’s next.
You have quite a few projects on the go and they’ve been successful. So LogoArchive and BP&O. I think they in their own right are huge projects, especially for someone that works for themselves, and they both have the capability of continually growing and there’s obviously more that you can do for each of those projects. So, thinking about it now personally, as an outsider, I don’t feel like you necessarily need to rush into the next thing. I think you should wait until the time is right, until you come across something and think, “Ah, that’s what the next thing is.” Because, I don’t know how long you’ve been doing LogoArchive but I feel like I’ve been following it since you started it and the Instagram account has grown and I think it’s really cool that you then turn that into those little magazines, booklets.
So I think actually, it’s probably a good opportunity to ask you about that. So with LogoArchive, for listeners that aren’t familiar with what you’ve done with that, would you be able to give us some background as to around that project?
Richard Baird: Sure. I can’t remember when I started it. As with many of the things, I’m just not very good with remembering dates. It’s been a while. What I was doing, was I’d been scanning in pages of books, from historical books and I simply just didn’t have the space for them. I’ve always had very small apartments. So what I was doing was scanning pages in, for my own reference.
And of course, the logo book is this ubiquitous thing that’s gets re-imagined over and over again. And I was thinking, “Is there another way of delivering this kind of content, that would be useful to designers? Could I take what I’d scanned in and give access to this huge archive, to a lot of people, and drip feed that into their daily routine?” And this is what I’d done with BP&O, is that by doing something every day, by seeing something new, by writing about it every day, that I eventually assimilated it. And I’d assimilated some of the techniques that I’d seen in these mid-century logos and felt that by using Instagram’s stream, that I could drip feed that kind of information to people.
I thinks it’s a bit optimistic because the way we interact with Instagram is quite mechanical. People aren’t breaking down these mid-century symbols, they’re just flying past them. And that’s where the zine comes into play. You have projects like Logo Modernism and I remember Logo Modernism coming out, and I think it was just after I’d started LogoArchive as an Instagram project. I thought, “Well, that’s it.” This is the definitive book. It is the mid-century symbol book to end all mid-century symbol books. But I carried on going nonetheless because I felt that Instagram was an interesting way of doing it.
But what Logo Modernism is, is the ultimate utility. That it’s something that you go to for reference, when you need to. But what it does is, in its vast collation of symbols, it almost creates a different relationship between the reader and the symbol. That by making something lighter, by selecting just 25 symbols, that I felt like the relationship was more along the lines of, “Look at the craftsmanship of this or the technique.” Or, “Look how many different ways the eye has been rendered or an animal has been rendered.” That just by changing the format … And it honours the Instagram format, in its sequential nature, in its relationship with time. That by dropping another issue, is like another Instagram post.
It also subverts the ubiquitous logo book in that it inverts the colour palate. But it does more than that, it emphasises the new material manifestation of the Instagram project. So, Fedrigoni for instance, offers a very, very black paper, which would take it closer, the zine closer, to Instagram. That really, rather than replicating what Instagram is, I chose a colour plan ebony, which has a lighter … And a texture to it. And then you build up layers of white ink and black staple, so there’s a very material quality to it. So, there’s a relationship with the Instagram account but it’s a very material thing.
Ian Paget: I’ve been quite a big fan of the LogoArchive Instagram feed for some time now. The simplicity of white logos on black works really well for Instagram and it’s a nice way to appreciate each logo. And then, when you released the first issue, I was quite surprised because I’d never seen anything like it.
Richard Baird: You expected a book, right?
Ian Paget: Well, I mean, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but I was surprised to see an Instagram feed become a magazine. Such short books, so what are they, 12 pages? But the quality of the paper and the way it’s been printed, it allows you to really appreciate each of those logos in a different way, to what you would on Instagram.
I mean, like you said, there are so many logo books out there but I think the combination of what you’ve done with the Instagram feed and these quite short collectable zines, is a really original way to do it.
Richard Baird: Thank you. And I think for me it’s … The people expected a book and I would get emails saying, “Can you turn LogoArchive into a book?” And I would say, “Well, just buy Logo Modernism. It’s the thing that will cover exactly what you need.”
I went to an exhibition on niche independent publishing at Somerset House and when I was looking through these things, there was such a strong, almost singular voice that came though in the design of these. And then I was so enthusiastic by how you can create such a light booklet but give it such a strong material and graphic gesture. That although it was light, you held it and you felt like it had value. That the value related quite well or the craftsmanship, the making of it, related quite well to the symbols that it held.
But it’s just not enough for me to take LogoArchive and turn it into a series of booklets, that would be very easy, and I could do that monthly. What I’m quite interested in is how you move ideas and what I set about doing was thinking, “Can I take the essence of BP&O, that writing component, and evolve it into something new? And then slip it inside the zines?” And this started to happen with Issue Two, where I placed an insert into it with an anthropological text about the eye, which related back to the theme of the issue.
These are texts that wouldn’t be published by your usual graphic design press, they were … And later on, Issue Four’s Freigeist, zine within a zine, was abstract and partial thoughts rather than complete proposals. And really, what LogoArchive is now, is an experiment in moving these ideas, whether I can seduce people using bright colours, papers, the universal love for a mid-century symbol. And then when they get it, they read something that is unusual and different and exciting, that would change between each issue.
The zine began … The very first one didn’t have a logo on the front, I was very minimal at that time. I think it was about five minutes before I sent it off to print I thought, “No, this is not going to move online.” Which is a critical thing for products now, is, “Are people going to take photographs of it? Are they going to repost it, re-share it?” So I dropped in the massive cat logo by, I think it was Raymond Bellemare. And there was a kind of humour to that because of course, the graphic designer, everyone knows the client says, “Make the logo bigger.” And we’re all like, “No, no, no. Make the logo smaller.”
And I thought there was a slight subversion to that and humour in just making what is a beautiful symbol, massive. And when I published it and people started taking pictures of it, I realised that there’s an essential relationship between print and digital. That you need Instagram, you need that organic movement of ideas. That I do occasionally have that tension where I have a concept, but if I was to execute that in the way I would like to do it, that it wouldn’t get photographed.
And I think that was the thing with Freigeist, is that I really wanted it to be a glossy, white stock, that it felt like it had something of a ’70s magazine quality. But then, it just didn’t feel like people were going to take a picture of it and so I just did a series of three colours. And it just seemed to work much better where one was seductive and the other one folded into the theme of architecture. And the other one, the pink one, I did 50. It was just a flight of fancy, just a momentary, “Oh, why not?” The zine needs that, that’s how it moves, it has to be materially seductive, it has to be visually seductive.
And then there’s the additional component where I have 143,000 followers on Instagram, but I only sell 600 copies. That there are people that are not buying it but they’re taking images of the object and posting it on their Instagram and acquiring likes for the thing that they haven’t bought. Or what you might call social capital, where it raises their own visibility just by taking ownership of the photo of the zine that they didn’t buy. And I think that’s a really fascinating dynamic online, where the image of the object almost has more value to some people than the actual object I designed.
Ian Paget: Yeah. It’s ironic really, that you created something that was on Instagram, you created a book and then that book is back on Instagram.
Richard Baird: It’s a digital account based on books, which is now a book or zine, which gets photographed and moves online.
Ian Paget: I’d love to ask you a few more questions about LogoArchive. So, you mentioned that the primary reason for starting was because you didn’t have a space for all these books. So, you started to scan them in. So, that sort of answers this question already but aside from that, are there any other places where you’re sourcing the logos? And also, how are you going about restoring those logos? Are you physically recreating each of them in Illustrator or are you simply just scanning them and slightly modifying them in Photoshop, so they’re ready to post on Instagram?
Richard Baird: So my priority is … I’m ultimately engaging in a form of destruction. I’m de-contextualising the symbols from their original source. For instance, if it’s a standards manual for a brand, it might have a coffee stain on a page and that page tells you something about its use, that this was once a document of utility and now we have ultimately aestheticised it and elevated it beyond whatever it was.
So that’s one thing, when I scan a logo in, I’m de-contextualising it, I’m cleaning it up. What I try to do on the Instagram account is really just do a hi-res scan, keep ink bleeds intact and just reduce it down so you lose some of the irregularities around the edges. That’s my priority.
When it comes to the zine, I lean more towards vectorising stuff. It’s never authentic. Whenever something moves from one thing to another, you lose information. But what you need to do when you’re doing things like this is cross referencing, understanding the designer’s intention. Making sure that ink bleed and designer intention are clearly delineated and it helps by having multiple reference points. A book, that it has glossy pages versus an uncoated stock. You get a sense of what’s going on.
But I am super, super careful with this. That I’ve seen other archives and they’ve live traced it and that’s the choice that they make. And I suppose, when I’m doing this I’m asking myself, I’m being very self critical, “Is what I’m doing destructive? Am I removing vital information? Am I aestheticising something that had purpose?” And I always come back to, as long as you’re adding something. That could be the format that you’re presenting it in, in the grouping of the logos, in adding something of your own voice or your own ideas. I think it’s okay to do that, that it’s essentially a form of creation as long as you’re adding something.
I do recognise the problems that might be associated with this but I feel like people understand what I’m trying to do, that it’s never really, “Just scan this in, live trace it and send it out as content for my own visibility.” I believe that I’m using these symbols to reach new people and I’m adding my own set of ideas.
Ian Paget: Yeah, I think the way you’ve done this doesn’t come across that it’s for self gain. I think the approach, what you done and the additional writing means that a new audience can appreciate the logos. And you adding to that with the addition of written inserts, as you mentioned, makes it inspiring and educational too. So, I think what you’re doing is great.
So I also wanted to ask, now that you’ve invested quite a lot of time into scanning and restoring each logo individually, have there been any characteristics that run through each of these logos to have made them successful?
Richard Baird: I suppose the question is what you mean by successful? They’ve merely been documented in books, a lot of them don’t exist anymore. Those books have commercial imperatives, these books were sold. Designers sought visibility, they wanted to contribute to the global discourse and that’s how it was done at the time. So, it’s hard to really know whether the logos were successful.
Ian Paget: For clarification, what I mean by successful. The logos that were created ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, they have some aesthetic to them that make them feel timeless. That you could take any of them and literally plop them in the place of a modern day logo and they would still potentially be relevant here today. So whilst I appreciate that they might not have necessarily have been successful for the business that used them but more in the way that they feel still relevant here today, and I feel that’s an important trait of any logo design.
Richard Baird: It’s very difficult because I have the things that I understand, in terms of this question, but you have your own expectations in this question. So, I’ll try and get round to covering what you want.
Today, because brand identity or brand experience is so multi faceted, that it’s now augmented reality, it’s 3D printed materials, it’s smell, it’s sound, that the logo doesn’t need to do so much work. It merely is a vessel in which to receive or to hold or to call to mind those experiences.
Logos have got a lot simpler. Sometimes I wonder whether you can even trademark some of them. It’s simply not the case that brand is when a studio puts it in front of a client, what they’re buying is tone of voice and all these different things. But I still believe that owning a symbol has a purpose and is very good at aiding recollection, of those experiences.
So we come back to, what is a good logo, what is a successful logo? Well, for me it’s one that is distinctive from your competitors and is memorable. That when someone sees it, their mind is drawn down a rabbit hole of associations and positive experiences.
So, how do you get to an original symbol? Well, it’s what I explore in Issue Five, is that there are a series of techniques that mid-century designers used, that seem to have gone by the wayside. There are examples where the same technique has been used in the same way, but they exist in different industries. Or there is a 100 different ways of rendering an eye or there’s different techniques like the proximity of forms to create depth or light and shadow.
So, it just seems to me that even though brand experiences have become very rich, we still need that central point that we can use in the tiniest of contexts, which is distinctive and memorable. I think the mid-century, because of their technical limitations, because they didn’t have all of these different experiences to build brand, they were using type, colour and the form language of a symbol, that they really had to work hard to build something distinctive, in terms of form.
It’s incredible, some of these mid-century symbols have been drawn by hand. And I think it would be nice or useful for designers to study these techniques and see whether, “Well, I know we have this very rich brand universe but let’s also pay a bit more attention to creating a symbol that can also stand on its own.” And designers say, “Well, it’s all been done before.” It has, but all of that, that has come before, not all of it still exists. And I guess that comes back to the Airbnb question is, “Can you repurpose forms, particularly when the brand world is made up of lots of different things? That it doesn’t necessarily hinge on the logo.”
But I think there’s enough in the way of technique, that you can still build something that is distinctive and memorable in a specific industry.
Ian Paget: When you say about following a technique from that time, are you able to share a little bit of what you mean by that?
Richard Baird: I don’t have the latest issue to hand but things like tessellation, the implication of movement rotation, the proximity of forms to create layers, the transition between one shape to another, to invoke transformation or movement. What else? Things like impossible forms, so they really catch your eye because they’re familiar, they’re structural, but also they subvert the physical world. Like Escher, there’s just something compelling about a form that looks like it should work but it doesn’t work.
Things that almost allude to structure and sculptural forms, that subvert the flat surface of the page, they look like they’re coming out at you via perspective or the implications of extrusions. Designers really hook onto negative space and that’s great, that is a very useful … What you call an economy of line. You’re using less shapes to imply further meaning. And the extension of that one would be illusory contours, where there isn’t an edge but your mind completes the edge.
So, all of these things feel like this massive tool box in which to dip into and use and combine in a different way. And then you’re folding letters. There’s plenty of room still to play with, to create memorable forms.
Ian Paget: Yeah. So in terms of those techniques, how did you come across those? Was that merely through studying logos from that generation or have you come across some kind of resource from that generation where that is documented but gone, because of the passing of time?
Richard Baird: No. Each issue I try to think about what I might do differently and I’d gone so far into the abstract and the partial thought that I needed to bring it back to the pragmatic. And you really do get a lot of these logo tips articles online, which … There’s very little to differentiate them. There’s the familiar things about scale and proportion and reproduction and then of course, there’s the digital dimension to it now is like, “Can you hold a phone up to it and does it move?” Or whatever.
But I was finding that these logo tips articles were very familiar and it’s useful to remind young designers of these but I was quite interested in whether I could reconfigure the logo tips article and make something new. And I first explored this with an article with Computer Arts, April last year, it was a cover feature, 2000 words. With these techniques, as a way for people to understand the opportunities for form.
So when I came to doing this issue I thought, “Well, I’d like to do that but with the material language of LogoArchive.” And instead of placing the inserts in the middle, I threaded them through the booklet, so each insert had a text that talked about these terms. These are familiar terms, rotation, impossible forms, tessellation. But what I was quite interested in doing was by formalising them within a document, by giving young designers these terms and exemplifying them within the document, that it would almost place it firmly in their mind when it came to the projects that they were going to do.
And really, these are just a few examples. There are many recurring techniques through LogoArchive, that I could have done another zine on them, but these seemed like the ones that felt accessible. I quite liked how you could say something like, “Transition,” and you would get four different symbols that were quite significantly different but their essential technique was the same, a movement from one form to another. And I just felt that was a good way of helping designers and doing something differently, within the terms of the logo tips articles online.
Ian Paget: Yeah. I think it’s really good that you’ve included that in the magazines because now I want to buy that particular issue, just for that-
Richard Baird: Maybe you can post it on Logo Geek?
Ian Paget: Yeah, I will do. I’ve always been fascinated as to where ideas are coming from and trying to formulate some kind of guide that people can use for generating logo design ideas. I’ve read a lot of books around logo design but I haven’t come across any of these techniques previously, so I think it’s fascinating that you’ve been able to document that and provide that with examples. And I think that in its own right, makes that particular zine worth purchasing, so I’m definitely interested in that myself.
Richard Baird: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Thank you.
Ian Paget: Now, we’re nearly at an hour now. I know we started a little bit earlier, so we probably have done an hour but I’m going to throw in one last question for you. So, if you could travel back in time and offer your younger self just one piece of advice, it could be any time, it could be any point in your life, what would that advice be?
Richard Baird: That is such a good question. I’m a bit of daydreamer and sometimes I daydream that I travel back, with my 36 year old mind, and place it into my 18 year old body. I think it would be, “Get blogging sooner.” That I learnt so much doing it, that I would have been in a better position now if I’d started teaching myself in that way sooner.
Ian Paget: I’m glad that you said that because blogging is important, for so many different reasons. I’ve had episodes about it in the past, on the podcast, to encourage people to create a blog for search engine optimisation purposes. But like you said, it’s a really good way to learn and process information, because I’ve learnt myself. Last week, I mentioned to you prior to recording, that I went to Marty Neumeier’s Level C course, which was a two day, fairly intensive course, but the actual content itself was based on the Brand Gap. I’ve read the Brand Gap, fantastic book, been on my shelf ever since, I haven’t opened it up again.
It was amazing that during those two days Marty went through the content of the book in a course format, where you had interactive workshops. And it was surprising how much there was in the course that I’d forgotten or not understood and processed properly. Because there was one particular way of managing meetings, with these six different hats, and I remember reading it but I don’t think I got it. And I think from a learning perspective, if I was to take the content that I’d been learning from that book and try and understand it and write it in my own way through a blog, I think I would have learned a lot more deeply about a specific topic.
So I think what I need to do myself, is write a blog on a lot of stuff that I learnt. Not only for SEO, but also so that I know I understand it. So, there’s so many benefits to doing that, so I think that’s a good piece of advice for your younger self but also to anyone listening that don’t currently blog.
Richard Baird: And I think that there’s so many different ways of doing it as well. It can be on Brand New’s comment forum. These are good spaces in which to share openly, what you think. But give it time, don’t just hammer out a comment. Take some time to think about it and I always find that other people will respond in kind. If you fire off a one liner that is negative, you will receive negative responses. If you give time to it and write positively about things, that you will receive that kind of thing back.
And this is where great conversations come from, is a great passion for something, not endless negativity because you didn’t do the work or you don’t have the opportunities. Get involved.
Ian Paget: Yeah. And I think as well, you never know who’s watching.
Richard Baird: That’s very true.
Ian Paget: Yeah. Because, I’ve been working on a Facebook group, well, just moderating it, and whenever I give someone feedback, it’s intended for that person but it’s amazing how many people have told me, when I’ve met them later on, it’s like, “Oh, your feedback on this was really good.” And it’s like …
So, other people in the industry are watching and if you are able to articulate your thoughts in a careful way, on those prominent blogs online, like Armin’s Brand New, people see that. People notice it and you never know what opportunity could come up as a result of simply commenting on one post.
Richard Baird: Absolutely.
Ian Paget: Cool, fantastic. Well Richard, it’s been amazing to finally chat with you. It’s been a really interesting conversation, to learn more about LogoArchive and hear some of the behind the scenes stuff, and also to get to know you a little bit better. I can imagine that listeners will be familiar with your work but not necessarily with the person behind it, so thanks for coming on and for sharing some of your story and a little bit behind what you’ve been working on.
Richard Baird: You’re welcome, thank you for the invitation Ian. It’s been a pleasure.