Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

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Don't Ask People If They Like Your Work If You Want Critical Feedback

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I removed myself from a Facebook group yesterday because I saw for the last fucking time, a post of some person asking the group which logo option was the better one because they just couldn't decide. Aside from this, they were all cursive fucking texture script matched with probably Gotham, boring.

I have issues with the last thing there because I've seen so many variations on textured loose script featuring on every damn thing from mugs to posters, shirts to cars and I quite frankly want to gouge my eyes out. Surely this trend is dead, it's been close on 5 years, it's not different or special anymore, even Kmart is doing it. Doesn't that just say something to you?

The more important thing to note here is, they've gone about this feedback situation all wrong. Why? Because they haven't objectively contextualised the logotype, they've asked for subjective opinions based on.... nothing. So the results that they're going to get (and did because I read every comment just for the sake of proving my point) a list of "you're doing great sweetie, top left" and "Definitely bottom right". No reasoning, no critical feedback, no fucking anything.

What did you actually expect from this, lady. I'm annoyed, enraged even. This was one of the main things we continuously spoke about in Design College. If you want someone to actively engage with the story and the brand- you're going to have to add that preamble in to give context so that someone can make an informed decision. Informed decisions come from just that- being informed.

You can ask me if I like sunflowers and I would probably say "sure I have no problem with them, they're quite lovely aren't they?" but if the actual story and reason for asking me was "do you like sunflowers for my grandmothers funeral" then I would have a completely different reaction. 

What you will be left with from asking if something likes something is a lot of false appreciation, a quick confirmation or worse an opinion that goes so far out of left field you get whiplash. Here's how to fix it- don't do it. Just stop. Stop your indecision and base your design work on story, facts, core values of the business and rationalise your choices as you go, while continuously cross checking your initial conversations / brainstorming.

There's nothing wrong with asking for feedback, we were indeed encouraged and I personally love giving feedback when asked (my first question unsurprisingly is "who is this for and why have you chosen this?"). It's about asking the right questions to get the right feedback from the right people. Don't ask your mum if she knows nothing about design or doesn't care about the brand, don't ask your best friend who's a lawyer, don't ask your boyfriend who thinks a good logo type is the sizzler brand.

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