The design community has been in a tizzy since Marissa Mayer shared the shallow design process that led to the new Yahoo logo. Over a weekend, Marissa personally rolled up her sleeves to micromanage the logo design with a small team.
The whole approach was pilloried by a number of designers, including a very funny piece from Oliver Reichenstein: “Logo, Bullshit & Co., Inc.” He included the anecdote of Marissa’s decision to poll Yahoo employees on what should go into the logo.
“Design by polling. Great idea! Next she should try the same with Yahoo’s server architecture. Ask everyone about the best server configuration and then put together a brief for the system administrators. Why not? We all use the web, and know how to load and save and stuff. Everybody is a designer, so if we ask n people, the quality of the logo increases by factor n. Right?”
The Yahoo logo story reveals a common misconception about design in general — that design is a discipline anyone can do. Marissa wrote about Adobe Illustrator: “I’m not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous:)”
As role of design in branding becomes ever more vital, it is increasingly important for marketers to learn how to work with designers. We need to value the years of experience that go into being a designer.
Just because we know a little Photoshop or Illustrator does not make us designers. Only by respecting designers can we get to the best design.
(Marketoonist Tuesday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Tuesday. Thanks!)
Here’s another cartoon (from 2006) about working with designers.