Blue Marlin – Major brand logo design
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For the record, in the early part of September I spent a couple of weeks on what, at first, appeared to be an interesting project at Blue Marlin. Blue Marlin is generally known for it's consumer brand work that is mostly comprised of large scale FMCG packaging and branding projects. Although I've been involved in developing consumer facing brands in the past I tend to work on business brands and so Blue Marlin is not the sort of brand consultancy normally on my radar.

The project sounded interesting and potentially an opportunity for an outstanding portfolio piece. The work was high profile and on a global scale for a major brand, both corporate and consumer facing. On the surface I probably appeared to be ideally suited.

At first the project seemed quite exciting but after what appeared to me to be a strong creative start it quickly became apparent that the scope of work and the creative range narrowed down to something to which I couldn't add much value. From this project I've learned that any project, no matter the scale, requiring logo design skills exclusively I should steer entirely clear. If there's no opportunity to make strategic interpretations or if the strategy isn't robust in the first instance, and especially if a major client presentation is only a week away, then I should definitely not allow myself to be enticed.

From this project it's painfully clear to me that traditional logo design work alone is profoundly problematic and that not only should consultancies not request this kind of work from brand creatives like me but they should also advise their clients that if a logo represents the final extent of the work then either someone is terribly desperate or something is horribly wrong. Without a radical re-think of the entire brand I don't expect to see anything good come out of this project.