There is a huge difference between designs that incorporate strong, conceptual messages and designs that are merely wallpaper art.
Wallpaper Art is empty, cliché symbols that designers slap a name next to. Look at the logos below and notice how their elements are typical:
- The person as the “i” in fit
- Smiling teeth as the “o” in floss
- Houses representing a real estate company
- Roman column representing a law firm
Conceptual Art is when the IDEA behind a design is strong, substantive and unmistakeable within the overall design. Conceptual designs can be simple or more flashy but they are definitely more than the sum of their parts. For example, the Blank logo below is simple, conceptually strong and very effective.
How can you make your designs more original and less like wallpaper art?
Think about your process. Do you quickly read the brief, figure out what kind of business the customer has and then put their name next to some obvious images or empty abstract symbols? Don’t look now but you just might be creating wallpaper art.
However, if you take time to brainstorm and sketch out ideas, you are likely working through the obvious, generic stuff into more original and creative domains.
Brainstorming and sketching are KEY steps in the design process. Not only will your design look great, but it will be MUCH more unique and both you and the customer will be more satisfied.