Effective graphic design is when you find the most simple solution in terms of the idea, and then execute it visually in equally simple artwork. Effective design is never busy. It’s never overdone. Think of the most well-known corporate logos (Apple, Windows, Coke, Nike, American Airlines, etc) and they are ALL simple shapes and letters.

When I designed the “Market-Head” icon, I wanted to convey something very simple: a “metal head idea man.” In other words, my real ability is found in generating effective ideas and then executing them in brands that easily create a following. The solution, as I saw it, was simple: using the common symbol of the “lightbulb” to convey “idea,” and then adding a simple skull/head to identify with my “metal” style.

I did not want the skull to be gruesome or convey the idea of death. Skulls are so commonplace now in culture and fashion that they’ve lost much of their visual intimidation, but I went even further by making it almost cartoonish.

The colors, shapes, and lines are simple, yet it conveys everything I want, and it’s unique enough—when joined to my personality—to create an effective brand that will surely create a following if I continue to offer relevant and helpful information to my audience.

I've designed dozens of logos over the last quarter century.
I’ve designed dozens of logos over the last quarter century.

Design is an important component to creating an effective brand whether online or offline, and it’s worth it to spend the money on having a professional design your logo(s). Just remember that the best solutions are simple, and that means that they are easily understood by your target audience.


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C. J.
C. J.

C. J. Ortiz is a speaker, writer, life coach, and communications consultant. His expertise in personal achievement in life and business focuses on maximizing resources in every area of life. He also has 20 years experience in branding, marketing, design, and publishing. He's also the founder of Metal Motivation: Daily Screams for Living Aggressively—a social media driven powerhouse for personal development.

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    4 replies to "After 24 Years in Graphic Design, This is the Most Important Principle I’ve Learned"

    • Lisa

      You’re an inspiration Cj….your Metal Motivation could’nt have come at a better time..the start of this year was spot on!!! And I can see I’m not the only one who follows this ..\,,/ ^^ \,,/

      • C. J.

        Thanks, Lisa. I’m glad it’s helpful

    • Raye Cage

      I remember the first time I “saw” you CJ (via Sandi Krakowski’s Facebook page) I clicked on your website & was immediately drawn to your message. Heavy metal music, fashion, & culture has never been apart of my life but I’m an avid follower of you because you took the time to be intentional about creating an effective brand that embodies who you are & craft a positive message that resonates with all types of people. Thank you CJ.

      • C. J.

        And YOU have been a “Raye of Sunshine” ever since you got here! Thank you, my sister. You’ve been a great encouragement to me.

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