"There's nothing wrong with the current design, it just needs to be a bit more branded."

Martin's staff profile includes the following bio which I suspect Martin may have written himself:

"Martin has a degree in fine arts and is a Windows expert. If you have a computer problem, Martin is your man. When he's not solving problems at work, he enjoys listening to jazz and fishing."

Martin is also an aspiring graphic designer. His design work can be likened to jazz in that only people like Martin think it isn't dreadful.

A few weeks ago, our agency was commissioned by the company Martin works for to redesign their marketing materials. As the designer of their current brochure (shown below), Martin took the news surprisingly hard.

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.06am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Brochure

Hello David.

Louise asked me to send you the brochure pdf. I'm excited to see what changes we're making. Do you want the indesign files or just the text and images? If you are just changing the images I could do that here if you wanted. I know how to use Indesign.

Martin

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.13am
To: Martin Buchanan
Subject: Re: Brochure

Hello Martin,

Thank you for your email. I do not require any existing components for the redesign.

Regards, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.25am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Brochure

Are you going to just make it more branded or redraw everything? That seems like it would take a long time when I already have the files.

Are you changing how it looks? I don't think it needs a big change just the photos on the back need updating and the new web address. Do you want me to copy and paste the text and the images into an email for your changes or do want to tell me what changes to make and I can make them here?

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.37am
To: Martin Buchanan
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

Hello Martin,

While your enthusiasm is commendable, I do not require any files from you at this stage. Our agency was commissioned to redesign the complete suite of marketing materials and this includes the brochure.

If for some reason I do decide to use any of the existing graphic components, a quick search on Google for 'clipart of man holding clipboard' and 'blue wiggly line for no apparent reason' should suffice.

Regards, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.51am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

There's nothing wrong with the current design, it just needs to be a bit more branded. The blue line represents growth. If you add more branding without changing the design and update the photos and the web address on the back it will be perfect.

Do you want me to send you the logo? Are you changing the text?

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 10.58am
To: Martin Buchanan
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

Hello Martin,

While I may use some of the existing text, primarily the words 'water' and 'heater', the majority will be rewritten. The logo, which appears to have been created by someone with Apophenia, needs to be recreated in a higher resolution than the current 6x8 pixels.

Regards, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 11.18am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

No it doesn't. What bits are you changing?

You should just send the changes to me and I will make them. It doesn't make sense to change how the brochure looks it's just a waste of money. We still have four boxes of the brochures left downstairs. It would make more sense to just print stickers and stick them over the old web address on the back.

I designed that brochure and its had a lot of good feedback.

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 11.36am
To: Martin Buchanan
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

Hello Martin,

Your mother stating, "That's nice dear," is encouragement, not feedback.

I often tell my offspring that he's talented despite the artwork on our refrigerator clearly illustrating the opposite. I commended him last week on an excellent representation of an octopus only to find out that it was meant to be a car. Unfortunately, confidence through encouragement doesn't automatically equate to capability. If I were to use my offspring's artwork on a brochure for the Ford Motor Company, feedback such as, "Is that a fucking octopus?" would be far more likely than, "This will sell a lot of cars, just add clipart of a man holding a clipboard and a blue wiggly line and it's good to go."

While some people might describe the current brochure as targeted, message driven, and on-brand, those people should be reminded that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

As a designer, I do understand attachment to something you have created, and that other people's opinions are merely hurdles constructed of inanity, but as every component of a company's marketing materials define that company's brand message, which in this instance appears to be, "Look at how many different typefaces our computer has!", the decision to hide them in the basement was probably a wise one.

Regards, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 11.57am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

They're not hidden, they're on a shelf. Obviously you're going to say the design isn't very good so you can justify charging to redesign it. Everyone who has seen the current brochure has liked it. I have a degree in fine arts and I've done an advanced Adobe course. I probably know indesign better than you do.

Art is subjective. I branded it to appeal to our customers, they don't want modern looking things.

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 12.19pm
To: Martin Buchanan
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

Hello Martin,

The company you work for sells water heaters. I might be missing something but I fail to understand how stock market graphs and rainbow gradient backgrounds relate to warm showers.

While art is certainly subjective, it has also been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it, maker and beholder meet. Unfortunately, in this case, the tryst would be the equivalent of a quick handjob in a K-mart toilet from a middle-aged shelf-stacker named Rhonda in exchange for a packet of Marlboro Menthols.

That's not to say the current design doesn't have its merits. Running multi-coloured drop-shadowed type to the very edges has effectively removed the need to fill in all that annoying negative space with more clipart and, having chosen to ignore the corporate colour, using every other colour was an interesting option. When Louise first handed me the brochure, I thought she was inviting me to a rave.

If nothing else, your design is certainly unique. During my many years of working with professionals in the design industry, I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like it. Once the redesign is completed, I'm happy to send you a proof following pre-press, and you are welcome to provide any suggestions you may have at that time.

Regards, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 1.08pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brochure

Dropshadows lift the type off the page as if they are 3D. You probably don't even know how to do them.

Don't bother sending me a proof. I'm not going to be here next week and I'm not interested. I'm too busy organizing a fishing trip. Have fun redoing the whole brochure without any files. While you're sitting at your desk redrawing everything next week, I'll be relaxing in a boat and laughing.

From: Louise Brown
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 3.22pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Files

Hi David,

Just wondering if you received the brochure files. We have the photographer coming in on Monday so will hopefully get product shots to you mid week.

Have a great weekend.

Louise

From: David Thorne
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 3.35pm
To: Louise Brown
Subject: Re: Files

Hello Louise,

Looking forward to seeing the photos. I've been in contact with Martin but have not recieved any files. He's probably too busy organising his fishing trip.

If you could forward him the following list of items I require before he leaves, that would be appreciated:

1 x rainbow gradient background.
36 x typefaces used.
1 x clipart of man holding a clipboard.
1 x image of wiggly blue line.
1 x logo in 6x8 pixel .gif format.
1 x copy of his upcoming book 'Drop-shadows. A Guide by Martin Buchanan.'

Thank you, David

From: Martin Buchanan
Date: Friday 8 Mar 2013 3.57pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Forwarded: Re: Files

I'm not sending you anything bitch.




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