Clip The Filigree


I often find myself explaining how I admire Sans Serif school. As opposed to a Serif one. And that this should translate into how we frame our pitch, deal and general Sales approach.

I refer to the two broad types of font.

One has all those fancy bits. The curls and tails and feet and frizz. The other, not. Minimal, stark, spartan, clean.

Think the classic Times Roman. Set against an Arial, Helvetica or Calibri.

These ‘extras’ are the “serif”. So “sans” is simply, ‘without’.

I’ve happily blogged on the selling relevance of this before.

Why do I mention this? Online omnipresence Google has just changed their logos. Switching tired old serif for more upbeat sans. Much the better for it. Across all platforms of their colonial ambition.

The pic up top is a rare and fascinating insight into the upgraded branding’s development process. I love this kind of view. I can see the rejects being plagiarised in much the same way as why, on the same day, the Tokyo Olympic 2020 imagery got scrapped.

I found it through a fairly gushing Fast Company piece. I*t’s attempt at balance sadly limited to within the sentence;

“What they decided on isn’t groundbreaking—no creative directors will be scrambling to update their brands—but it’s tasteful, flexible, and most importantly, very much Google.”

The design community was naturally quick to comment. There was the inevitable comparison to the font that all designers say you should never, ever, use. Comic Sans;

google comic sans

The Beeb summarised most types of view. And one man felt compelled to call out its misplaced “all trousers, no legs“.

Still, the FastCoDesign journalist above also refers to serif ornamentals as filigree.

In today’s world of pinch and zoom, bullet thumbnail and 3D animation, such frippery both reduces clarity and fails to scale.

Therein lies the solution Sales rub.

The core of our proposal must transcend multiple formats. Be readily, eagerly understood in all.

Everyone knows the prism of utter simplicity – from the lens of KISS (keep it simple, stupid) to Occam’s Razor (simplest is best) – yet acknowledging such and enacting it are often entirely mismatched.

Time to judge afresh that treasured slidedeck. Your core message. A drawn picture. Their compelling principle of progress. The Return.

And mercilessly cut away filigree.

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