Friday, September 6, 2013


I wasn't going to comment on the new Yahoo! logo until I read this headline in Ad Age.

Wow, she worked a whole weekend on it!

No wonder it looks like it came right out of the 1980s.

Ms. Mayer, you are the CEO of a company that some say is worth $25 billion. Do you really think the best use of your time is playing with Illustrator? Every designer in America had to cringe when they read this quote:
"On a personal level, I love brands, logos, color, design, and, most of all, Adobe Illustrator. I think it's one of the most incredible software packages ever made. I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous :) So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team."
Well, at least she was right about one thing. Based on the result of this project, she is dangerous.

What is it with CEOs and their belief that there is no subject they are not expert in? Are they given a subliminal messaging tape in business school to play while they sleep that says, "You know everything about everything" on an infinite loop?

Here's a tip for CEOs everywhere.

Unless you went to RISD, CCS, Pratt or Art Center, leave the design work to the professionals.

I'm not saying you can't have an opinion, but believe it or not great designers aren't a dime a dozen. Designing a logo isn't as easy as powering up a Mac and opening Illustrator, even though the best designers often make it look that way.

Design matters as much as anything in business. Would you "roll up your sleeves" with your lawyers and help them file your patent applications? Would you dive into the trenches with your software engineers and help them write code?

If the answer is yes, you're going to have a hell of a time getting good people to work for you.

Do your job and let other people do theirs. You'll be surprised at how much better that works for everyone.

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