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Recycling Ideas

An excerpt from Chip Kidd’s The Cheese monkeys: a novel in two semesters,

Never fall in love with an idea. They are whores: if the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another.”

Do you ever save comps or sketches from one job and use them for another project? any type of project: logos, brochures, web sites, posters. If it doesn’t work for one client, would it work for another one? but wouldn’t that be pointless, since each client is different?

I have seen designers love a comp for a logo so much, that when it’s not chosen by one client, they just change the name of the company for the next client using the exact same design. The client doesn’t know that is usually the response.

But you do.

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PUBLISHED ON Oct.14.2002 BY Armin
Darrel’s comment is:

What's wrong with that? We're in business. One should keep all of their ideas at hand and look back upon them now and then to see if they can be used once again. No point reinventing the wheel each time.

On Oct.14.2002 at 09:07 AM
Armin’s comment is:

That's true. I try looking at past ideas every now and then, but I always end up reinventing the wheel. It's kind of fun to reinvent the wheel every time, it's a good challenge.

On Oct.14.2002 at 09:20 AM
Jon’s comment is:

I've used old ideas as starting points, and then evolved them into something new for a different client. But I've found that if I take an idea/sketch/logo verbatim and slap a new name or new copy on it, it never feels as good or works the same. Plus, I don't feel really good about myself afterwards.

On Oct.14.2002 at 10:05 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> it never feels as good or works the same.

Exactly my feeling, it just doesn't feel or look right.

On Oct.14.2002 at 11:34 AM
Todd’s comment is:

Presumably, if a design wasn't chosen for one job it's because it wasn't well enough tailored to that client's specific situation. If so, then why not pick up a discarded design when a more appropriate circumstance presents itself?

That's different than just swapping out corporate names, however. That seems to be a poor route to serving the client's needs, which is what we are trying to do, right?

On Oct.14.2002 at 12:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>which is what we are trying to do, right?

mmmmm... right.

It just seems weird to me. But I can definitely see that it would work out to use an old idea and tweak to fit the new client. And there is nothing wrong with it. At all. It just seems to me that the design process would lose something...

On Oct.14.2002 at 04:51 PM