Most people don’t have a clue what goes into designing a logo, let alone a complex identity system. Pentagram’s Paula Scher has written this little essay that takes on the common gripes and misunderstandings about identity design, specifically, What They Don’t Teach You About Identity Design in Design Schools.

For what it’s worth, this is my favorite passage…

I never knew a designer that got hundreds of thousands of dollars to design a logo.  Mostly, designers get paid to negotiate the difficult terrain of individual egos, expectations, tastes, and aspirations of various individuals in an organization or corporation, against business needs, and constraints of the marketplace.  This is a process that can take a year or more.  Getting a large, diverse group of people to agree on a single new methodology for all of their corporate communications means the designer has to be a strategist, psychiatrist, diplomat, showman, and even a Svengali. The complicated process is worth money.  That’s what clients pay for. The process, usually a series of endless presentations and refinements, persuasions and proofs, results, hopefully, in an accepted identity design.