Cutting through the blah, blah, blah

Red Tape – Yorkshire & Humber Chamber of Commerce.Bulletblog19 “Whether cutting through or needing to make sense of business legislation, the Red Tape busting team are here to help.” Yorkshire & Humber Chamber of Commerce.

Bulletpoint Design: Red Tape logo, promotional flyers, banner stands, trailer and roadshow graphics (2003).

Design. Simplicity out of complexity

“Blah, blah blah!” Yes, that pretty much summed up the design and communication problem on this project. The confusion many businesses were facing with government regulations, all the ‘red tape’ getting in the way…

Effective design (communicating your idea or offer in the best way) is often about cutting through all the crap – sorry, cutting through all the confusion, including all that client content (avoiding information overload) – to discover a strong, simple visual message that will help you get noticed amongst all the chaos. In short, every designer worth their salt will find you a design solution; simplicity out of complexity.

First we needed to design a logo. Sometimes you get one great, ‘killer’ idea for a logo and on others you get enough to sink a ship and spoil the client for choice. (AKA exceeding customer expectations.) It’s surprising how often clients go for one of the first (simple) ideas you came up with, even more surprising is the millions of great logos designers produce all over the world that will never get used. (Recycling option?)

Note: I thought it might be nice to share some of these ideas with you – all tailor made for this job I may add – what Bulletpoint presented for Red Tape. (An Adobe Acrobat PDF download of ALL the ideas we came up with – see below.)

After a favourite logo was selected – team decision, goes for the safe one – the next stage of the job involved working up some ideas that could be used on promotional flyers, banner stands, trailer and roadshow graphics.

“At Bulletpoint Design, to help ensure a successful end result, we always aim to provide clients with a range of ideas from; ‘safe’ to risky, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Budget (and time) dependent, we would also aim to provide a few more ideas somewhere in between, AKA ‘padding’. Obvious really, or maybe not?”

Creative chaos?

The client liked TWO ideas and ( could not make their mind up between them, so we ended up with both! Not always a good idea, but on this occasion it seemed to work OK for Red Tape. (I don’t recommend this at all to anyone else!)

1. One idea, an obvious, SAFE logical treatment, a library shot image of a pair of scissors cutting through the red tape. (Crikey, anyone could have thought of that one eh?) Though finding the right image and using it in the best way is a different matter, best handed over to the professionals? See PDF downloads below. Noting, clients normally LIKE simple ideas, so KISS!

2. The other idea, an unusual, clever typographical treatment ‘Blah, blah, blah!’ designed by Alan Rothera*. This great concept also appealed to creative director Paul Kerfoot’s challenging nature, the creative chaos way of doing the complete opposite to doing the obvious**. “Ideas that stand out like a sore thumb are sometimes good!” Noting, clients may QUESTION ‘clever’ ideas, so (all you designers out there), if you are confident it will work then do (professionally) PUSH it!


Dare I say in this case, this ridiculous idea was not thrown out, designed to confuse people even more. A neat trick eh? (See PDFs below). Lucky for us, the client also saw the appeal and the clever side to this one. Blah, blah, blah…

Please click here to download a copy of all the logo ideas presented for the Red Tape project. And click here for an A4 design case study. (Adobe Acrobat PDF files).

In addition, you can also click here to download the ‘Red Tape’ double sided flyer (blah, blah, blah and scissors in one.) And click here for a copy of the accompanying roadshow flyer (scissors only).

*For another interesting concept, ‘doing the complete opposite to doing the obvious’, please click here to see; Think unprofessional – think Bodgeprint. ‘A proper charlie.’

**Paul originally met freelancer Alan Rothera at Batley Art College (1985/86), and later worked with him at catalogue specialist called Ryder Stone Ltd. Hunslet, Leeds (1990). Yes, for extra creative juice, we do sometimes use freelancers and wanted to be upfront about it.