The Design Graveyard

Here is a secret that most designers won’t tell you. We can resurrect the dead. It’s true and it doesn’t occur often, but when it does, we have good reasons.

Here’s what happens: every time we design multiple versions for you to choose from, you pick one that flourishes and thrives. What about the others? Well, those that were not chosen quietly die and take up residence in the design graveyard (every designer has this sad place on their computer). But sometimes, we have the power to resurrect the unchosen. Like the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica, they are not exact replicas but slightly modified copies.

For example, I might work on a logo and think, you know what, I created an awesome logo two years ago for a different client and they didn’t go for it. I wonder if I could repurpose it? I dig through my files, and viola, I’ve already got a great beginning. I asked a couple friends and clients what they thought – is this ethical? Everyone I interviewed said it’s fine, if it wasn’t picked by someone else, it’s totally fair game for another purpose. I’m inclined to agree.

What’s amazing about this is recently I was expressly told to do this by a client! I presented five very different poster designs to this client, and we are currently tightening and perfecting one of these designs. But there was an immediate design that was not chosen. When I opened up this design, everyone said “I love it, but, it doesn’t convey exactly what we want to showcase.” Then someone said, really, “You should totally save that and use it for someone else.” So, I just might. Let me know if anyone likes hand-done flower illustrations because I have a serious killer one just waiting for you.