They’re related, but they’re not. Two themes keep rattling around in my mind. One is being original and the other is getting recognition.
Let’s start with being original. After watching the “Abstract: Art of Design” programs, of course it is easy to be inspired. But there is a fine line between being inspired to create and subconsciously copying ideas of others. I think there is a gray area, one where you riff on an idea and make it your own.
Currently, in a lot of the design work I am seeing of late in sports, I see two themes. One theme is the use of parallelograms. Or the use of the slash. There are slashes and parallelograms everywhere it seems. There was a time when a curved swoosh seemed to be everywhere. Now we slash everything.
The other newer trend is the see-through lettering. It’s usually big bold sans serif, with a one-word deal. I am seeing it in a lot of posters and it is translating to cards.
I thought of just throwing all of the played out trends in one mess of a graphic, but it would be just that, a mess. Unless I really put my mind to it. I have some ideas for a logo, more tweaks really, so there will be some original work. And I have an evolving idea for a card, inspired by several sources.
All of this has nothing to do with recognition. My son, God bless him, asked why I don’t win as many awards as I used to. I had a long, drawn-out answer.
Part of the reason is I don’t write about successful teams as I did in the past, or in other words, they haven’t achieved like in the past. Part of it is the judges of the other states decided I haven’t deserved it. Part of it is I’m just not as good, or inspired to excel even, as I used to be. Plainly put, I haven’t earned it.
There is another part of it, though. I’ve long said that it doesn’t matter if I win the Pulitzer or never win another award. What truly matters is if the readership likes what they see. They will let me know in more than one way. The worst or best way is through their wallet. If people buy the paper because of the sports, I did my job. If people quit buying the paper, and the chief reason is the areas I am responsible for are believed to be the worst, time to move on the something else.
It’s just a simple truth.
Whether originality translates to recognition, that is up to others.