When Things Don’t Go As Planned…In Life and Logos

So, last week obviously didn’t start out as I had planned. (This can happen from time-to-time, yeah? Yurp.) So, long-funny-story short, I got my very own ambulance ride to the hospital around 3am last Tuesday morning. (Just a heads up. They’ll take you there when you complain of chest pain in addition to numerous textbook heart attack symptoms such as pain in your neck, shoulders, arms, back; nausea; cold sweats; feeling faint; uncomfortable breathing; etc.)

I was released a few hours later when all the blood work, chest x-rays, and EKGs came back clear.

“Everything is fine with your heart. It looks GREAT, actually.”


“Inflamed Chest Cartilage” was to blame for my little “episode”. It’s something that I’ve been aware of for the past couple of years, but it’s never presented itself in “attack” form…ever. Lawzie. So…that was weird. Crazy weird. But I’ll know for next time to just wait 8 minutes and pop 800mg of Motrin instead of having Matty call the bus, and giving him a heart attack in the process. Wacka wacka.

That little venture Tuesday morning threw my entire week off. I was fatigued all week, missed my morning workouts, and just couldn’t seem to get it together, in general. My week was severely thrown off-kilter.

And I hate it when that happens.

But… sometimes, when things don’t go as planned, it opens us up to allow opportunity for better things to happen. 

This often occurs as I work through logo projects with clients. Last year, I knocked out a logo for my friend, Carrie. This year, her husband, Chris, contacted me about doing a logo for his new home inspections business, Appalachian Inspections, in Western North Carolina. I love Carrie…I love Western North Carolina…so I figured Chris and I would hit it off just fine with his project.

Chris had a working idea of what he was wanting in a mark for his business. He had sketched out a few ideas, but just couldn’t land on anything he liked…

He knew he wanted an “A” to be represented. He thought working it into replacing the “A” in “Appalachian” could possibly be a solution. He also liked the idea of working an A-frame house into the “A” since A-frame houses are prevalent in Western North Carolina. I was diggin’ this idea of his. (A-frame houses are cool, y’all. I never really paid much attention to them, but I think, like anything else, they just have to be given a fair chance to make their statement in the world. That’s right. Look at that green one! Mmmmm.)

So, let’s sit here for a minute. Most often, allowing a letter to be the mark (symbol) in a logotype (word in the logo) is not a favorable solution. It can be messy and can lose it’s luster on a small scale. It also locks the client into having to use a logo that doesn’t have a stand-alone mark. It always has to be supported by the logotype when used in any application. This can present problems at times. But…there are times when it can work, and work well. But in those cases, the logotype is usually short in length.

See? They’re short. So, they work. Imagine a long word, let’s say “Appalachian”, for instance, on a business card…and the “A” is a symbol such as a house. (Okay, okay…an A-frame house since we’re here.) Of course, as the word shrinks in size to fit on the card, the symbol (the “A”) must shrink proportionally. Uh oh…now we have a mess. And when we hand over our fancy new biz card to a potential client, they’re going to be holding it at arm’s length (if they’re approaching 40 or already over it), or smooshing it up to their face (if they’re a young whipper-snapper) as they strain and try to figure out what exactly they are seeing on that “A”. That’s embarrassing. No one has time for that in their lives. And whether he had time for it or not, I didn’t want Chris to have to deal with a logo that was going to treat him poorly. Logos should always treat people nice. Yeah, they should.

So, instead, I worked with the “A” and the “I” together to create a monogram for “Appalachian Inspections”, but still gave the shape the necessary treatment to subtly resemble an A-frame structure. Chris was very pleased with the result and is now happy to present his business card to anyone…anyone under the age of 40, or over the age of 40.

I love making people happy. It’s a great, great thing to do. It’s especially fun and rewarding when the outcome is so much more than what they imagined when they started those first initial sketches during their planning phase. 

So, don’t be bummed the next time your plans seem to go awry. Don’t close the door on a potentially great thing. You might miss out on something greater.

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