When pitching to a potential client or delivering concepts; how many is too many? Is more better? When designing a logo I can sometimes generate up to 20 options. I'm currently designing a branding look for a major football bowl game. I have created 6 different designs but I don't plan on showing all of them. When I'm working on a design team we will have an internal meeting to decided what are our best efforts. At our firm, we have developed a questionnaire for clients to try and pull out what they are looking for before we spin our design wheels. This doesn't work most of the time because people generally don't know what they are looking for until they see it. If you show too many design options it looks like you are not confident in what you are delivering. It's even more difficult when you are working with a committee which has people with different ideas and tastes. I personally feel 2-3 options is plenty especially if it's a design pitch. Keep it simple, too many options can be confusing. Costco does not carry too many options of each product and has far fewer overall products than other stores their size. About 1/10 as many as a regular supermarket. They believe in presenting fewer, hand picked, options to their customers and have seen how it leads to more overall sales. They not only offer most products in only one size, but they usually only offer one or two flavors as well. As designers can we learn from such retailers? Absolutely.
Ian Ransley DESIGN
Ian Ransley is a Bay Area Graphic Designer and Illustrator who has designed some of the most popular large-scale sporting and corporate events in the world.