Brand Interview – Todd Radom, Todd Radom Design
How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
I have been lovingly crafting logos, letterforms and graphic illustrations since the mid-1980s. I’ve been a full-time sole proprietor since 1990, which represents an eternity in the world of graphic design. The type of work that I specialize in has naturally shifted over the years, but the vast majority of the work I do today revolves around branding for professional sports. I have designed logos for everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series, have created visual identities for individual franchises, and have worked with business partners of the various leagues in creating graphics for all sorts of licensed products. I pride myself on being able to handle complex and prominent projects professionally and creatively. I’ve created some of the most iconic logos in American popular culture and have navigated through some of the most complicated projects imaginable. My goal is to keep doing what I am doing, and to do it with attention to quality and detail. Design is a subjective thing, and trends come and go, but I feel as creative today as I ever have.
Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
Yes indeed! As a matter of fact, I am the co-founder of a named fund at the School of Visual Arts—the 727 Fund, awarded to students in graphic design, illustration, cartooning and advertising. I am a member of the board of the Alumni Society of School of Visual Arts, and am very passionate about making a positive contribution to the creative future.
How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
My logo revolves around a ligature of my initials, so I needed to let the typography breathe and be readable. Classic, timeless letterforms, combined with some detailed flourishes. I consider myself a craftsman, and I like to think that my logo reflects this.
How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
I took into account a couple of criteria. First and foremost, my colors reflect the fact that I am an established professional-solid, grounded, and have been doing this for quite some time. As a designer of many, many identities, I am always aware of the fact that less is more in terms of the number of colors. A signature palette is a very desirable thing.
How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
The toughest job imaginable for a designer of identities is to do your own brand. I have had a few over the last 25 years, but have come back to something I designed in 1986. It’s easy to understand, solid, and works well for me. As far as my website goes, I confess to being in need of something new-the sensibilities of web design are so different from those involved in print.
In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
When I started doing this, I went the conventional route at the time—building up a physical portfolio, dropping it off, arranging for meetings with prospective clients, etc. I did some direct marketing, very targeted mailers, stuff like that. I find it far more difficult to reach the potential business partners of today; it’s a very fragmented world in terms of being able to connect with folks.
How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
I have always received inquiries and emails about my work, from people all over the world. It made sense to set up a Facebook page, and I did so in 2010. It’s a great opportunity to share some of my work—especially stuff that people may never have seen before—and to interact with folks who enjoy what I do. I’ve also made and revived connections via LinkedIn, an absolute must for anyone interested in professional networking, whatever your vocation.
Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
No, I haven’t taken any formal courses.
Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
No. First of all, I think that the most targeted and effective advertising for creative work is (somewhere) out there on the web. Secondly, some of my more prominent projects contain very restrictive terms of usage for my own promotional purposes, so advertising of any kind is a challenging thing for me.
Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
No, I have never gone there. I cater to somewhat of a niche market, so I’m not sure that this would be the place for me to advertise.
When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
I have done both. Like so many folks, my needs for print on paper have diminished tremendously over the years.
Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
Absolutely! The right paper can make a huge statement with regard to personalizing a business card, for instance. A super-glossy stock makes colorful logos sing. Something textured, a little tooth to it, for the right letterhead?
Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
These days all of my work is handed off to the client, who is ultimately responsible for print. That said, I would encourage the use of green technology for printing, or just about anything else.
If you sell products, are they produced in the U.S.A. or abroad?
All my logos are produced at my desk right here in the good old U.S.A!
Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
I feel as though I’ve been around the block and have seen and done it all—but—I’d love to handle some more illustrative projects, things like posters and labels, which are infrequent these days. I am an unabashedly commercial artist and my interests lie in continuing to connect with great business partners, to work with people I enjoy collaborating with, and in creating great work, every day.
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