Whilst working at The Partners, in 2003, I was given the slightly daunting task of redesigning one of the most famous logos on the planet, Ford Motor Company. The brief was relatively simple; rid the logo of the existing glitzy chrome styling and create something simpler whilst retaining dimension and shine. Oh, and not relying on photographic textures, it had to be fully scalable as a vector graphic.
Everything was explored, from type style, 3D effects, light sources, textures, and backgrounds. The oval was rendered in complex geometry-based software, spun around, and flipped about. Weeks were spent looking at the thickness of lines, the shades of blue, and the right radial colour blends. Freelancers were involved. Specialist illustrators had a go.
Finally, something caught our eye. A chrome effect with just the right amount of shimmer. “That’s the one.”
A board was produced, but the shimmer had disappeared. “Oh, I noticed a mistake on the oval outlines, so I corrected it to be perfect” explained the freelance art worker.
The mistake was re-installed, and the artwork rolled out globally.
Serendipity. The secret of great design.