A potential client called wanting to know if I could do grunge, so I made this logo for my friend (an undertaker turned programmer) for a concept, since a grungy, decayed look would fit his online name well. This is what I’ve got:
I think, in this case, the grunge look communicates well. I also designed the T that way on purpose, and yeah, the swirls I left from the font (Bleeding Cowboys) are meant to subtly suggest horns. Kind of a suggestion of the whole heaven and hell thing that many of us associate with death. I also cleaned up a few of the splatters and what not because frankly, they were just too much. I think it works, and that it sufficiently demonstrates that yes, I can do grunge.
But just because I can doesn’t mean I should.
Design is an art form, yes, and I do enjoy the artistic aspects of it. But it’s all about communication. I don’t talk to my 2-year-old nephew the same way I’d talk to my dad. I don’t talk to my bishop the same way I’d talk to a love interest. And, depending on who my potential customers are, I might not want to talk to them the same way I might talk to my friends.
Sure, grunge is hip. Again. Frankly it’s terrifying that I’ve already lived through the real 80’s style and its rebirth, as well as the comeback of 90’s style grunge, but I digress. If you’re trying to sell your product or service to, say, businessmen twice your age, you might not want to talk to them like they’re the guy next to you at a concert.
Then again, perhaps you might. In my case, I choose to communicate here as I do with my friends, because it helps me find the kind of work I like to do. But the point is that in any form of communication, be it visual or verbal, you must consider how your audience(s) will interpret the message, and make your decisions accordingly.