There are a few jobs I’ve done which have never seen the light of day, because of all sorts of reasons - either the client forbids it (this does happen - a famous New York jewellery store did it, my job for a secret government department had to do it, and pharmaceutical clients often have to do it for legal reasons); or I wasn’t very pleased with the end result; or the client changed it in such a way I wasn’t happy with it (does occur); or, more often, because it’s a style I wouldn’t want to repeat.
This happened with these two jobs which I’ve just come across again, for Relistor, an American pharmaceutical product, and one for a mental health organisation in the UK. Both clients wanted the by-now well-known look of ‘a face made of type’, and one wanted fonts and the other, all hand-drawn. I was initially happy to do them despite being painfully aware that there are other people more capable of this who find it easier, but I had a real good stab at both, within a few months of each other.
They proved to be among the most awkward and difficult pieces to create that I’ve ever done, and although the client was really happy with both pieces, I chose not to show them in case I was asked to make this style again. In fact, I’ve been asked to work this way several times since, and I’ve said no each time - if somebody else is excellent at it, then my theory is it’s better to let them do it! I consider this a strategic necessity - there are things I’m naturally good at, and things I’m not but relish the challenge of, and this fitted into neither category. My site is therefore mostly full of the kinds of things I’d like more of.
Still, the client was really pleased, and that’s all that mattered for these. But I won’t be making any type-faces again any time soon! Thanks to Dave Giles from whom I borrowed these nice shots of the Relistor piece doing its job out in the wild.