Rent a New Yorker

A friend of mine just emailed me this insightful story about an approach to design and problem solving.

Image: Bob Gill

I had a client who supplied guides to tourists, they were called “Rent a New Yorker” and that was the problem. Well, I’m sure every third year design student would immediately do a logo with the skyline of New York with some contemporary typeface underneath it saying “Rent a New Yorker”. To me that’s pretty boring. So the first thing I had to do was to try and convert this problem, which is a very conventional one, into an interesting one. I decided the most interesting statement I could make, the most interesting problem to give myself was to say that “our guides are authentic New Yorkers, they’ll really show you New York!”

Well, how do you communicate that a guide is an authentic New Yorker? Well, eventually I came to the conclusion that if I could give their logo a New York accent that might in some way communicate that these are real New Yorkers. So I suggested to the client that they could spell their name in a New York accent: “RentaNooYawka”.

Image: Bob Gill

Well, they loved it, but that’s an example of making what is essentially a conventional problem into an interesting one. Bob Gill via

My 2¢: Simplicity is not about less effort. Simplicity is all about the right effort.
Aug 3, 2012.