8BD Talks to Adam Ladd, of “Fresh Impressions on Brandmarks From My 5 Year Old”
In just one week, over 1 million people have watched Adam Ladd’s daughter Faith identify brand logos, and the internet universally said “awwwww.” We decided to drop Ladd a line and ask him a few questions about his daughter, his Ohio-based graphic design business, and of course, fatherhood.
First things first, check the video after the jump.
When I first saw Adam Ladd’s video on Brand New, the special part about it wasn’t that a 5 year old was calling the NBC peacock a “turkey.” It was a father and daughter sitting down and looking at culture, iconified. The project started as a car ride, where 5 year old Faith Ladd asked her father if someone designed the BP logo. After that, a conversation ensued where Adam asked Faith to describe what other logos they saw. He knew he had to make a video of it, and once they got home, he began gathering brand logos off the net.
This is what happened:
And here’s our Q&A with Ladd:
8BD: What did you learn about branding from your daughter’s insights? Some of them (“a cheetah, a cheetah, a cheetah”) were cute, but things like her description of the McDonald’s logo are actually insightful to both graphic designers like you and the companies she’s identifying.
AL: The McDonald’s comment was indeed very insightful, as I hadn’t pictured it that way before. But it furthered my belief that sometimes the obvious design solution can be the most effective. Simplicity is also very effective. Now, those two approaches have to be coupled with the knowledge that something too simple can be boring; it must still be distinct and memorable, with a good concept behind the design of the logo.
8BD: Did you actually do this in one take, or did you cut it together from different sittings?
AL: It was done in one-sitting (with her swiveling around in my desk chair looking at the printouts of the logos) while I recorded about 8 minutes of audio in one swoop. I then obviously had to cut that done to be a 2.5 minute video.
8BD: Do you use your daughter’s insight in your own graphic design work? Seems like she’s a straight-shooter.
AL: Yes, she is a straight-shooter, and very creative and intelligent. I actually have used her insight in my own work. An example being that there have been times where she’s seen me doing sketches for logo designs, and has sat down with her own paper and pencil to come up with some of her own drawings. These are pretty much based on what she sees I’ve done, but she does instinctively put her own little spin on them.
8BD: Your daughter’s five years old – what are some of her favorite things to do when she’s not ironing out corporate branding?
AL: Haha. Well, she loves drawing and coloring, playing dress up (she’s quite the fashionista when it comes to creating an outfit), watching the old Rugrats cartoon with her sister, riding bikes, and wrestling with me. (Oh, and of course spending time with her grandparents.)
8BD: If you could give one piece of advice to fathers, what would it be?
AL: I’ve seen some comments that this is a brain-washed, TV-obssessed kid based on her ability to recognize some logos in the video. Not so. Her ability to recognize some of the logos is because we take her places (some of which she enjoys others of which my wife and I enjoy) and she is very observant along the way. She clearly has a heightened sensitivity to picking up on design because I have conversations with her about my professional work and what it is I do. That would lead to my advice: taking heed to their interests, but also, as they look up to you for being their dad, let them know about your life and interests. It provides good, healthy understanding and bonding.