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Take advantage of your well designed logo by using it in the masthead.
"Let's see... they do have a nice typographical logo. And the word, 'Report' does a nice job of defining what the newsletter plans to do. Together, the masthead name has a nice ring to it­ 'HJK&A Report'. Is there anything that can be added to make it more meaningful, more memorable or better looking? Nope. Anything more would slow the message and visually disturb the brand. Guess I'll get a designer to work with spacing and decide on a type face for "Report". Or, its so straightforward, maybe I'll do it myself."
         As close as memory will permit, that was the extent of the thinking that went into art directing this masthead. When all the elements are sensibly conceived to begin with, such a clearly solid solution is practically preordained. To this day, over 20 years later, I don't believe another solution could have served this newsletter better.





Which counts most, the rule or the principle of the thing?
In this situation, the rule was getting in the way of meaningful and productive communication. Amtrak had developed a newsletter for its employees called AmtrakInk. According to graphic standard mandates, the original masthead design was quite right in not using Amtrak's logo because of the intruding "Ink" element. The manual forbade anything to be in close proximity to Amtrak's logo. So, the masthead design avoided the Amtrak look altogether, only using the corporate logo as a small subsidiary identifier. The ensuing problem came from seeing the name "Amtrak" spelled out in another typeface. It looked wrong. The Amtrak logo is just too strong and identifiable to be palatable in a different style.
         It had become clear that any design which didn't use the original Amtrak logo would dilute recognition. If both the newsletter's name and the Amtrak brand were to prevail, they had to do it in the same masthead, thus becoming a necessary exception to the corporate identification guidelines. To fix such a dilemma, creative courage is required from all quarters. Consequently, everyone involved had to take the risk of doing good instead of looking good.
         What to do if a young creative ever questions this obvious contradiction? Number one, cudos are in order for the act of asking rather than assuming the worst. As Dr. Spock once said, "logic is just the beginning of wisdom".
         Then, the only possible defense to criticism for breaking the rules is plain truth. Since graphic standards were disrupting the very meaningful recognition they are meant to further, in this particular case, they had to be relaxed.

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