WORDS

Facts: 


The Doyle|Logan Company began as Clay Doyle Design, a graphic design studio, in 1983, in Los Angeles. From the beginning, Michael Logan was a frequent collaborator, while also holding staff positions with Teleflora, Weider Publications, and Beckman Instruments. Having bought an original Macintosh computer in 1984, we were one of the first local design firms to transition to computer typesetting and layout. Clay, Michael, and Abbie Doyle incorporated the design studio in 1996, in West Hollywood, as The Doyle|Logan Company. In 2003 Gentry Johnson joined our firm as production manager and web developer. From 2012, Michael Logan and Clay Doyle have operated from the Sunset Drive Studio, a live/work compound they continue to evolve, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Fido, a companionable Bedlington Terrier, serves as greeter and mascot. Collectively, the studio has over fifty years of design experience.

 

 

Manifesto: 


Design is communication. At The Doyle/Logan Company, we believe design is not only about making things beautiful. It’s about helping clients invent new ways of telling a story. Design can bring accessibility and understanding to complex information. Whether it’s a magazine, an annual report, a web project, a book, or a logo—good design communicates ideas. We know too, that the best idea is only as good as its execution. Effective design requires good project management. As a full-service company, we guide every project through each stage of its development, from concept to delivery. We collaborate on the message and respond quickly to revisions. We keep projects on time and on budget. We only look good when the client looks good.
 

FAQ or TMI?

 

What kind of dog is that? Why is it the logo for your design business?

The dog is a Bedlington Terrier, a distinctive and uncommon breed. Mr. Logan adopted a Bedlington Terrier in 1997 (Sophie) and brought her to our studio. Her ubiquitous presence made her so well known to our clients that we appropriated her profile for our logo. Sophie was the first of four Bedlingtons, including her sister, Phoebe, followed by Lily, from Eureka, California. Our current Bedlington Terrier is Fido, our first male, born in 2013 and rescued in 2015. Though bred from a long line of champions, Fido is 1/4 inch taller than breed standard allows. He’s relieved to be a friend and not a show dog.

 

What do you do?

We develop ideas. We give visual form to your communications. We create logos, identity, cards, books, brochures, magazines, PDFs, web pages, objects, and especially print projects—browse our portfolios. We wrangle text photography, illustration, digital code, type, paper, ink, and pixels into object that communicates clearly and effectively. We'll also see that your project stays on budget and on schedule.

 

I have a computer, software and templates. Can't I do this myself?

If you want to, yes. Computers, software, and proliferating print-on-demand options have made it possible for anyone to create anything from business cards to books, creatively and economically. And it can be great fun…for exploration, for personal projects—for talented amateurs and professionals alike. However, professional design software is complex; typography, once a skilled discipline on its own, is an increasingly rare art; and preparing files for professional printing is a skill, where mistakes can be costly in direct proportion to the size and importance of the project.

 

More importantly, computers, software, and automation, though increasingly sophisticated and helpful, cannot: bring creativity and insight to your project; assemble and manage an appropriate team of photographers, illustrators, retouchers, and writers as needed; match your project to the best print solution; ensure that your project is on time, on budget, and on quality; and finally, cannot suggest solutions and approaches that may not be the obvious ones. Yes, you can do it yourself—and there are times when you may have to—but you must decide if that is really the best option for you, or your project.

 

I'm not sure what I need. Shouldn't I figure that out before I call you?

No, not necessarily. We can help you define and organize your project, as well as suggest solutions (creative, technical, money-saving, etc) that you may not be aware of. The sooner we are involved in a project the more help we can offer.

 

As designers, do you read the copy?

Always. We prefer to be engaged with you or your writer so that text and visuals can develop together in an organic relationship to create a dynamic experience.  With existing copy, we read it for inspiration, and we'll read it again for proofing. We're happy to suggest headlines, captions, pull-quotes, and additional text items to compliment the design.

 

Does your firm follow the latest design trends?

We keep up on the latest design trends, but we don't necessarily follow them. We work with our clients to develop a unique look that is tailored to each business or organization. If the Pantone color of the year, or that new typeface you're seeing everywhere, is not appropriate to a project, we won't be proposing it. If anything, we have a slight bias away from trends, and in favor of classic, timeless design. Form follows function. We do not have a "house style" as we feel strongly that good design should reinforce the message.

 

Did you have an Art Gallery?

Clay created an art gallery space at our West Hollywood studio in 1993. His idea was to showcase the fine-art work of the talented photographers and illustrators with whom we worked commercially. In the course of the gallery's (somewhat erratic) eight year run, we offered many exciting new artists their first early career exhibitions, including Gary Baseman, Greg Clarke, Ted (and Debbie) Catanzaro, Jeff Burton, Noah Woods (Steve Turk), Craig Smith, Davis and Davis, and Mark Fox. It was great fun, but we closed the gallery at the end of the 90s to focus on our core design business. As the gallery existed in the 1990s, almost no documentation exists online. 

Illustration by Greg Clarke