Jazz it up. Spice it up. Add some pizzaz. Make it pop. Make it pretty. Make it bigger.
— Any client, ever
...As a graphic designer, I've learned that there are quite a few phrases from which clients can choose to request designers to — in my professional opinion — add gaudiness to their designs. When I hear these phrases — and, believe me, I've heard most of them ... repeatedly — I allow myself a moment to be annoyed and then attempt to compromise with the client. This way their logo ends up only slightly bigger and their welcome message doesn't end up flashing on and off the screen in bright neon. This compromise makes the client happy and saves their clients from being smacked in the face with bad design. It's a win-win, really.
Anyway, the other day, I got a request of this nature that didn't illicit my usual reaction! It was from a client who has a way with words, if you will. Instead of what would normally have been, "Make the header pop!" It was, "Add some modest dazzle to the header." ..."Modest dazzle," now that's an awesome phrase. After hearing this request, I took a moment to appreciate its artistic wording and then immediately thought of an article that I swear I read somewhere on Printmag.com. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the article there, but I did find a similar article on Twisted Swifter.
The article, "History of Razzle Dazzle Camouflage," describes the unusual camouflage patterns that were used to adorn the facades of WWI warships. The idea behind this crazy, colorful, geometric camouflage was to confuse the enemy. This way, from a distance, they couldn't tell which direction the ship was going. If the enemy didn't know which direction the ship was going, they wouldn't know where to shoot their torpedos which were aimed at where the ship was going, not where the ship was.
After this little segue in my thought pattern, I got back to work; plotting out how I would compromise with this particularly articulate client. ...perhaps I could work in a subtle homage to razzle dazzle camouflage.
Be sure to visit the original article for more information about razzle dazzle camouflage. There are also more pictures and mock-ups of what the ships would have looked like in full color.