I finally have 2020 vision. So, unfortunately, does everyone else, this being the year after 2019 and before 2021. At Mole Graphics, it’s hard to know what this year will bring. There are some certainties - the Olympics will happen in Tokyo, there will be a presidential election in America and a troublesome minority of customers will demand free reprints of jobs they signed off on only to realise later that they had made a mistake. Sometimes you want to ask: how hard is it to use the correct version of your logo? And if you have so many logos you can’t distinguish between them, maybe you don’t need so many.
My sales director is always telling me off for moaning about customers. He’s just come back fresh - or, to be more accurate, slightly less stale - from a conference where an inspirational speaker warned against such bitching, saying “Do not poison that well!” Ted repeated this mantra to me and looked slightly disappointed when I failed to write it down on a Post-It note and stick it on the wall.
Like many customers, I fervently hope that 2020 will be less excruciating than 2019. It’s not that I am looking for any specific social, political or economic development - though lower corporate taxes would be nice - I just want to feel that the world is, at least partially, regaining its sanity. I’m not alone in that. One of my customers, signing off for Christmas, ended the call saying: “This year has been completely bonkers”.
I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions but I began 2020 with a mild digital detox. Less time wasted anxious scrutinising the iPhone - and only going on social media when Mole Graphics has something intriguing to tell its select, devoted and largely silent followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Mrs Mole reckons this new regime will be good for my blood pressure and she is probably right.
The one mantra I have written on a Post-It and stuck on my desk is a quote from an Austrian lawyer called Karl Gombrich: “Everyone is as clever as they are, minus how clever they think they are. This leaves a lot of people with a negative score.”