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Things they don’t teach you about branding in school

Image: visual reference work for a new brand Sherpa House

While a student at Art Center I repeatedly took a class titled Identity Systems taught by veteran graphic designers. I had the class with three different professors, each with a slightly distinctive view on the problem being solved for the fictional client entity.

The upside of the approach taught, especially by Keith Knueven, was to think of visual identity for brands as a palette of graphic cues. These would not only include a primary logo and logotype, fonts and colors, but also many other relatable elements which would provide for a more flexible embedding of the brand in the world.

For the students, it was presented that brand design fulfilled the function that all entities need constant means of presenting a cohesive character in support of their product or service. What was not explored fully was the dynamic between brand design and the leadership responsibilities undertaken on behalf of the client entity.

Much of design is constant rebalancing between abstract concept and tangible execution. We have a vision, we then work backwards from what is feasible, and then revisit the concept and so on. In this way branding builds a bridge from the world […]

September 14th, 2016|Categories: Branding, Creative, Design|

Archetypes for Branding

The term ‘branding’ is a perpetual favorite for both designers and entrepreneurs. At a root level, people are very much driven to achieve a sense of identity which others respect, and to align with a known brand is a form of recognition. Even better is to craft a brand of one’s own.

In a world of ideas contending for our attention, a brand is essential a ‘designed idea’. When we undertake the process of developing our brand as an individual, or the brand of our business we are shaping and strengthening a core idea which permeates all activities of the business and upholds the ethos of the organization.

One single idea.

Well, not a single word, or even a single sentence, but a collection of concepts which concisely capture the character of the brand. This is because brands develop trust and operate in memory along the same lines as how we develop trust and respect for people in our lives. People have character, brands have character.

As Aristotle identified, the minimum framework for defining character must address the three levels of style, logic and ethics. For the formulation of a new brand, or the strengthening of an existing brand, it is useful to call […]

August 29th, 2016|Categories: Branding, Creative, Design|