Thursday, April 1, 2010

T4 Reading Response | "Designing Brand Identity"

Browsing through the book I picked up on many ideas that I may not have actually considered for an identity before. There were also some ideas that are known but took note of to consider for our conference identity, and there were other ideas throughout the branding process that we already implement in our design. The chronology of the book followed the development and implementation of a brand and the different elements and events that are involved.

Ultimately the book discusses how the brand is basically driven by the target audience and the idea of recognizable; the brain sees shapes first hence the strong presence of icons and symbols in identity work. This is highly relevant is this day and age as brands have established themselves over the decades; such as Nike, Texaco, Starbucks, McDonald's, Apple, etc. These brands are successful because the bring value to the symbol; its quality, name, character, etc. One that I saw particularly interesting was the Tazo Tea Company and how their logotype is comprised of symbols. I find this very appealing as it adds character much like other brands but it also pushes the shape idea; its not a shape but its not basic typography either. This specific identity speaks to the idea in the book of the brand creating a 'desired perception'. Some visual inspiration came fourth while browsing as well...such as defining a brand mark with smaller shapes that make a whole (Unitel). The same idea is present in Wolff Olins design for Tate with the blur effect and pushing legibility to produce a memorable brand.

Along the same lines the book also mentioned that the name must function as a total message that is 'meaningful, memorable, future-oriented, protectable, positive, and visual'. Without these values brands would simply not exist, it seems to me like these characteristics create its entire purpose. In the same respect taglines can utilize the same effect and support the main message of the brand in a 'short and differentiated' manner being 'imperative, descriptive, superlative, provocative, and specific'.

Some other interesting observations were the impact a brand symbol has when it breaks containment, it creates more interaction with its audience by allowing them to complete the form. Also, the idea of testing the effectiveness of a color strategy was quite intersting and proves to be valid as color connotation can be just as important as the brand itself.

In relation to our type conference project, some things I took from the book were the ideas of the actual form a brand mark can take regarding its makeup, as well as, the necessity of a strong name and supporting tag line. I also took some good inspiration by browsing through and the ideas are flowing...

I found this brand mark (Kubota by Pentagram) particularly interesting pertaining to the theme of our conference, although it is not near as extreme as I see our identity going, it is an intriguing system that utilizes the shape of a square in a subtractive manner.

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