What did you learn about design during the ’90s? Six leading designers share their thoughts — http://t.co/sEhOm10Cpu
The phrase, ‘the logo is dead’ has been bandied around these past few years and, more recently, has become a point of contention, causing a raucous debate within the industry. What’s all the fuss about? What is the purpose and value of branding? How is it adjusting to an increasingly connected society, and where does it go from here? Or is it simply business as usual, and spare me the branding jargon?
Branding is changing, and it’s about time. It’s increasingly less about restyling a company, and more about re-engineering. It’s not just the ‘what’ but the ‘how’.
There has been a radical shift in the past decade in the way people interact with brands and consume information. The consumer of today has a voice, is having multiple brand conversations across multiple platforms, and their user-generated content is playing an increasingly significant role. All this means the consumer is wielding an unprecedented level of power. With this in mind, of course branding has to adapt and change. The playing field hasn’t necessarily changed, but the rules have.
Branding involves a plethora of activities, some of which involve identity design and some of which don’t. As it stands, the industry is fluent in delivering, for the most part, a visual manifestation of identity, a kit of parts of design principles that provides a company with a defined external expression: logo, colour palette, imagery style, layout principles and so on.
More and more these principles are having to flex significantly to keep up with today’s enhanced multi-communication channel platforms, and we’re also seeing that ‘tone of voice’ is playing an increasingly important role. How the brand speaks (and acts) is often more important than how it looks.
To get to the value of branding, you really have to look more broadly than just the visual. It’s about actions, behaviour and personality. The customer experience and the two-way dialogue that now exists between business and consumer have really taken precedence. The key is crafting every experience and interaction, so they add up to something worthwhile.
We work in a field of global impact, with the power to create change and make a better place. Graphic design has grown up, and is more relevant than ever. With a greater understanding of a client’s business, positive change is possible. Actual business transformation versus surface value.
There will always be barriers to real change. By dismantling uncertainty for our clients we can break the paradigm of over-cautiousness, and really push things forward. ‘New’ is different, it’s difficult to grasp and it’s uncomfortable. All too often, progressive branding programs that aren’t embedded in organisational strategy, or that don’t have buy-in at the highest level, struggle to eventuate as anything but lipstick on a gorilla.
Branding, now more than ever, is about owning the idea, putting it at the heart of the organisation, and enabling it to spread across all touch points and channels, no matter how much the media landscape changes. It’s not simply a copy-paste of graphic principles. It’s experiential. The logo isn’t dead, that’s not the point anymore… it’s irrelevant.
This article originally appeared as part of a D&AD debate – dandad.org.
From desktop magazine.
Illustration: Peter Borg – peter-borg.com.au