THE POWER OF IDENTITY AND BRANDING
The process of branding centers on the creation of a visual system that utilizes symbology, type, color, space, and iconography as a representation of a particular subject’s identity. Values, beliefs, desires, and intentions all inform the graphic narrative that the system is ultimately designed to evoke. Abstract concepts are conjured through distilled visual forms and these elements become points of connection and perception as the brand is received in the visual realm.
In branding, there is an opportunity for aspiration—a potential to align multiple facets and perspectives into a final idealized vision. There is also an opportunity for truth. Through the construction of a brand’s visual identity, history, mission, and experience can be liberated from past complications or struggles. The true realization of a subject can be manifested in it’s purest state, unencumbered by the trial and error that was required for it’s achievement.
Brands are ambassadors. They are often experienced as first impressions, preceding the actual subject they represent. The impressions they create are the first point in the construction of recognition on which all following relationships and perceptions are built. If a brand’s visual embodiment is encountered prior to an established judgment, it has the power to alter these impressions and recalibrate the impact of past associations.
The effects of branding are so powerful that it is often used as a catalyst to redefine an outdated approach or to manifest unrealized growth and potential. The mark acts as a perpetual beacon— the core objectives required for the desired transformation translated into an optical mantra.
There are three lenses through which to evaluate the effectiveness of a brand identity— sustainability, empathy, and meaning.
Sustainability: Do the brand elements uphold their required function across multiple platforms? Does the visual and conceptual integrity of the mark stand up in circumstances both ideal and compromised? Does the longevity of the aesthetic narrative of the brand align with the objectives of the project?
Empathy: Does the identity resonate with its desired audience? Does it possess a tone and character that aligns with its target demographic? Is the brand communicating a story that is accessible and relevant? Is it speaking to a distinct group or is it covering a broad community?
Meaning: Is the solution successful in communicating the concepts and intentions at the heart of the project? Does it exude the brand's tone and character? Is the audience able to receive the brand message in a way that is generative, meaningful, and ultimately transformative?
From collected data and group discussions, generate concise aims and objectives.
Establish consensus between working team, designers, and the greater community.
Translate aims and objectives into key visual concepts.
Review initial ideas with working team.
Create multiple design solutions.
Review options with working team.
Once final direction is chosen, create a modular identity system.