The aspect of my job I get the most pleasure and enjoyment from is when I get to work on brand, well to be specific, brand identity that is. The balance of relative creative freedom, backed by a strong considered approach, really gets my creative juices flowing and I get a real sense of ownership and satisfaction building a company’s visual presence from scratch.
Obviously building a strong brand is about more than how it looks, from their brand strategy to position within the market place. However, a no one can deny that a brand’s visual assets plays a big part in how their audience connects with them.
More than just a logo
With this in mind, traditional branding, with systems anchored in visual mediums and static logo design, isn’t always enough these days. The landscape of channels in which brands can communicate has transformed. With the advances in technology the opportunity to enrich brand identities with movement, dimensions and function is becoming more the norm, expressing far more than has traditionally been possible.
The role of a designer is continuously changing, now more than ever. Designers are expected to be using technology to bring brands to life, from movement and interactive touchscreens to virtual and augmented reality. I won’t lie, coming from a solely graphic design background this is quite a daunting prospect. However, it also gives us designers a great chance to continuously experiment with different design mediums, ultimately making it more interesting.
New technologies are becoming vitally important to design agencies work, including VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), mixed reality and AI (artificial intelligence).
Brands now have intelligent identities which reach all the senses and stimulate new kinds of conversation. Over the past few years, we have all been communicating with brands on a much deeper level that goes far beyond words and pictures. For example, Mastercard has a new slick sonic brand identity. This is a melody that will play wherever the Mastercard brand appears, whether that is in advertising, sponsorship or when customers make a transaction.
Transitioning from a purely static logo into a sound logo is a smart idea, especially where there is no visual real estate on platforms such as on voice assistants and voice search devices.
In any industry where technology plays a vital role, upskilling is important. Design is evolving, and there is a need to adapt across the digital experience and maintain relevance, which is why it’s so important for designers to keep up with these changes. A great way is by continued professional development.
I’m very lucky that here at The Pull Agency we are encouraged and supported to grow and develop as designers, we’re currently expanding our skill set here into animation and video and I’m currently having great fun diving into Adobe After Effects as part of this exploration. However, the best way is just being aware, looking and learning keeping a close eye on developments and how these could align with the needs of a particular brand.
It’s impossible to know everything about your medium. However, as a designer it’s encouraging to remember that the creativity and storytelling will always be at the core of successful projects.
Being a designer is about finding the right tool to help tell that narrative in the way which will have the most cut through, whether that be 3D stills, animations, photography, sound design or motion graphics; or all of them.
Clients and designers alike should be thinking about how they can use tech and interactive features to enhance the experience for users and in doing so boost the brands engagement and profile. With the combination of strong creative ideas driven by a clear brand purpose and the power, new technologies just take branding to another level. So, there is nothing to fear, just lots to embrace.
Posted 1 March 2019 by James Smith