Thursday, September 16, 2010

“D” Be Da Brand

The Democratic Party made an announcement today, the rollout of a new brand program, which includes a new logo. Now, people pay humongous amounts of money (five, even six figures) to "marketing design consultants" for what used to be called "corporate identity" programs, but which are now more commonly known as "brand management" programs. Most of the billable hours are for focus groups, and development of a marketing strategy and communications plan. A relatively small percentage of the hours are devoted to the creative side, the design of the brand itself, as well as the "branding standards," which includes the overall "look and feel" to accompany the brand itself.

Still, when the result is something relatively innocuous, it reflects poorly on the profession. In my experience (over thirty years as a graphic designer), what is seen here is often the result of finding a solution which offends the least number of decision-makers involved. On the other hand, when the president of Bank of America pointed to one of the proposals on the wall and said, "That one!" he did pretty well for himself.

IMAGE: Copyright 2010 by Chris Muir. Used without permission or shame.

In the early 1960s, the glory days of advertising, a wise sage once said, "There can be no great advertising without great clients." No amount of embellishment can make a successful product out of one that is found wanting. In the next two months, one such purveyor of a product may learn this the hard way, or maybe not. Meanwhile, Chris Good writes at, that the new mark bears a striking resemblance to that of a pizza place where he used to work.

Who knew?

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