Flexing scale, marks and other consistent things that brands could be

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We’ve all been taught that consistency is branding is a key aspiration for the designer. It kind of goes without saying of course. There needs to be a system in place where certain elements need to play in a manner that makes sense. People also should also be able to expect certain values to hold through when they come into interaction with a brand. But wouldn’t it be more interesting if things were not exactly turned upside down in terms of the idea of consistency, but allowed to flex a bit?

When I look at a lot of marks that are made to live and die outside, there’s a lot of sticking to some sort of “brand guideline”. What’s quite amazing about Katsu is the variation of scale. The first image is on the bottom of a lamp post while the second image goes across two doors. I’ve seen it on trucks which in itself kind of funny now that I mention it. When it’s on a vehicle it’s moving around the city just like a UPS truck is by spreading it’s message. The broader point is that this unique skull mark is easily replicable by the artist no matter what the scale.

Another trick to test the visual effectiveness of a brand is to place a thumb on the logo. Can you still tell what brand it is? If yes, the surrounding environment is helping to shape the brand—if it isn’t that identifiable perhaps it’s not as good as it could be. The third image I shot is a primer version of the skull mark. It’s just one solid shape but it’s pretty easy to identify that it’s part of the same family.

On the complete other side of the spectrum of inconsistency as consistency that is inconsistent is peru ana ana peru. The words peru ana ana peru usually stay the same, how their expressed visually is different depending where you find it. The thing is, a person knows right away that it’s mark is part of the same family once again. I wouldn’t recommend this kind of visual strategy for a bank—but wouldn’t it be interesting and a bit more human if the marks a business made were more human and less mechanical?

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  • http://looceefir.wordpress.com kevin

    Because it's what I have in front of me right now, The Believer has great visual branding — http://bit.ly/t6gIA.

    It has a basic type-based logo, but everything else about its cover and design helps build up its visual identity. They can and do regularly change their colour palette, but they always restrict this to four colours, allowing variation within this constraint. The four Charles Burns portraits on the cover are another part of their brand, as is a central information bubble detailing selected contents.

    My head's a bit dead to think about anything that isn't right in front of me just now!