Visual language of brand trend report 2010

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Visual language of brand trend report 2010

  1. 1. 2009/2010 TRENDREPORT:THE VISUALLANGUAGE*OF BRAND.DAVID ANSETT + TRULY DEEPLY*BRANDIDENTITY,PACKAGING,ADVERTISING,RETAILSPACE,WEB,LIVERY,SIGNAGE
  2. 2. Truly Deeply 12009/2010 Trend Report;The Visual Language of Brand.Dedicated to all businesses whoactively leverage their brands andtheir brand visual language.© 2010 Truly Deeply.This work is licensed under aCreative Commons License. We’redelighted for you to share, blog orpublish extracts of our articles, onthe condition that Truly Deeply isproperly credited (and linked to) asthe source, and that you include ourURL: trulydeeply.com.au
  3. 3. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandA REPORT INMAJOR VISUALANGUAGETRENDS INBRAND IDENTTrends in the visual language of brand identity aredriven by many factors from the ‘me-too-ism’ofdesigners and their clients mimicking the visuallanguage of market leaders, to new and emergingtrends such as ‘sustainability’that draw a similarand en-mass visual response from designers allover the world
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  5. 5. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandHOWEVER THEBIG QUESTIONON TRENDS INBRAND VISUALLANGUAGE IS‘WHAT EXACTLYDO WE DO WITHTHEM?’When it comes to brands, the thingabout visual language is that it not onlycommunicates the essence of a brandand its (hopefully) unique propositiontomarket,butalsoprovidesitsaudiencewith cues relative to the other brandsin the marketplace. The more a brandis a leader in its market, the greatermeaning it’s visual language has andthe more influence it commands.The brand visual language of theTiffany’s blue - especially whencombined with their iconic ribbonand box - is a powerful identifier. Itclearly communicates a series ofwell understood cues such as quality,elegance, sophistication, femininity,design and premium to a broad crosssection of its markets in every countrythey do business.When the design of visual languageappears consistently and repeatedlyacross a number of brands we identifythat as a trend. When a trend isleveraged positively it offers brandsthe opportunity to communicate anexisting set of cues or meanings withina market to their advantage - whetherthat be a local business wishing tolook global, or a global businesswishing to look local. Yet, whenmisunderstood or misused, trendscan create inappropriate or confusingvisual messaging to the detriment ofthe brand.When the most popular trends becomewidely misused the original brand cuesbecome meaningless. The last decadesaw the popularity of the ‘all lowercaselogotype’. Using all lowercase letterswas seen as a way for brands to showtheir ‘friendly’, ‘down to earth’ and‘approachable’ side. As this aspect ofbrand personality became increasinglypopular,moreandmorebrandsadoptedthe trend for theirvisual language,culminating in there-branding of theNational AustraliaBank to ‘nab’.In terms of trendrelevance, when abig bank - any bigbank - adopts thevisual language of ‘friendly’, ‘down toearth’ and ‘approachable’ the cues ofthe trend have become compromised.
  6. 6. Truly Deeply 5OVER THE PAST12 MONTHSWE HAVECOLLECTEDMORE THANFIVE THOUSANDDIFFERENTBRANDEXPRESSIONSSPANNINGALMOST EVERYMAJOR INDUSTRYAND CATEGORYOF THE WESTERNWORLD.The brand expressions we trackedincluded existing, new and refinedbrand identities, product packaging,newspaper, magazine and billboardads. The scale and breadth of thesebrand expressions allowed us toidentify the major brand visuallanguage trends of a broad range ofmarket leaders for the last year.Whilst the majority of the examplespresented in this report are recent,many trends are not in themselvesnew. It is our interpretation of thegroundswell of take-up of a trendand the influence exerted within theirmarket by the brands involved, thatleads us to define the most compellingand influential trends.WhatisthevalueofaTrendReportintothe code of brand visual language?All brands project an image throughtheir visual language. It is up to eachbrand to make conscious and informeddecisions about exactly what they wishtheir visual language to communicaterelative to the competition andto their market’s perceptions. Anunderstanding and mastery of thetrends in brand visual language willallow business to ‘tune’ their brand’simage to ensure they’re consistentlycommunicating the right messages tothe right people.For every organisation seeking to bestmanage their brand identity, thesetrendsmustbepartoftheconsiderationprocess. For each brand there willbe advantages and disadvantagesto leveraging the cues and meaninginherent in these trends. The bigquestion you should be consideringis this; ‘does the trend provide anopportunity to leverage a set of visualcues to communicate the perfect brandmessages to your market, or has thetrend become so widely adopted asto compromise the uniqueness of thebrands who follow it?’
  7. 7. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandMAJOR TREND:GLOBALBLANDINGGlobal ‘Blanding’is the single greatest trend we’veseen in brand identity over the past two years, andin the last 12 months we’ve seen nothing to suggestthe trend is losing steam.
  8. 8. Truly Deeply 7Global ‘Blanding’ is the homogeniz-ation of brand visual language that wehave seen occurring in brand identitydesign. Like many trends, it wasstarted by re-branding of some of thelargestglobalbrandsincluding;Xerox,British Telecom, Barack Obama’sPresidential Campaign, AT&T, Apple,Barclaycard, HP & Mastercard,before being picked-up by the secondand third tiers of medium and smallenterprises. This visual language trendcuts across almost every conceivablecategory from telecommunicationsto airlines to petroleum, to sportingteams and fast food.Global ‘Blanding’ describes thetrading-in of unique and usuallymeaningful symbolism for a sharedand meaningless visual languageof spheres, colour blends andtransparencies, and three dimensionalshapes. Whilst the visual styleachieved by combining these elementsprovides a sense of ‘internationalor globalization’ often combinedwith a suggestion of ‘cutting-edgetechnology’, this is typically achievedat the expense of individuality, branddifferentiation and brand messaging.There are so many examples of brandmarksthatfitthiscategory,wecanshowyou only a small selection. This is notonly the strongest trend identified, butalso the one we believe to contain thegreatest risk of compromise to branddifferentiation and uniqueness. Due toover-use and mass misuse this trendhas the potential for inappropriate orconfusing visual messaging.GLOBALBLANDINGDESCRIBESTHE TRADING-IN OF UNIQUEAND USUALLYMEANINGFULSYMBOLISM FORA SHARED ANDMEANINGLESSVISUALLANGUAGE
  9. 9. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE AUTO BADGEHERITAGEThe last few years has seen almostevery auto manufacturer refine theirbrand mark to make it a shiny, three-dimensional representation of theirbadge. This trend has been enabledby the evolution of graphic renderingsoftware and print technologywhich now allows complex brandmark rendering such as these to bereproduced faithfully.As we’ve observed the trend of three-dimensionality sweep across thebrand identity in so-many categorieswe wonder whether these auto brandscan be held responsible for startingthe trend, or at least giving it themomentum of credibility.
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  11. 11. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE SPHERE OFINFLUENCEThe strongest of the global ‘blanding’sub-trends is the Sphere of Influence.With clear global symbolism, manybrands with international reach oraspirations have been attracted to asphere-based brand mark.This category includes the manybrands from a wide range of categoriesand geographical markets who haveevolved, refined or re-designed theirbrand identity to include a sphereelement. Most brands have adoptedthis trend to communicate a globalpositioning - which for many brandsis a legitimate play. Some brandshowever seem to have ‘gone alongfor the ride’ and through lack ofrelevance, or poor execution don’tfit in with the big boys. Brandsattracted to the gravitational pull ofthe Sphere of Influence span property,telecommunications, travel, finance,hardware, retail, software. petroleum,gaming, politics and fast food.
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  15. 15. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandEVERY MANAND HIS DOG’SBREAKFASTWhilst consciously or inadvertentlyfollowing a trend in brand visuallanguage does not on its owndiminish the effectiveness or valueof an organisation’s brand identity, atrend that groups together a mass ofunrelated businesses and markets,painting them with the same brushshould be carefully considered beforebeing adopted. A key requirementof an effective brand identity is toprovide the business with uniqueand own-able visual properties.The Global Blanding trend appliesa templated approach of threedimensional shape and graduatingcolour to every imaginable brandand market. Whilst providingbrand with a sense of currency,there can be no doubt this approachincreases the extent to which brandmarks look similar to each other.Some brand that follow this trenddo so whilst maintaining relevanceand a uniqueness in their visuallanguage relative to their market. TheWoolworths brand identity belowis a good example. However, otherbrands such as UPS, Packard Bell,Microsoft’s Silverlight, Kraft Foods,and the Corowa RSL Club seem intenton following the leader rather thanstriking-out in their own unique andrelevant direction.
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  19. 19. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandSHARING SHARDS Another sub-trend gaining popularityis the translucent shard. First spottedin the IT space, this style of visuallanguage has moved across the financeindustry and business consultingto place branding for the City ofMelbourne in Australia.
  20. 20. Truly Deeply 19THE NEW FACEOF WHICHSPORT?As sporting clubs around the worldclamor for the latest update to theirbrand’s visual language, many areturning to three dimensional versionsof their existing symbols and mascots.New sporting clubs and organisationsaren’t immune from the trend either.Here are three competitive sportingorganisations from Australia who’sbrand identities follow this trend.
  21. 21. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE FLYING GRID Key-lines have been used to createa three dimensional form in brandmarks for decades. Recent timeshas seen this form of rendering gainnew momentum with the additionof blended colour to accentuate theeffect. These examples span brandidentities from markets includinginsurance, travel, telecommunicationsand a place brand for a city in Victoria,Australia.
  22. 22. Truly Deeply 21SAME-SAME BUTDIFFERENTWas it Einstein who said “There isnothing that is a more certain signof insanity than to do the same thingover and over and expect the result tobe different.” It turns out Einstein’stheory of relativity seems also tohold for these three brand marksrepresenting businesses in the medicalequipment, electromechanical andnew media markets.
  23. 23. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE RIBBONOF LIFERibbons have long been a symbol oflife and celebration. The current trendof Global Blanding has seen the use ofthe ribbon element on brand identityincrease noticeably - sometimesto good effect (the celebration offresh food for Woolworths and theelegant flight of British Airways),and sometimes with little apparentrelevance (the stiff ribbon ‘V’ of VicRoads).
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  25. 25. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandMAJOR TREND:AUTH-ENTICITYWith markets flooded by abundant choiceof similar products, and with a GFC inducedreturn to more traditional values, consumers arebeing drawn towards brands they believe to betrustworthy and dependable.
  26. 26. Truly Deeply 25A key driver of brand equity hasalways been authenticity. The word“Authentic” derives from the Greekauthentikós, which means “original.”As consumers in most of the westernworld renew their affection for brandsthat provide a sense of safety andreliability, authenticity has become thenew brand value of choice. Attributessuch as genuine and true are the proofpoints for these brands.Authenticity isall about practising what you preach;being totally clear about who you are,what you stand for and how you mustbehave to demonstrate that.Over the past year we have seena prevalence of authentic cues inadvertising, packaging and brandidentity of many brands. Theseauthentic cues have come in the formof story-telling, product developmentand of course, visual language.Brands such as Levis and HarleyDavidson have long been regardedas brands steeped in authenticity. Thevisual language of their brand imagesare rich with cues of their heritage.Many brands are seeking to re-telltheir stories, digging back into theirpast to unearth their own authenticvisual language.“AUTHENTICITYIS THEBENCHMARKAGAINST WHICHALL BRANDS ARENOW JUDGED,”NOTES JOHNGRANT IN THENEW MARKETINGMANIFESTO.
  27. 27. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE VISUALLANGUAGE OFAUTHENTICITYBrands with tradition and craft at theirheart have long communicated to themarket with visual language rich inauthentic and traditional cues. The lasttwelve months have seen all mannerof brands rediscover an authenticbrand story and seek the relevantvisual language to communicate theirold/new proposition.Application of this visual language hasbeen applied liberally to packaging,retail, advertising and on-line forbrands in a range of markets includingtravel, food, beverage, health, andfashion.
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  33. 33. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE SIGNATURE A sub-set of the wider trend ofauthenticity the trend towards the useof a signature in brand visual languagehas regained popularity. Growingfrom a base of established signaturebrand marks, over the past twelvemonths we’ve seen an acceleration inthis trend, possibly as a response tothe GFC, which has seen consumersturn back to brands with trustworthyand traditional values.This visual language trend is wellsuitedtobrandswithclaimtoanartisanor craftsman proposition, brandswishing to take a boutique positioningrelative to their competition, or brandswishing to link their current values toa historical or founding figurehead.
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  35. 35. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandBACK TO THEFUTUREOne of the traits we often see inauthentic brands is a link to the past.The thing about the past is we oftenassociate it with a sense of trust, wefeel safe choosing the fabric softenerour grandma and our mother used onour woolly jumpers when we weregrowing-up.We’ve spotted a trend that embracesthe style, aesthetic and many of thevisual cues of the past. From NBAteam the 76ers, who recently ‘updated’their brand mark to look exactly liketheir old one, through to ice creambrand Good Humour who havecashed-in their heart symbol for anold ice cream truck, the examples aretoo numerous to count. We’re seeingthis trend across markets includingretail, travel, fashion, consumerelectronics, and motor cycles, butwith a particularly strong presence infood and beverage.
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  39. 39. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandGREENWASHING ‘Greenwashing’ and ‘Farmwashing’are two new terms coined to describethe recent trend of brands creating asense of environmental or farm-freshcredibility to products with no rightfulclaim to those credentials.The Greenwashing trend is part of alarger trend which has seen brandsovertly leveraging their pure, green,farm, fresh, and fair-trade credentials- rightfully or otherwise.
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  49. 49. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandMADE WITH LOVE Another variation on the ‘authentic’brand theme is one we’ve called;‘Made with Love.’ These are brandswho have consciously adopted thevisual language of hand-made, fromthe heart messaging.The ‘Made with Love’ trend has beenadoptedbybrandswishingtoassociatethemselves with qualities of care andtrust, community spirit, authenticartisan, and hand-made goodnessthrough the use of hand made or handdrawn elements, often combined withphotography or other visual cues ofhuman comfort.
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  59. 59. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandFAKING IT When it comes to authenticity,brands who are faking it stand agood chance of creating negativebrand associations. In an attempt tolook friendly, human and accessible,many brands have jumped onto thetrend of faking it with hand-writtenfonts. These are computer generatedtypefaces intended to look like humangenerated hand writing. The thingabout real hand writing is it’s writtenby hand, and no matter how cleveryour typeface, there’s absolutely nosubstitute for the real McCoy.This trend has spread like a visualcancer of lazy brand language acrossmany markets.
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  63. 63. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandOTHER TRENDS:AFFORDABLELUXURY, CULTPERSONALITYURBAN ATTITBeyond the major trends covered in the first twosections of the report there are many other smallertrends that remain equally as significant to themarkets where they play out.
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  65. 65. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandAFFORDABLELUXURYThe broader trend we are seeing ofconsumers toning-down their majorpurchases due to the weakeningeconomy while staying at-home tore-connect and enjoy the finer thingsin life is fueling the popularity ofaffordable luxury items. Theseluxuries are often a seen as a pamper,or reward that wont break the bank.Fewer people are going out and buyinga $3000 Plasma, preferring to investin a tub of gourmet ice cream, a nicebottle of wine and a Saturday nightwith the ‘missus’ in a five-star hotel.As a result, many brands, especiallyin retail, FMCG and hospitality, areseeking to repackage themselves asaffordable luxuries.
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  79. 79. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandCULT OFPERSONALITYAsbusinessesevolvethewaytheytaketheir brand to market, increasinglywe are seeing clearly defined brandpersonalities being leveraged asa powerful dimension to creatingdistinctive brand experiences.Brandpersonalityisusuallyassociatedwith brands projecting a happy orzany persona, but within any market,relative to competitive brands, yourpersona can be anything - stylishelegant, technically nerdy, quirkyand artistic, or obsessively driven - aslong as it has relevance, appeal andauthenticity to your market.Often when we think of brandswith a distinctive personality wepicture larger brands like Apple orCoke. But businesses of all sizesand in all markets can leverage thedifferentiating advantages and createbrand charisma with a strategicallyconsidered brand personality.As well as the right visual language,brand voice - the words the brandchooses when it speaks - is a strongdriver of brand personality.
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  95. 95. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandURBAN ATTITUDE In the last decade we’ve seen anincreased splintering of marketdemographics. One of the trendshas been the growth of the ‘urban’audience, typically made-up of peoplein the before kids and after kids (orthe no kids at all) stages of life. Thesetwenty / thirty / fifty year olds whochooses to live in inner urban aresare driven by a different values andmind-set to their contemporaries inthe suburbs.The brands that appeal to this marketare typically closer to the edge, new,different and less traditional. Theurban market is often where new ideasform and take hold before spreadingto the mass market.As a result, there’s great motivationfor many brands to claim a stake inthe inner urban, but this kind of credis not easy to claim. Where a brand’svisual language reflects an urbanstatus, authenticity resonates. Whena brand has no urban credentials, thevisual language will come-across astry-hard, alienating the very marketthey wish to connect with.The visual language of ‘UrbanAttitude’ has a edge that combineswhat’s happening on the streets, youthand fringe cultures.
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  107. 107. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandFurther significant trends in brand visuallanguage that don’t cluster together as partof greater trends.OTHER TRENDS:ANDMORE
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  109. 109. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandSHAPE SHIFTING The fracturing of markets has drivensignificant change in the way brandscommunicate.Asingle concept, abovethe line, one size fits all approach no-longer works. Social media and theweb, street media and new forms ofdirect have introduced a plethora ofnew channels through which brandscansplitandcustomisetheirmessages.As a result, brands need to be far moreflexible and comfortable in varyingtheir messaging, including their visuallanguage in-order to be relevant andto make emotional connections.One trend in brand visual language tobe driven by these changes is what wecall ‘shape-shifting’.Gone are the days of strictly policeduniversalconsistencyofbrandidentity.This new era of brand visual languagesees brands who are comfortable withvarying everything from packaging topoint of sale, from brand colours rightthrough to brand mark in order tomake sure their customers everywhereare noticing and remembering them.
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  115. 115. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE SECRET OFQR CODESThe QR code was created by Japanesecorporation Denso-Wave in 1994, butmore recently has switched into themainstream as brands have begun toadopt the technology.‘QR stands for ‘Quick Response’,as the codes allow information to be‘decoded’ at high speed.People with a camera phone andthe correct reader software can scanthe QR Code causing the phone’sbrowser to launch and redirect to theprogrammed URL.QR Codes can be used by brandsto provide a link to URLs, productinformation, competitions, etc. Thecodes are usually included on adsin magazines, outdoor advertising,bus ads, business cards, or any otherobject that may act as a catalyst forcustomers to seek information aboutthe brand.QR technology provides thepotential for a range of new brandinteractions, especially aroundconsumer retail experiences.
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  119. 119. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandOTHER TRENDS:TRENDS INTYPEWhether it’s logotype, headline font, or bodycopy, type has always played a lead role inthe visual language of brands. These are thekey trends we’ve seen playing-out in brandtype design.
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  121. 121. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTO SERIF OR NOTTO SERIF?As the vast majority of brands striveto remain up-to-date, contemporarysan serif fonts continue to be the mostpopular. Of the thousands of brandidentities we researched, more than80% were designed with san seriffonts. Whilst serif fonts are typicallyassociated with more traditionalbrands, this heavy bias creates uniqueopportunities for brand prepared tobuck the trend.Without exception, every market fromfinance to food is dominated by brandvisual language designed with sanserif fonts.
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  123. 123. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandWHATEVER THECASEThe trend of all lower-case type forbrand marks has been around for morethan a decade. To begin it was thedomain of small, boutique, friendlybrands, but as the trend gainedmomentum, brands of all shapes andsizes sought to adopt the style in orderto connect themselves with some ofthose values they aspired-to.The last couple of years has seen moremainstream brands adopt this trend.As many as 40% of the brand markswe researched were designed with alllowercase logotype. At the same time,forward thinking brands have beenreverting back to a traditional capitaland lower-case format. Confused?We’re not surprised.
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  125. 125. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandTHE HERO TYPE There have always been brands whobuild their identity around type. Thetrend of ‘logotype’ which is a wordmark without an accompanying visualsymbol is not a new one.However, the sheer number of brandswho continue to build their visuallanguage from a typographical startingpoint is significant enough that itrequires inclusion in this report.This style of brand visual language iswell suited to brands who have alot tosay, and often adopted by brands whowish to tell their brand story throughpackaging or advertising.Customized type, hand-crafted type,three-dimensional type, type createdfrom soft drink - we’ve collecteda range of some of the best recentexamples of brand utilizing this styleof visual language.
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  141. 141. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandOTHER TRENDS:BRANDCOLOURTRENDSColour continues to play an important role inthe visual communication of social and culturalmessaging. Since the beginning of brand identity,designers have leveraged the meanings of colour tocreate brand messages.
  142. 142. Truly Deeply 141In many western cultures there isa broad understanding that certainshades of green represent ‘fresh’ and‘environmentally sustainable’, whilstnavy blue represents ‘conservative’and ‘traditional’- pink is for girls,blue is for boys, black is expensive,yet yellow and black means‘discount’ - the list goes on-and-on.These are examples of social andcultural colour associations.However, the additional - and oftenconfusing - dimension to the use ofcolour is fashion. As colours movethrough fashionable phases, theirpopularity encourages brands toadopt them for reasons other thantheir established meanings, oftencreating mixed messages.THE USE OFCOLOUR IS SOWIDE-SPREADTHERE ARE FEWIF ANY BROADTRENDS. HEREARE SOME OFTHE INTERESTINGTHINGS WE SEEHAPPENING INTHE WORLD OFBRAND COLOUR.
  143. 143. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandWHO’S THEBRIGHT SPARK?Atrendthatwe’veseenbuildingforthelast several years is the use of a brightcolour palette by brands wishing toposition themselves as vibrant, freshand friendly in their marketplace.This trend appears across virtuallyall markets from finance to food, andfrom travel to telecommunications.As the trend spreads, brands areturning towards brighter and evenmore vibrant colour tones in order tostand out. The thing about very vibrantcolour palettes is that fewer brandscan stake a legitimate claim to them.Only brands with a genuine freshnessand energy to them, not just relative totheir market, but relative to all otherbrands can wrap themselves in theseextremely vibrant colours and remainrelevant and believable.
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  157. 157. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandI SEE RED Whilst the world of colour in branddesign is far too complex to makesweeping statements about a trendtowards one colour or another,there’s no doubt we’re seeing adisproportionate number of brandsfeaturing red and orange as theirprimary colour.For some time now leading brandshave understood the value of ‘owning’a colour in their marketplace.That-is being the brand customersassociate with a certain colour intheir advertising, store presentationor packaging. As we’ll illustrate here,choosing a brand colour (especiallya more popular colour like red) andfeaturing it prominently in yourbrand communications alone will notprovide you differentiation. Often,unless you’re careful, it’ll provide forthe very opposite
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  165. 165. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandA BLEND OFCOLOURThe search by brands for individualityhas coincided with the improvementin printing and production techniques.These two influences have created anew wave of brand design we call the‘Colour Blend’.Advances in production capabilitieshave created an opportunity for brandsto have complex blends of colourin their identity system reproducedfaithfully and cost effectively acrossprint, signage, packaging, web, evenuniform embroidery.The ability to blend different coloursor tones of the same colour adds anew level of sophistication, eleganceand softness to the visual language ofbrand design.The world has very few flat colours,even colours that are printed flatappear to graduate from dark to light(even if only slightly) due the anglesof light and perspective. There’ssomething appealing to the eye aboutthe application of blended colours,perhaps because of the way theyreflect the natural world as we see it.
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  171. 171. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandOTHER TRENDS:THE FINALWORDAs we researched this report a couple of quirksin the brand continuum caught our eye...
  172. 172. Truly Deeply 171DEATH OF THESWISHThe ‘Swish’ is quite possibly the mostnoxious brand visual language trendof the last twenty years.Inspired by the success of the Nike‘swoosh’ and given momentum bythe visual attributes of technology andmomentum, the ‘swish’ spread like avirus for more than a decade.Brands from almost every marketin every corner of the globe becameinfected, trading relevance andindividuality for the glittering alluresof the ‘swish’.Finally after far too long this trendseems to have lost its steam. If yourbrand still has a swish for a brand-mark, it’s long overdue for an update.
  173. 173. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of BrandINSINCEREFLATTERYAs brands continue to go global,some businesses in emerging marketsare quick to understand the equitythat resides within the brand identityof market leaders.As a result, ‘branderfeit’ stores arepopping-up throughout the newereconomies. Here are some examplesof these misplaced gestures of flattery- amusing unless the brand they’releveraging happens to be yours.
  174. 174. Truly Deeply 173THE 10QUESTIONSYOU SHOULDBE ASKINGYOURSELFABOUT YOURBRAND’S VISUALLANGUAGE:01. Which visual language trends carry thegreatest relevance for you market andhow are you leveraging them?02. Does your brand identity consciously orunconsciously follow any of these trends?and if-so, is there a good reason for that?03. Have you consciously consideredthe messages your brand identity iscommunicating?04. Have you compared your brand identity tothose of your competitors and the leadersin your market?05. Does your brand have a distinctive voicewhen it speaks?06. What unique brand identity propertiesdoes your brand you own in your market?07. Where does the strongest authenticityreside for your brand and how is yourvisual language reflecting it?08. What unique story does your brand telland what visual cues do you have whichassist with that story telling?09. Is your brand identity being consistentlyleveraged across every one of yourcustomer touch points?10. If your brand’s visual language needsenhancement, do you have a brand designspecialist capable of assisting you?
  175. 175. 2009/2010 Trend Report: The Visual language of Brand2009/2010 Trend Report;The Visual Language of Brand.© 2010 Truly Deeply.This work is licensed under a CreativeCommons License. We’re delighted foryou to share, blog or publish extractsof our articles, on the condition thatTruly Deeply is properly credited (andlinked to) as the source, and that youinclude our URL: trulydeeply.com.auTruly Deeply18 Market StreetSouth MelbourneVictoria 3205Australia+61396930000david@trulydeeply.com.auhttp://www.trulydeeply.com.au

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