To consider identity in design, is to consider the role of design in life itself. A product of function and use, design is in many ways a tangible reflection of time. Therefore the story of identity in design is also, a story of our times.
As graphic designers, we know how potent a picture can be. We thrive (and survive) on it. Visuals have long since been powerful vessels of community sentiment, be it ‘designed’ imagery, or simply moments captured in time.
And for all that, there’s something about reading #metoo in the deadpan system fonts of Facebook and Twitter that stops me in my tracks. In the same text space where people share their bathroom musings and culinary exploits and gym updates, millions of people have written #metoo. No sombre black & white graphic, no zeitgeisty filter for profile pictures— nothing.
At a meeting the other day, a client painted a verbal Euler diagram of two sets: what he knows he doesn’t know, and what he doesn’t know he doesn’t know. He spoke of the former set as a more fathomable space, given its finite nature.
I, however, got to thinking how both of these sets, or rather, the existence of both these sets is a singular source of comfort for me. Also, I felt it only fair to temper the Codesign blog, bursting as it is with musings drawn from formidable experience, with a healthy dose of zero insight from a fresh graduate.
In its most simplistic view a Luxury Brand is characterised by 3 things: premium craftsmanship, an equally premium price-point, and exclusive access. While the idea of premium craftsmanship has remained largely unaltered, notions of affordability and exclusive access have undergone significant change. For one, purchasing power has boomed—wallets are fatter, credit limits higher, as is the willingness to serve the heart’s desires. Secondly, new windows of access have enabled wider reach—the enthusiastic entry of luxury brands into emerging markets, online shopping avenues, and the prolific global traveler who is a happy shopper. Both these boundaries of luxury have evolved to become more agile, and luxury brands that continue to be relevant to our time have arrived at their unique balance of inclusive exclusivity.
In a family composed of poets, writers and actors, the only thing establishing me as the ‘creative’ one is that I am a communication designer by education. The rest must save their artistic sides for whenever they are not studying or practising medicine.
Thus it wasn’t surprising when my sister, exposed as she always is to terribly designed medical textbooks, did a double-take on sighting actual beauty in one of them. And, seeing how such an observation is of little use in her day-job, handed it over to me to professionally examine (read: gawk at uncomprehendingly.)
That is how I ended up holding the Atlas of Human Anatomy, or what Frank Netter called his ‘Sistine Chapel’. Through it, I was introduced to what became the subject of my presentation at Show & Tell #16… his intriguing life and game-changing art.
There is always much more than meets the eye at briefings for branding projects. And hence the need to put on your finest investigative hat, at these very first meetings. This analogy, it’s quite elementary really.