logos, brands, and identity systems

two recent(ish) episodes of obsessed with design have me thinking a lot about logos, brands, and identity. i wrote a bit ago about my thoughts on branding as the aesthetic manifestation of systems thinking. the obsessed with design interviews with paula scher and prescott perez-fox have deepened my thinking.

the following details from prescott perez-fox interview really stuck out to me. basically, he says that a logo on its own might be nice, but it’s more or less irrelevant if it’s not integrated across the brand of an identity.

heavy paraphrased thoughts from the prescott perez-fox episode: “a single logo might be pretty but without a system, it’s basically just clip art. without the identity system, we don’t know if the client used it or if it successfully carried meaning across the brand / identity. a much more impressive thing is a simple logo with amazing system application. for example, h&r block is just a green square but when you see it applied everywhere in ways that make sense, it’s awesome.”

paula scher’s interview landed this particular point for me: identities are living, breathing things. the strength of an identity isn’t in the mockups, it’s in the world.

heavy paraphrased thoughts from the paula scher episode: “identities can never be judged at the moment they’re created. identity systems need time to live in the public. it takes a period of time for the public to digest an identity and also for the identity to have time to correct itself.”

the deeper i get into brand-thinking, the more i’m beginning to value the work of identity. it’s a complicated, but it seems the most talented designers strike a balance between predefined elements and guidelines within which future artists and designers can create.

supa cool.

shoutout to josh miles and obsessed with design; such an awesome show.