Of all the many areas of graphic design that I get to think and write about, my favorite is branding. It’s design, it’s art, it’s business, it’s strategy, it’s psychology, it’s pop culture.
That’s why I am enjoying a new — and fast expanding — digital documentary series called On Branding. The series is dedicated to introducing audiences to authentic brands that live to connect with their consumers. Each episode involves brand creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and experts talking branding. Brands and experts explored run the gamut from Fortune 500 companies to organic, homegrown successes.
Free Arts NYC, a non-profit provider of educational arts and mentoring programs to underserved kids launched a new visual brand identity and logo, created through The A to Z Project, a year-long collaboration of diverse leading artists, illustrators and designers committed to the spirit and belief that art can be transformational in children’s lives.
The rebrand of EDP by Sagmeister & Walsh earned top honors at Justified: AIGA Design Competition. The competition judges the “effectiveness” of design and its relationship to the client’s specific needs. The famous design team created a modular identity that is transparent and customizable.
Preserving history. Creating stories.
Down by the Brooklyn Bridge is the oldest waterfront neighborhood in New York City — the historic seaport district. Since the early days of New York, the district’s vibrant streets, restaurants and bars have been places for stories you won’t believe and stories yet to come.
Then October 2012 happened. The district was devastated by superstorm Sandy and many local businesses lost everything. Everything except their passion for the old neighborhood. They stood their ground, and a year later most are ready to reopen better and stronger than before.
In April 2013, MBLM joined a small business alliance to help spearhead the district’s revival. Over two days, the agency’s team and merchants worked together to find ways to put the district back on the map. But they quickly realized it was about more than that. The 12-block district was at risk of losing not only its vitality and commerce, but its identity as well. The image of an authentic and thriving NYC district had been replaced by pictures of devastation and hopelessness. So the team defined their goal: brand to preserve. A rallying cry to retain the district’s character as much as bring people back.