We may not want to admit it, but today’s branding is mostly a set and repeat. Create a logo, a guideline, a structure, and then ship it. Sound like a formula? That’s because, behind all the typography and logo lockups, it is. Simply put, the regular way of doing brand identity is not dynamic. And though it produces consistency, it ultimately constrains designers from enhancing the brand or envisioning something new down the line.
Rudy Manning, Chief Creative Officer of Pastilla, was invited to speak on this at the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Design Educators Typography Intensive (DETI). At the Google-sponsored event, he spoke to the problem of ‘set and repeat’ branding, and provided his solution for creating authentic and recognizable brands. In collaboration with Artcenter, where Rudy is currently a professor, he used student projects that showcase the elements of what he calls the Narrative Identity System, making the case that narrative is foundational to the future of branding.
Starting With Story
“A story or narrative has the ability to connect more intimately, allowing for a fluid application for development that diverts from the typical rigid mentality.”
Through each example, Rudy showcased the benefits of a narrative identity system, including its powerful application in a digital-focused, transmedia context. “Your branding isn’t just your logo. That’s just one part of your identity system.” he says, “You need to create breathing room for the story to be told as you apply that identity across various touchpoints and contexts, including changing cultures, audiences, technology.”
Between Two Worlds
As a design-driven leader with close to 25 years of experience, Rudy is uniquely positioned between the world of digital and print storytelling. From this position, he underscores the importance of using narrative as the focal point that links the two together and eliminates a plug-and-play mentality. This ultimately provides new language for framing brand systems. “By starting with the brand story, you create a creative pallet, or toolbox, for your application, instead of a rulebook. You make something that will inspire the next designer to improve the brand, rather than stifle their creativity.”
From rebranded movie theaters to reimagined travel sites, Rudy’s examples throughout the presentation take you through the principal impact of a strong and consistent narrative. Watch the full presentation to learn more about the future of brand applications through narrative storytelling.