Do Celebrities Count as Product Branding?

product brandingI’m pretty sure that the London Design Festival appropriated what I’ve been saying for years, “Design is Everywhere,” but I’m willing to concede that it might have been a simultaneous epiphany. And, they certainly lived up to their theme this year, so no hard feelings.

I was particularly intrigued by Monday’s Global Design Forum: Peter Saville in Conversation with Journalist Paul Morley. Saville rose to fame in the 80s as an art director/graphic artist creating album covers for musical talents such as Peter Gabriel, Wham! and New Order. More recently, he’s the consults as Creative Director for the City of Manchester in England among other things.  On Monday at the London Design Festival, according to DEZEEN magazine, Saville revealed he was working to create “a visual identity for musician Kanye West.”

“We’re looking at ways of writing ‘Kanye West’,” Saville told Dezeen after the talk, held at the V&A museum as part of the London Design Festival. “What does ‘Kanye’ and ‘Kanye West’ look like written down?”

The creative process of building a visual identity, essentially product branding, for a person must be extraordinary, and a remarkable challenge, requiring an inordinate amount of graphic design inspiration.  Not so long ago, I moderated a webinar led by Douglas Davis, where he spoke about embracing creative energy and how to piece ideas together into cohesive strategies.

Next week, Davis offers up a four week course: Creative Strategy and the Business of Design. Like his previous course, this program also assists in organizing great ideas from a group of brilliant creatives, but it goes beyond the role of creating and into the arena of marketing, designing around a call to action.

As with Saville and West, the end game is to create an identity that sells. (Think the Prince symbol identity that was not used to market his products).

Designers are required to take a seat at the table now and explain their creative strategies, and expected to deliver a creative brief with concepts and measurement examples.

The role of design is changing. Heck, everything is changing.

* image courtesy of shutterstock

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