Branding Requires a Chair

Identity design is like a poem, just as you must exercise restraint and do no tell the reader what it is that they want, you mustn’t knock your audience over the head. And like a poem, it should invite them in, and do only what it must to preserve their curiosity and interest. When you begin to light a fire by hand and a few embers emerge, all you must do is gently blow on it until it catches flame. To smother it with air is to extinguish it. Building a brand is no different.

A professor of mine once told me, “We’ll go almost anywhere with you in a poem if you present us with a chair to sit in.” There will always be the urge to conform to the obvious—to be painfully direct—but a computer company building their brand around the image of a computer is no different than “Roses are red, violets are blue, and now it is blatantly obvious how this will end too.” A brand, just like a poem, can deviate from the expected, so long as you give your audience a chair to sit in. What is that chair? That’s for you to figure out.