Our First Birthday!
December marks our studio’s first birthday. Having just finished a rebrand for Fair Trade Hong Kong amongst others, it is a great time to reflect on the year and our practice manifesto.
Branding, visual identity, logo design etc. are of the same species. In a process context, the act of branding is a very pure way to express design process; a design brief followed by a series of conversations with a client is the first step in our process. The act of translating these conversations and design brief into a visual mark is a great expression of design, we are not hindered by technology or equipment, we must rather consider and be framed by the brand and brand-customer’s context, history, story, meaning. The very act of branding is a pure translation.
A logo is the visual symbol. The practice of branding is a pure one. It is a considered, number of steps that turns the clients brief/ manifesto into a visual identifier (logo, logotype). This translation of context, history, and story into the visual mark is the process called branding. When I explain what branding is, it is the process of creating a visual identity. The client’s brief is the first stage, it gives us, the design studio, the context of the company/ individual/ service or product. Once we have worked up three clear, critical brand concepts we then run through a series of conversations and design critiques with the client before reaching the final execution of the identity. The process of client conversation and critique pulls out the client’s own manifesto and pulls it apart, leaving only the very critical manifesto in-essence. The identity, which initially came from the design brief including the client’s story, context, customer and industry position, is a direct representation of the critiqued manifesto.
Our projects do not share the same design style, we consider each project individual, a new and separate creation. However, the projects all share the same conception and birth, the same process of client brief/ interview, and stages of client critique and conversation and design revisions. We are a design practice focussed on visual identity. We are based in a city with hugely rich visual and graphical traditional languages. -In Hong Kong we are surrounded by changing fluxes of brand-landscape, physically, digitally, visually and audibly. We are constantly aware of visual inputs and remain humble to soak up these cultural visual and brand landscapes.
This year we have been fortunate to work on diverse identity projects, Fair Trade HK, a destination-branding project in the most local, traditional and beautiful area in Macau called Taipa Village, a dynamic identity for a global digital development firm, product brands, heritage fashion brands, brand guardianship for JP Morgan, two promotional projects with Swire Properties and Pacific Place not to mention our work creating identities for/ with start-up fashion, luxury jewellery, technology, dining experience identity projects. It is busy, exciting, and fast-paced. Just like Hong Kong. No one ever came to Hong Kong for a quiet life!
All our best for 2016, Adam.
About the author, Adam
Adam is the design director of BrandCraft. BrandCraft is a branding and design consultancy based in Hong Kong. We specialise in branding, visual identity, corporate identity and rebranding.
Adam is a branding consultant and has worked with clients in the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Tokyo, South Korea and China. He has had self-initiated art and design projects exhibited at various galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum of Art and Design and regularly writes about branding and design theory.
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