I had actually been looking forward to my lecture all week, knowing we would start discussing each of our particular chosen research subjects; as much as I really do hate having to talk in front of the group, and something I majorly need to work on, it was really useful to hear that my initial research topic was steering towards something that could work out and lead to some interesting research. I am not sure if this is still a confidence thing, however at the moment I still doubt my own ideas. I guess I do have a lot to build up on over the next two years.
I have discussed many times throughout my blog my initial field, which I am choosing to investigate; branding and identity through a particular area and this is something that I am still keen to learn more about. Over the summer, I admit with starting new jobs I had not given my subject much attention, but however I still developed my thoughts on this, and discovered things whilst working within a design studio, collaborating, freelance design and working in partnership.
Something I initially want to look into is the values of a brand. I am forever being asked if I enjoy designing logos… I mean, I must enjoy it if I am doing a Masters in “designing logos?” I am not just speaking on behalf of those not in the design industry either; I have in fact been asked this question by professional designers. To me, branding is something that is formed and grows, something that works and involves concise thinking. I want to look at particular audiences through social and cultural differences, as a means of engaging with my chosen audience in order to demonstrate and keep the viewers engaged in the complete process of a branding project. Of course; I have no idea how I am going to do this, but this has allowed me to start thinking more into the direction of my research.Another discussion I had with the group was about placing a logo on its own, and questioning what this defines. When doing this I will only be looking at the design, colour, typography, shape and composition and questioning its meaning in relation to what it actually represents as a stand-alone logo.
I do actually believe anyone can design a logo, yet this doesn’t necessary mean the design works. It could be poor design, or equally… a ‘nice vector’. There is many websites that offer fast and cheap logos, so I need to pull in my audience to allow them to recognise what a brand could potentially do.
A re-brand is not necessarily changing the logo…
The logo for Boots No7 beauty product range has remained unchanged apart from appearing larger and more confident on the packaging, however the idea behind the project was to modernise the aesthetic to appeal to new users whilst not alienating loyal fans of the brand, and at the same time introduce more coherence across sub-categories and help improve product navigation at the point of sale.
The project started in 2008, and the research not only steered elements of the structural packaging design, but also gave us an insight into the way women navigated beauty products in store and at home. They assigned colours to skin types, grouped products into families and ensured that variants such as ‘day’ and ‘night’ were easily distinguishable both in out of their cartons.
The No7 Men range has also received a new look with bright colours distinguishing between various product categories such as Daily Care or Shaving, and the product descriptions are set in uppercase lettering for a bolder, more masculine look.
The design studio also created a series of brand principles on which each of the 70 different brand packaging formats have been based and made a few changes: pewter replaces gold on various brand packs with a range of colours introduced to visually differentiate between products designed for different skin types and product categories.
I am also going to read more into audiences and briefly into social and cultural differences before the next session… so I have a fair bit of research to do, but it is all very exciting and I am now keen to start researching.