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Is Brand design really important?

I have been reading over hundreds of threads over the last couple of weeks discovering the reality of a brand audit. What I want to provoke your thought into (inspired by a blog) is a posh brand resulting in thousands of dollars in designer costs really worth it!?!?!

Some of the worlds biggest companies there brand sucks and look at there business? EG American Express, Master Card, PC World, eBay and hundreds more.... So if a brand is 'Essential' these companies seem to have it sussed?

Im interested to see folks points but personally I think im in favor of a simple, clean basic does what it says on the tin logo.


Staff member
Brand might be just a logo - colours or positioning or the general look and feel.

You walk into a PC world you know you're in a pc world - because of their brand.
That was absolutely my point they have a brand guideline of colours, and a established logo both are awful but effective, there not tarty and don't look all that good, but they work eh ?

Paul Murray

Staff member
This is a bit of a tangent, but it's sort of related to brand guidelines.

In Old Trafford, famously the home of Manchester United, there's a whole parade of shops, and for years they've all been United themed i.e. red, white and yellow. Now, smack-bang in the middle of these shops, is a branch of Subway. It sticks out like a sore thumb with it's huge green sign.

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If they changed their sign to a red background, it would fit in perfectly with the area, and could possibly look good for their PR (unless rival clubs start trashing up other branches because their fans are brainless). I think this every day, it kind of ruins the appeal of the all-red street.

But alas, the brand guidelines probably won't allow such a thing because they are hard and fast rules, not guidelines. Personally I always think branding should be designed in such a way that it can it can expand and adapt to situations. Any designer who's had to struggle with ugly, contrasting logos on marketing material will probably back me up on this.

Logos should work in a single colour, and I don't think that colour needs to always be white, black or the 'brand colour'.


Staff member
That was absolutely my point they have a brand guideline of colours, and a established logo both are awful but effective, there not tarty and don't look all that good, but they work eh ?
Some brands are designed to look cheap, to appeal to the cheaper market. Look at ryanair dot ie - it looks cheap because they're selling cheap flights, it appeals to their market of customers. Then compare to some luxury online airlines to see the difference.

The likes of PC World are trying to attract the average joe soap into their shop - compared to an Apple Store, they're target audience, and forgive the upcoming phrases, young, hipsters, modern, fresh etc. is their target audience, their products are high end and their shops are high end and they attract a different crowd.

It's something to think about - some people are trying to create a brand that sticks out like a sore thumb, so it's noticed.

For example, for a book launch they wanted it to stand out, it was all about road safety. All the other books in the book shops I visited were very plain.

I did my cover in reflective florescent, like a high-vis jacket, bright orange. When you walked into the bookshop you saw all the other boring books and then a wall of reflective orange. It was very eye catching and the book sold out.

Sometimes brands are bad by design.
When you say 'brand' what exactly are you referring to, the company as a whole and all the brand elements and touchpoints, or just the logo? Cos i think your mixing up the two.