Dev-XP-Session on Art Direction and Brand Identity

Chat session to discuss the role of art direction in defining brand identity and how it matters in how we interact as brands.

Damilola Marcus

21.03.18

Hello Everyone,

Today, we have a session with the awesome Damilola from Da Design Studios.

We will be discussing the role of art direction in defining brand identity and how it matters in how we interact as brands.

Welcome Dami, thanks for joining us here today.

Lets get down to business 😃

First question from: Afeez @ajay

As a developer is it important to understand how art direction and how does it affect design ?

Okay, so Art Direction transforms a visual encounter into a visual experience. Kinda like how candles can transform a plain meal into a romantic dinner. Art direction is intent. e.g How does this convey the mood of the brand? Do the colours fit the brand and are they appropriate? Are we on theme? What exactly is the theme? Does the theme evoke the response we desire? How balanced should this composition be? Does it feel like the message?

On the other hand, Design is the technical execution; Does this font have enough weights to be used in this context? Do the colours match? Does the layout make the text appear too long for such a short read? Does the typographic hierarchy work? Is the composition balanced? Is the photo in focus? Is there enough space for the logo to breathe and does it follow the Corporate guidelines for the brand, CMYK or RGB? Are the margins even? Does it look good and mature?… You get the vibe. I'll give you an example: When you do a quick google search for Happy Birthday. You'll get back a lot of well art directed images. The glitters, the ribbons....etc. There's the right vibe of celebration and happiness. What we however cringe at is the design. They are poorly designed but well art directed. When we take this approach to User Experience, we see that there are a lot of well designed sites *graphically, but they don't evocate any emotions or let's say, the right emotions.

Question from: Collins @ichuckee

How is Art direction different from Design? Any possible examples you can share?

Art direction is intent. e.g How does this convey the mood of the brand? Do the colours fit the brand and are they appropriate? Are we on theme? What exactly is the theme? Does the theme evoke the response we desire? How balanced should this composition be? Does it feel like the message?

On the other hand, Design is the technical execution; Does this font have enough weights to be used in this context? Do the colours match? Does the layout make the text appear too long for such a short read? Does the typographic hierarchy work? Is the composition balanced? Is the photo in focus? Is there enough space for the logo to breathe and does it follow the Corporate guidelines for the brand, CMYK or RGB? Are the margins even? Does it look good and mature?… You get the vibe.

Question from: Fari @fari

What does Brand Identity entail and how can one determine if brand identity is done properly?

Thank you for your question. Brand identity is the face and personality of a brand. So, It's divided into various aspects. Brand Message and Conceptualization, Brand Naming, Logo and Visual Identity Design, Tone of Voice & Copy Writing and finally, Expressions. Website design, Signage design, interior design all fall under core expressions. When it's done properly, it just works. You explain less. The logo, colours, copy, everything speaks for the brand. Most importantly, your audience relate.

Question from: Zira @zirajauina

How does one ensure that brand identity helps to project the core essence of one's product or service?

By being as honest as possible. By resolving. There has to be a honest concise brand concept. Everything, I mean everything has to be just an enunciation of that concept. When you think Mercedes, you think prestige. Everything, from how the staff and stakeholders speak, to the product design, to the logo... resonates prestige. This core concept statement has to be a summary of the brand's intent and goals as well as the intended market position. It's like having a foundation for everything. When you have resolved and resolved to arrive at an adequate brand concept, it becomes tremendously easier to design, express and project.

Question from: Afeez @ajay

Have u ever or intend to explore the intersections of code, design and theory in the future — focusing especially on artistic intervention in tech and what do you think about this intersection especially in Africa.

Hmmmm. You want to finish me with this your question. lol! Okay, Let's see. I am particularly interested in Brand Conscious UI Design when I think futuristically. It's like when everyone is shouting, the clearest most concise message will be heard even in a whisper. I think that this is the future of Web Design, particularly for brands. So outside of recognising and solving for immediate and even future pain points, approaching web design and product design from a point were even the most mundane clicks become a memorable brand experience should be the approach. I think the ability to view design outside of basic servce functionality and approach it in a way one will approach a meeting in person, expressive, honest, idiosyncratic but without jeopardising function is really the future.

I don't want a future of generically designed products. I want a well art directed future. The better African brands can express themselves, the more believable they become to Africans and the rest of the world. This is the key to brands that last. Africa needs those. Design effortlessly offers this.

Hi guys, we are gradually coming to the end of the session.

We are grateful to Damilola for taking out time to be part of us today!

Thanks everyone for a wonderful session!! Do have a wonderful day! 😃

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