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Design Observer: Logorama


Without brands there are no identities and there is no world.

Brands are not just an inescapable aspect of commerce, they are an inescapable aspect of existence. To suggest that brands pervade the world intrusively is to misunderstand how brands relate to people. It is not in the best interests of a brand to assert itself without an objective relevant to the context at hand.

A brand represents the sum total of an identity experience, no matter what the type, scale or complexity of the identity. Some brands are commercial; commercial brands deal in more immediate value and so they tend to trade in direct attention in highly articulated media. This also makes them easy targets for naive skeptics.

If a brand is relevant it's marks will act in such a way as to allow people to intervene in the chosen environment more effectively. Brands that are in touch with their audiences understand that superficial self-promotion is counter-productive. Brand awareness without an associated capacity to intervene serves nothing.

Not only will the actual brandmarks date as the brands featured in Logorama evolve but armed with a few logo-busting insights and a decent grasp of the significance of the role of brands the appeal of the film is destined to be short-lived. There is a significant difference in meaning between the presentation of an abstract logo and engaging the primary mark of a purposeful brand.

Meaningful graphic design is always subject to brand identity. The measure of graphic design's validity lies in it's capacity to enable intervention. It is a gross and widely held misconception that graphic design is responsible for creating desire. Graphic design can only assist in recognising a brand but it is the brand's capacity for intervention that creates desire. Assisting in brand recognition is not the same as creating desire.

Logorama is more about an entertaining relationship of icons, tags and signifiers in an artificially constructed world than it is about brands. There are many media-savvy witticisms in the film to appreciate but it is not an opportunity to build a credible case against marketing brands.

Brands are not an enemy to be guarded against, brands enable people to make sense of the world through meaningful interventions.


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