Imagine you’re on the tube and sitting opposite is a happy couple whispering sweet nothings to each other, and you can’t help but stare and smile at this wonderful display of meaningful connection. That's me, except my head is tilted slightly, looking up at the ad space above said couple and smiling at the brilliant advert with a clever copy-hook. Or I’m scouring the posters that line the tunnels in the underground for those bold yet thoughtful custom typefaces. This is the kind of meaningful connection I am interested in; great branding that speaks to people on a human level. This might sound facetious, however, anyone who has studied design will know the hours that go into crafting a typeface filled with personality. Or the endless, terrible jokes you roll around your tongue for days, that finally lead you to the punch-line you’ve been searching for.
Unique creativity takes time and effort, and so like with everything in life, we look for shortcuts. Plugin’s that immediately correct our grammar, emojis that instantly express our feelings or dating apps that allow us to assess potential partners in a matter of seconds. These quick-fix solutions have, inevitably, spilled into the creative space. With the rising popularity of sites like canva, square-space, and fiver, it seems as though our industry is giving off the impression that design is created with the click of a finger (/mouse) and appears straight out of thin air.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that design is increasingly accessible to anyone who is interested. And I accept that sometimes these shortcuts do work. The aubergine emoji really does say it better than I ever could. However it has me thinking, should we be applying the same strategy to brand creation as we do to a casual one nightstand? If we swipe right enough times on a generic logo-generator, can we really land on the perfect expression of who our brand is and what it is trying to say?
After not that much thought I have landed on a decisive, NO. It might be cheaper and quicker, and you might be able to post-rationalize that the ‘curves in the logo reflect your friendly brand values’. However, a computer-generated shape will never be able to resonate with people, because there is nothing human about it. A brand with soul comes from the ideas of people who also have souls. Just as the human personality is shaped by time, lived experiences, and human connection, so is a brand’s identity. Therefore if you want to create unique and disruptive branding, don’t seek it in a library of online templates. Because no immediate ‘digital hack’ can match the unique, complex, and creative power of the human brain.
Georgia Watt is a creative strategist, brand designer, and content writer at Noise Studio. With an ever-expanding interest in all areas of the creative industry, she loves carefully crafting design and content to create the perfect expression of who a brand is and what they want to say. She has very curly hair and likes eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon. You can find her on Instagram (for fun) and LinkedIn (for business).
Noise Studio is a creative agency that specializes in branding and UX UI design for Fitness, Sports, and The Great Outdoors. You can follow us on Instagram, Dribbble, Behance, Linkedin, Medium, and Twitter. Like us today and we will love you forever.