Co.Design

Watch A 2-Minute Primer On How To Design An Iconic Brand

Forget blowing $100,000 on d-school. Learn the principles of identity design in this brief animated video.

Iconic brands aren’t magic. Nor are they an ineffable something-or-other that materializes only in the hands of a singular design genius (though plenty of designers will tell you otherwise). Fact is, great branding can be achieved by following a few basic design principles. So here’s a cheat sheet, condensed into a 2-minute-42-second animation, by motion designer Erica Gorochow:

If you’ve already been to d-school, a lot of this stuff will sound like graphic design 101 (contrasts create tension, a typeface can act as a product’s voice, and so forth), though the animations offer nice visual explanations that are probably way more compelling than anything your boring prof slipped into a PowerPoint presentation. And if you haven’t? Watch closely. As one astute observer on Gorochow’s Vimeo page notes, you’ll be saving yourself a boatload on tuition.

[Hat tip to Likecool]

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25 Comments

  • Sam

    "Great branding can be achieved by following a few basic design principles"... the more I consider this statement, the more I am utterly staggered and angered by its ignorance. You have fundamentally misunderstood what brand is, how great brands are achieved and what part visual identity plays in this process. 
    The fact that you go on to show as little respect for the value of formal education of such a demanding and complex creative science as brand and visual design reinforces your ignorance. 
    This is lazy journalism, ill informed and beneath competent. Poor show Co.Design for publishing this - I would have expected better.

  • Georgia

    have to admit. 
    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  

    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design 
    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  
    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design   :| 

  • diana

    This is just a basic tutorial to good design. Designing an iconic brand has been said before, is much more than just visual design. 
    For the simple purpose of a tutorial on design, it is OK. Title is totally misguiding.

  • James Sawyer

    Brett, for one i don't think this video had the purpose of disregarding the design industry. I have no idea where you even got that from. Two they weren't English, and they didn't use any words "BIG WORDS" as you put it, to confuse the audience. You do realise that the 2 min animation his person has made isn't supposed to give a person every skill they need to become a designer. 

    I think the the animation was created as a fun, quick and informative way of showing the audience the principles of design. The article was written by a completely different person and the creator isn't intending for the video to educate someone to the level of a fully graduated design student, that would be preposterous. 

    Grow up and stop Bitching.

  • Brett Wert

    ...Oh my god...I don't even know where to begin...speechless  :-O

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

    This is ridiculas. It's like someone has some sort of negative agenda towards the design industry. You seem to be playing up to the same type of ignorant's that constantly purchases things from info-mercials. Hell, you even use the typical sales formulas of todays marketing strategies on television...Big sounding words from a soothing,yet pretentious english accent,delivered quickly enough that someone with borderline ADHD will become hypnotised and convinced that they are listening to someone who knows what they're talking about. ANYBODY can SOUND smart. Truth is,you don't even scratch the surface of what design is. What exactly is the point behind this presentation? Are you on a mission to alienate designers from future buisiness clients.The ones that are, likely, start-ups and want to save money. Those who,probably,are so blindly ambitious that they foregot they actually CAN'T do everything themselves. SHAME ON YOU! this thing is going to ruin the possibility of many peoples dreams. Are you these people who tune into three 30 min. episodes of This Old House, then rush to call a realtor? Please!! What you have done is put together a video of pretty little colors,moving,twisting,turning,and morphing into shapes. You've done ...almost...as well as what many Jr. High school kids could do with average quality of software on the market at the time you guy's produced this. Do you think so many people, in need of designers,are of the same mindset as a drooling infant reaching for something shiny? Fact is, most people are so misunderstanding of color, that they get confuse by the set up functions on thier televisions. You should start on a piece about that and call it a prequel to this thing. I bet if you were to walk down most streets, in any major metropolitan area of the english speaking world, you would do well to find two,maybe three, individuals out of ten, that can actually tell you what complimentary colors are. Everybody thinks it's just when they look pretty together.It's not as simple as looking at a swatch book at The Home Depot. There is SO much more to design,and how imagery influences the marketplace,than what you are claiming to be the necessary professional standards of a prolific branding icon. Obviously, I'm NOT that speechless after all. What is the motivation behind your little production here? Was it some sort of thesis project? If so, what are you graduating from or towards? I'm truely puzzled as to what your mission statement was at the begining of this thoroughly misguided project. What ever your goals, I hope you have at least made Yourselves proud...

  • phil

    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  
    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  
    Brand ≠ Logo ≠ Design  
    ....
    :(

  • Capicufilmarts

    I liked the video - and for the two minutes, we got a dose full of satisfying graphics and information.  I suggest a part 2 to discuss the world of media "icons."

  • BlainRempel

    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo
    Brand ≠ Logo

  • Andrew Chance

    Great Video and Excellent illustration of important Design points that make a brand stick in your head! Love it

  • Patrick

    A clever intro to design principles, but are the swipes at designers and professors really necessary?  Who does that leave?  The marketing people?
     

  • Patrick

    A clever intro to design principles, but are the wipes at designers and
    professors really necessary?  Who does that leave?  The marketing people?

  • Robert Hacala

    Great video, but perhaps it is mis-titled. It's not a how-to but a primer, and it only describes one aspect of the iconic brand—the fundamental design elements used to begin creating one.

  • Karl

    Clearly, brand building rests on consistency, the promise of quality, meaningful emotional connection, and these days, transparency.  Design elements and principles are but one toolbox in the workshop available to brand builders.  Understanding how the filaments of design work and weave together --- and how they can be pulled apart --- is critical for those who work in design, as well as those who do not.

  • Erica

    As some background, the video was commissioned to create design 101 awareness to in turn inspire those who would not otherwise use these terms to better communicate with design teams. I don't think anyone involved with the video would say there is a voilà solution to making a brand iconic -- rather these design basics are critical, well placed blocks used to construct that larger building.

  • Dan Rey

    This is nonsense. Surely they should be talking about creating an effective identity or Logo. This has nothing to do with the Brand.

  • Cameron

    People determine iconic brands through mass adoption, and brands must stay relevant to survive over generations. I wouldn't attach the 'iconic' label to very many brands, maybe a few dozen at most.

    This is a decent hyper-abbreviated beginning of an elevator pitch, but to be honest I don't think it will help someone who doesn't 'get it' to 'get it.'

    People still don't understand why Steve Jobs made Apple so successful, for Pete's sake. They think it was magical inexplicable marketing luck, rather than acknowledge Jonny Ive's role as a good designer.

  • Jazzman3

    Excellent!   Unlike the critics below, this IS a good intro in to branding, color, shapes and design.    In 2 minutes, there isn't enough time to go through the complexity of make an iconic brand....but then is that necessary, when in this 2 minute clip you can open the world of design to those who have never quite thought it through?     For the $100,000 trained d-school graduate, this is basic.  For the rest of us, this is elegant.  JW