Warby Parker, New York City; Identity by The Bear Cave

The Bear Cove teamed up with Warby Parker as the creative force behind the brand’s 2010 launch, creating a pared-down, handsome identity.

Warby Parker, New York City; Identity by The Bear Cave

The blue and white color scheme becomes a branded motif.

Warby Parker, New York City; Identity by The Bear Cave

The Warby Parker offices.

Ghetto Film School, New York, New York; Identity by Attack

A nonprofit based in the South Bronx, Ghetto Film School teaches high school students to make their own narrative films. Attack developed a branding system based on the gaffer’s tape commonly used on film sets.

Ghetto Film School, New York, New York; Identity by Attack

A nonprofit based in the South Bronx, Ghetto Film School teaches high school students to make their own narrative films. Attack developed a branding system based on the gaffer’s tape commonly used on film sets.

Copenhagen Parts, Copenhagen Denmark; Identity by Goodmorning Technology

The Danish design studio launched the independent bicycle brand Copenhagen Parts in 2009, with the aim of attracting a large customer base while maintaining their credibility as a supplier to the underground bike community. Along with the identity, Goodmorning Technology custom-designed the Bike Porter, a handlebar with an integrated basket.

Copenhagen Parts, Copenhagen Denmark; Identity by Goodmorning Technology

The missing letters in the logo are a tribute to diehard bikers, who are always on the lookout for hard-to-find parts.

Copenhagen Parts, Copenhagen Denmark; Identity by Goodmorning Technology

This London practice prides itself on being the anti-dental clinic: calm, friendly, and peaceful. The identity, by Mind Design, supports that notion with a raking patterns inspired by Japanese Zen gardens.

D100 Dentistry; Identity by Mind Design, 2009

That theme continues throughout the office. Here, the hallways …

D100 Dentistry; Identity by Mind Design, 2009

… and here, the outlines around various pieces of furniture around the office.

D100 Dentistry; Identity by Mind Design, 2009

… and here, the outlines around various pieces of furniture around the office.

Henhouse, London; Identity by Andreas Neophytou

For Henhouse, a London-based post-production company specializing in luxury and fashion media, Andreas Neophytou designed an "HH" logo that "plays with the concept of optical illusion--a reference to the studio’s extensive skill base in the field of image manipulation and the corresponding ability to present the impossible as visual reality."

Henhouse, London; Identity by Andreas Neophytou

Neophytou used the "HH" as a grid to create a different logo for each discipline Henhouse covers: film, photography, CGI, and digital imagery.

Joe and Co., London; Identity by Hyperkit

For an unconventional barber shop in London’s Soho neighborhood, Hyperkit created a straightforward identity using unusual colors and pattern combinations.

Joe and Co., London; Identity by Hyperkit

For an unconventional barber shop in London’s Soho neighborhood, Hyperkit created a straightforward identity using unusual colors and pattern combinations.

MTLL Arquitectos, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico; Identity by Anagrama

Anagrama used the initials of the architecture firm’s founders, Miriam Torres and Luis Loya, as the basis for a minimalist brand mark, which conveys the duo’s commitment to simplicity and function.

MTLL Arquitectos, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico; Identity by Anagrama

The typography has delicate serifs, to communicate "security and reliability."

Co.Design

10 Inspiring Examples Of Small-Biz Branding

A new book from Gestalten catalogs the brightest models of innovative branding.

Branding campaigns don’t often make mainstream headlines, but when they do, they’re about the bigwig companies—Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike, to name a few. And we usually take notice only when brands go wildly and horribly astray—think Peter Arnell’s disastrous repackaging of Tropicana, or Gap’s unwelcome Helvetica logo. The real innovations in branding, however, are happening at small companies, which can experiment with daring and quirky concepts—without being beholden to executive boards, shareholders, or their own legacies. Some of the best examples are compiled in a new book titled Introducing: Visual Identities for Small Businesses from Gestalten.

What makes these campaigns so successful? A strong visual identity, sure, but also a deep understanding of how these businesses define themselves (and their potential customers). Because these outfits cater to a certain niche, they don’t have to appeal to everyone, which in turn, liberates them to take the risks that yield creative rewards.

Check out the above slide show, featuring identities for everything from a Zen-inspired dental practice to a bike shop specializing in hard-to-get parts. There’s no shortage of inspiration here.

Buy the book for $52 here.

Add New Comment

6 Comments

  • 2FUTURE

    I don't get it. Big or small, great branding is great branding. it doesn't just have to happen to big companies to make smaller ones look better.

    It's just good graphic design without the big name logo on it. Not a new concept.

  • Edward Tierney

    Given it is 9 hours since I posted by comment, I am left to assume that it has not been approved.  Please advise what was problematic.
     

  • Edward Tierney

    Bravo for recognizing that too much time is spent talking about the work of huge corporations as if we can, or should, follow their practices.

    Certainly negative news sells papers, so efforts gone haywire will always occupy headlines (albeit briefly).  I think from a balance perspective, you may have wanted to include the Wilf Olins Olympic logo in this list.

    Kudos also for noting that brand is more than visual, more than a campaign and comes from inside.  I would take you to task on this being the turf of niche companies.  Appealing to everyone is appealing to no one and is the surest way to sink a brand.  Large or small, companies should drive their brand on their core ideology.  This is what liberates them.

    To answer Freedom Jackson, branding (identity, look/feel, logo) is important as it helps you stand out.  But it is secondary to brand (purpose, values, mission) since it is brand that differentiate you from anyone else, large or small.  You could have an identity package cool enough to make this book, but if your brand's core ideology is faulty cool branding will never be enough.

    Here's some more info, start with Why Do I Need A Brand (apologies for the self serving link).
    http://blackdogstrategy.com/bl...

  • Freedom Jackson

    This is cool which is your favorite?  why do you think branding is so important for new businesses?