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.