Many producers are trying to implement brand values and brand identity into their product design. Therefore, Visual Brand Language is definitely a hot topic. However, very little producers succeed in defining their brand’s design language. Most producers only have verbal descriptions but no idea of their design language.
Several different design perspectives and brand perspectives can be observed. The majority of producers still see design as a short-term selling argument only. These producers often use signature designers* who they believe to match their brand identity and the current market trend.
The producers often outsource the actual visual translation of their values and identity. This means that their important projects are actually interpreted and translated by a ‘stranger’ (the outside designer). When producers are asked why they leave this process to the designer, most producers say they have no other option. The producers believe they can´t do the visual translation themselves because they don´t know how to do it.
Producers therefore often receive finished designs that do not meet their expectations. Most of these designs need to be redone. The producers claim that this inefficient process is caused by communication problems. The producers and the designers do not communicate in way that creates an understanding between them. Problems like these can be expected if the producers brief the designers only using verbal descriptions. Some producers even blame the designers by saying that the designers aren’t asking the right questions.
Sometimes producers do not state their wishes clearly because they are afraid of constraining the designer’s creative process by telling too much what they want. The producers think they need to keep their distance from the creative translation process. By acting this way the producers put themselves in the ‘dark’.
The above is actually quite strange, given that producers usually hate the fact of being left in the dark during the translation process. Although they think they cannot help in the visual translation process, they want to know where things are heading. Most of producers force themselves in the design process loop by monitoring every step the designer takes.
Producers usually find themselves being capable of judging whether the delivered design communicates their brand values and identity. This must mean that producers DO know what they want the designer to deliver, otherwise they could not tell a design is wrong?
Producers do not know how to translate their brand values and brand identity into a design language. They believe a designer has to do this job. However, they often feel a designer does not understand their brand. Therefore producers force themselves to be in control. In fact, they actually DO know what they want visually. They want to know if that is what the designer will deliver.
* A signature designer is a designer who has a unique style of his own. Signature designers design according to their own style and design language. Examples of well-known signature designers: Philippe Starck, Marc Newson, Jan des Bouvrie.