Branding is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
Every institution in the world that considers itself a brand—from corporations to nonprofits to sports teams—relies on its identity design to represent its character to the public in a unique and recognizable way. The visual representation of a brand is one of the most fundamental projects a designer can work on.
But how can you qualify excellence in identity design? Aesthetic appeal? Recognizability? Ubiquity? Hard to say. Some of the most recognizable identity design examples in the world may not be the most appealing, artistically speaking. By the same token, some of the most beautiful identities go virtually unnoticed outside of a small community.