September 13, 2014

KDY14 Diaries: Day 02 – ‘What If’

By Anya Rangaswami

I’ve always wondered how much a brand’s logo or identity could actually influence how people saw a brand. I’ve always wondered how, without really understanding the product, without getting into the system, whether a change of identity really meant anything to consumers at all. The first few sessions of Designyatra challenged how I looked at brand identity- changing the focus from a logo, to a system.

Jonathan Ford started by talking about ‘making things unforgettable’. About designing experiences that people would remember, no matter how small. His work supported his views on changing the way the systems functioned; discovering new ways to help people engage with products and build experience. Simon Manchipp walked the talk, with his unbelievably entertaining presentation that focused on identifying the aspect of brands that would keep people interested. The job of a designer, he said, was to identify the aspect of the brand that would draw in people; the aspect of the brand people would relate to.
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And all of a sudden it all made sense! Yes, a brand’s logo mattered, but what mattered more was the system you created with it. A system that allowed for individual expression, a system that was flexible; a system that was more than a book of what not to do. A little bit of play, a holistic look at problems. And, just like that, a brand could go from being needy to being needed.
As the day drew to a close, it all started to fall into place. When Karsh Kale took the stage, with his project for Dharavi Rocks, my instinctive reaction, as a designer was to comment on the imperfect typography. And as the session progressed and I saw all that his project had achieved, the logo no longer mattered. What mattered was what had come of it. What mattered was the system.

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