Branding and Design
Commercial and Hospitality industries requires differentiation in the relationship between branding and design in order to remain prosperous and relevant
There is a unique synergy between branding and design. AB design studio has worked with companies, assisting in the creation of brand standard guidelines and to execute existing branding strategies. From CorePower Yoga, Sonos, Eureka! Restaurants to Ramada, Good Design is Good Business. Employing a business-to-business strategy as an approach to commercial and tenant improvement projects has become increasingly important for companies to create a built environment that reflects brand identity and business policy programs. From user functionality to company vision, strategic design explores, defines and creates architecture and interiors that reflect and inform identity, increase productivity, performance and company morale.
As the design unfolds, the interiors, image and branding of the company become seamlessly integrated. The vision for the company pervades every aspect from the break room to the business card. The architecture becomes the catalyst for inventing and redefining the image of the company allowing for other aspects of the company to emerge within a new context. Graphic design from business cards, letterhead and websites become infused with elements from the architecture and creates cohesiveness for the overall vision of the company. The architecture supports and reinforces the function of the business and affects the quality of life on a day-to-day basis for the users.
As business development manager at AB design studio, I am mindful of both shifts in design trends and technologies within the marketplace itself. We are seeing more brands adapting their strategy to target the millennial generation, but there is more to this than flat pack furniture and social media proficiency. Architectural and engineering firms have realized the value of marketing, but do not necessarily know how this should be packaged. We see a continued dialogue of affordability and value, which tells us that prior to any conceptual design, it is vital for design teams to build a comprehensive understanding of the latest brand standards. Competing brands in a dense market are re-evaluating their playbooks to appeal to new audiences.
In hospitality, this means designing for the curious traveler. Designers who understand the difference between core brands, lifestyle brands, luxury, approachable luxury, and ultra-luxury are in demand. A core brand that caters to the road warrior business traveler will be markedly different from the lifestyle hotel tailored to the free-spirited traveler. No longer is brand uniformity the primary mark of success with many hotels, the bar has been raised, and custom reigns supreme. Site-specific, regionally inspired and forward thinking is the battle cry of today’s hospitality consumer. Armed with a plethora of technology, consumers are more design savvy, foodie-oriented and globally aware than before…and catering to that awareness means tailoring the design to the locale.
For the commercial tenant improvement space, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to design. Today’s open offices are great spaces for the outgoing extroverts…but the folks wearing earphones 9-5 are evidence that “collaborative studios” are not for every company. As progressive designers, we evaluate a space and a culture to design a space that allows introverts to focus and extroverts to prosper. A few ways to mitigate the divergence between employees is to provide quieter spaces by installing lower ceilings over cove-type spaces and integrating design elements into ceiling tiles. In high-tech workspaces, there are monitors galore. Darkening the rooms via lighting and paint eases eyestrain and dimmers for workstations allow employees to control the immediate light in which they work under. There is not a company out there with a slogan of “anti-collaboration,” so maximize the effectiveness of collaborative time with increased daylight, air ventilation and seating options. Bygone days are those of Fruit Loop-colored walls with more studies finding that visual noise is disruptive. When focused on solving complicated problems, the workspace design should be simple and defined by simple architectural lines.
Creative opportunity is knocking, and those with the passion and talent to constantly master and reinvent are poised to excel in today’s world of brand design. Think about the multitude of brands out there, and multiply it a thousand times over—that’s how many creative opportunities exist to merge design and branding in a new and unprecedented way.