What is it about our industry, so intent in making a difference, but only to devalue content?
In recent years the word branding has been thrown about like styling was in the 1950s to dumbfound clients and earn their accounts.
That may allow each of us to survive in the ever-troubled industrial conditions. However, it only devalues the industry, our reputation and us as individuals, and in the end it devalues the spend.
The 1980s saw a sea change in the design industry; architecture lost its mantle as intellectual leader. Since then, instead of industrial design taking its place, stylists and product designers moved in, pretending they could design, engineer and understand the content of what they do.
Brand is deep, measurable and has content. It is what a company is – the people who work for the company, what they contribute to its corporate value, through their own ethics. The pride they may, or may not, take in their work.
These values shout out a product’s quality and become a brand. They trigger individuals’ value systems and, consequently, our purchasing power.
As each of our values change as we grow, so does our taste and purchases. Brand, on the other hand, takes time – it evolves slowly over time.
More importantly, design has lost its way, it is laughable, and is becoming the court jester. Can we as individuals say what we are? Can we add value to ourselves and improve our brand?
Bring back the long view, the in-depth study of what we do, for our selves and for society, but more importantly for our industry and the dreamy eyed graduates joining our ranks. Where have all the dreamers gone?