Design in 2019 – what will branding design look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2019, Without creative director Roly Grant looks at what will happen in branding design over the next 12 months.

© Jenny Zarins

What do you think 2019 will hold for branding design?

Whatever happens with Brexit, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see increasing visual reflection of the national divide, with businesses making overt appeals to either camp (see Tesco’s ‘Jack’s’ supermarket, which has the vibe of Nigel Farage binge-watching Dad’s Army). In other news, I expect to see more examples of anti-chain branding in food and drink. We’ve already seen younger operators expanding by creating new brands instead of rolling out the original, and as more big restaurant groups struggle, I can see the next generation of openings using branding in more subtle ways.

Tweeted by Colin Kaepernick

What was your favourite branding design project in 2018 and why?

Nike x Colin Kaepernick. I have a soft spot for American Football and the 49ers in particular. Kaepernick was their quarterback until being relieved of duties for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of race-related police brutality. The ad exploded because of specific politics, but fundamentally, it’s great because it expresses the positivity of sport: inspiration, heroism and challenging adversity. Watching it also had a personal resonance as it reminded me of staying up late to watch the early 90’s Channel 4 highlights show with my dad when it was all about hail-mary touchdowns, one-handed catches and awesome names like Joe Montana.

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  • Joe January 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Wow. First, what has Nigel Farage got to do with a 70s sitcom? Roly you need to study more. Look at Farage’s speeches in the EU over the last couple of decades and you will find an informed, original and powerful orator who knows how to use language and argue opponents in to a corner. Compare then the same old blandness and marketing deceit of the modern sports corporates, utilising over paid personalities to personify dribble – inspiration, heroism, challenging adversity. Same old dribble that has been blinding and sedating a once vibrant democracy. There is a brave new world out there Roly, waiting to be won but you’re looking in the wrong places for what sort of branding will win it. And PS… don’t despise and dismiss people who shop at Jacks. Like Lidl and Iceland they sell cheap food for those of us relegated through poverty and inequality to the underclass you obviously haven’t seen is still out there. Happy Brexit. Happy revolution.

  • Carroll Ray January 4, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Kaepernick was not relieved of his duties because he kneeled, he was relieved because of his performance on the field. But it is true that other teams steered clear not wanting to get imbroiled in the controversy. And contrary to your take-away that it “expressed the positivity of sport”, I see it as just the opposite… as a brand taking sides on a divisive issue in our country simply to further its own cause… (i.e. the bottom line). We do not need corporate brands to fan the flames of divisiveness. Our politicians and news media are doing that just fine without their help.

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