Customer Reviews: Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team
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Showing 1-10 of 48 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
on April 28, 2011
As a young design professional with 5 years of experience, I came to this book with an existing knowledge-base about branding and a desire to streamline my design process.

Part 1, Brand Basics, will be familiar to anyone who works in branding. Words like "positioning" are defined, accompanied by brief anecdotes about known brands. It lived up to my expectations -- a refresher with some nice quotes.

Part 2, Process, sets out to elaborate the actual steps toward making a brand. This is where the book unraveled for me. I had hoped for in-depth examples from the author's (or her contributers') experience and hard facts. If they needed to update a logo, who sat down with who? Where, when, and how often? What was the first thing they decided to do? What was the outcome of that decision? What did the first sketches look like?

Instead, I found descriptions far too vague and generalized to be of much help. For example, the page on Naming first lists a lot of common sense: dictionaries and thesauruses are good resources, and paring down large lists takes patience. Next, the actual process is stated, with steps such as "develop decision-making process" and "create numerous names." These leave me wanting so much more -- the former seems deliberately irritating (my process is making a process?) while the latter is simplistically obvious. While I understand that there's no magic process or correct number of names that works in every situation, detailed examples from real branding decisions certainly would have illuminated the concepts better.

Part 3, Best Practices, would more accurately be named More Anecdotes. Each spread tells a bit about the branding efforts of brands such as Hot Wheels or FedEx. These serve as interesting and inspiring stories, but there is not enough depth or detail to make them practical examples.

To sum up: because this is not a particularly dense read and the information is accurate, I would recommend it to a student. As a professional, I would prefer more substance. While the author labels it "a quick reference guide", I found it to be a very quick overview.
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on September 30, 2009
Writers have The Elements of Style. Managers have The Effective Executive. Chairpeople have Robert's Rules of Order. And now brand-builders have Designing Brand Identity. If you have (or would like to have) responsibility for managing, measuring, critiquing, or designing a brand, you've found your bible. And if you already own the first or second edition, you'll want to upgrade to the third. What I find most remarkable is that, aside from the thorough and relevant content, the design of the book is everything you'd expect from a top brand designer--and so seldom get. A classic.
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on August 24, 2015
One could write and teach an entire course based off this book, in fact, it's crossed my mind. An invaluable resource to those who are in branding as I am or to companies and people who may need to wrap their head around the power of brands, why brands matter, and why, if you've hired someone to do your branding, they're going through so many steps to produce something that will galvanize you to audiences.
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on August 15, 2011
First of all: this book has the greatest page layout i have ever seen! It's a pleasure to read. Every comment on the side of the page makes you have the A-ha moment. Every diagram summarizes just the strictly necessary without skipping on details. It's very visual, structured, yet so creative and textbook-ish like. The perfect balance between core fundamentals and illustrative examples. I could not stop reading it. Loving it more and more. Every time I read it there is something new.
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on September 30, 2009
This is the first book to read for any branding firm. Alina presents the whole branding process and all its philosophies in such a clear and succinct way. Our firm has used it as a roadmap to develop our own process and continue to add value to our clients.
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on February 17, 2010
Good guide but very brief. Some of the answers to students questions maybe difficult to discern from the seemingly random quotes and text spread out through the pages.
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on July 31, 2012
I really liked the way the book is laid out, not cluttered with lots of graphic examples and side notes. The downside of the book is that, although it provides some great examples, notes and guidelines, it doesn't go into very much detail on any given part of the brand design process, even leaving out key definitions to parts that aren't self explanatory. Despite the fact that it doesn't provide this detail, it is laid out in a way that will give you ideas or reminders as you go about designing your brand identity. If anything it's a nice book to look at.
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Although I have extensive experience in trademark and intellectual property law, I lack a formal education in branding and its language; I turned to this book to fill in the gaps and help me understand how to lead a branding and visual identity campaign.

As stated, this book is very close to outstanding, but not necessarily outstanding. At 4/5 stars, I clearly very highly recommend it. However, my criticism stems from the book's failure to clearly define its terms. I understand that branding is, largely by definition, a more artful business tool, but there is a whole branding lexicon that is not well explained in the book. As you work your way through the book, you'll encounter repeated uses of the word, so you come to build your own definition, but I would have found it useful if terms would have been clearly defined at the outset, rather than mush-ily and circularly defined.

Despite this limitation, the book does a wonderful job of demonstrating the numerous layers of brand identity, and the processes associated with leading a branding campaign, be it key messages, visual identity or name. Wonderfully laid out steps with good examples. Keep in mind, however, this is more of a survey book, not necessarily a textbook intended to be comprehensive in itself. So while it brilliantly lays out the processes, you'll need to use other resources to fill out any gaps you might have.

Additionally, perhaps as you'd expect from a leading branding book, this book is beautifully laid out and shows a great appreciation for information design. Its a visual feast for the eyes that you'll enjoy perusing.
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on July 5, 2010
This is a great reference to use as a consideration for all ranges of brand development. Some companies do not require all facets of the branding spectrum featured in this book, but it offers so many future applications for reference and application on your branding plan. One of the best features of this book is the section that addresses the "who do you think you are?!?" attitude of a company/employee group that is making the transition from little or no branding to having a system in place. Addressing employee "creativity" and upper management buy-in can be a challenge. Several examples prep the creative team for those obstacles. Great Book.
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on August 17, 2010
If there were a maximum of six, seven or twenty stars, I'd give this book every one of them. Excellent layout and very simple to follow. Reading it is like having a conversation with a brand professional. You feel you can ask the most basic question and it'll be answered intelligently and easily. The examples are great and the brand processes are as relevant as they are interesting. Read the small quotes and captions as well. Lot of wisdom from brand gurus that complement the primary paragraphs in each section. Beautiful for brand beginners and brand busters!
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