The following brand designer description is a piece of gonzo journalism by Chris McCarron, the founder and owner of GoGoChimp.
Who is a branding designer and what do they do?
Ever since Apple released the Apple I in July 1976, California has been strangely plagued by branding experts and logo designers.
The California climate is perfect for branding designers and consultants, as well as surfboards, swimming pools and soft top cars.
The best brand designer description that I can offer you is this: they usually travel in groups of ten to thirty and can easily be identified once you know what to look for.
They’re the sort of person who wears a suit with no socks and a print-on-demand baseball cap that’s covered in their personal branding.
Most of the branding experts and logo designers are innocuous weekend types, members of the American Marketing Association, and no more dangerous than hill walkers or model train enthusiasts. They enjoy talking about inspirational designs and how Apple is the pinnacle of branding.
But a few belong to what the others call “cool clubs” and these are the ones who–especially on weekends and holidays–are likely to turn up almost anywhere, looking for action in swanky wine bars and fine dining restaurants.
The outlaw brand designer descripition.
These outlaw brand designers may look harmless, but they are aggressive, mean and potentially as dangerous as a pack of wild school girls.
When push comes to shove, any typography fetishes or design inadequacy feelings that may be involved are entirely irrelevant, as anyone who has ever tangled with these designers will sadly testify.
When you get in an argument with a group of outlaw brand designers, you can generally count your chances of emerging unmaimed by the number of broken wine bottles at your side.
Branding experts enjoy taking part in anything that promotes them and “their work”. They leap into the fray with a flurry of blood, booze and semen-flecked wordage that amount, in the end, to a classic of hyperbolic hokum.
This isn’t to say that branding doesn’t work– great branding works and it works well.
But what grinds my gears is the audacity of these “experts” to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong without ever backing up their rationale with empirical evidence and rigorous research.
I was once told by a branding designer: “Branding is as close to bolting on a V8 supercharger to your business and then ripping the tits off the sucker as you boom down the highway, man!” Two weeks later he was found in the belly of a bloated crocodile.
Located two miles south of a capsized airboat, it was theorized by local law enforcement that he used the Florida swamp as a route for high-speed cocaine smuggling.
As glamorous as it is to be seen by others as an authority in branding or logo design, not a single influencer is going to tell you why a new logo is the bee’s knees.
The reason is that there is very little research about fonts and their influence on consumer behaviour. And as an influencer spends most of their time being an influencer, they typically don’t read what research is available or conduct experiments to further advance the field.