Brand meaning: Brand = Image

Paul Feldwick

Many of today's biggest brands started with the creation of a visual identity, which imparts a powerful, unique meaning and assists the brand in innovating and warding off competitors.

In 1971, Carolyn Davidson was a young graphic design student at Portland State University. She was happy enough to earn some extra money when a member of faculty asked her to do some design work for his company, Blue Ribbon Sports, and agreed a fee of $2 an hour. He wanted a stripe for a new running shoe, asking for 'something that suggests speed'. When, after many hours of work, she presented him and his colleagues with a logo, they were unimpressed and asked 'What else you got?' But after a few minutes her client, realising he needed something urgently for a presentation to the Japanese, grudgingly accepted it. 'I don't love it', he said, 'but maybe it will grow on me.' He paid Carolyn's bill of $35.