Five minutes with David Herbruck
David Herbruck, co-founder and president of creative agency, loyalkaspar, speaks to Transform magazine about the evolution of brand design, which industries use brand design better than others and which product he believes has the strongest branding in the world.
How is brand design different today than it was when you founded your agency?
When we started out, we were much more of a design and motion graphics studio than a full-fledged branding agency like we are today. Our evolution was in response to the changing needs of brands, particularly due to the rise of digital and social media, and the proliferation of screens.
Compared to then, a modern brand needs more tools to attract and retain customers so they buy, watch and evangelise its products and services. This means going beyond design and motion graphics to encompass strategy, information system design, digital and social, sonic, and, at times, live-action and experiential.
What are the first things you look for when you see a brand’s visual identity?
The logo, by its purpose, often tells quite a bit about the craft and intention of a brand’s visual identity. But even so, it’s important to remind yourself that although the logo is probably the first thing that catches the eye, it's really only one component of a much bigger, cumulative story. The colour palette, the graphic DNA, photography usage, typography choices and layout—all working in harmony—convey the brand's personality, and are what I take in, together, to evaluate a brand’s overall visual identity.
Which industries use branding and design better than others, and why do you think that is?
I may be biased, but I think media and entertainment uses branding in a profoundly sophisticated way. While networks and streaming services are pushing products just like any CPG brand does, it's much more nuanced. Media and entertainment brands often require systems, tools, and guidelines that allow them to create communities around their shows and support the fandoms that are naturally born from the engaging content itself.
Because of that, the deliverables for these brands range widely, from graphic toolkits and animated assets, to voice guidelines, whether through copywriting or voice over, to give the brand some parameters for how it speaks to its audiences/fans.
Which business or product has the strongest branding in the world and why?
When thinking about the strongest branding, it's really hard to avoid falling into the trap of what you SEE the most, most likely because of certain campaigns that have the most budget and, therefore, reach. We see a lot of Nike commercials and, sure, their logo is great because of how simple and timeless it is, but what you see on the end of their spots doesn't make up the totality of their corporate identity.
What’s the next evolution of branding? What might be left behind?
Nothing gets left behind. It's all additive. There will continue to be new platforms and software that will allow you to do more, hopefully faster. But branding is problem-solving. It still starts with a good idea or two. The tools we use might change but a good idea and approach to solving a unique problem will remain constant.
What advice do you have for those starting out in the branding space?
Find world-class designers and problem-solvers to start. Then find producers and develop a process that encourages these makers to never settle. Then, support these designers with writers and strategists to help tell the story. Simple, really.