Brand Identity Essentials

100 Principles for Building Brands
A lot has been written about brands, but brand builders often lack the structure and approach to make a difference.

“A model for clarity in a field that rarely has any.”
– Ralph Caplan, Author of By Design
Brand Identity Essentials lays a foundation for brand building, defining the tools and illustrating the construction of strong brands through examples of world-class design. Making a brand great is easier said than done. This book is a guide for leaders, managers, and makers who build brands. 

Core brand design principles demonstrated through a clear organization and a variety of sources and examples from design leaders including Alan CooperCollinsDesign ArmyMultiplePentagram, and many others.

Explore the 100 Principles.

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Essential Tools

Image
Color
Typography
Shape
Contrast
Dimension
Symbols
Voice
Consistency
Story
Time

Essential Decisions

Psychology
Wit
Trends
Media
Personalization
Process
Prototyping
Multiples
Standards
Investments
Ownership

Essential Strategies

Change
Competition
Originality
Positioning
Users
Research
Commitment
Touchpoints
Systems
Inspiration
Purpose

For designers

A one-stop reference for connecting design elements to strategic branding concepts. It can be hard to know where to begin to address the complexity of customer experience, but a recipe can help. We’ve built a model for thinking about brand building that can help you make decisions and create systems.

For brand managers

Brand management checklists for basics, application, and strategic thinking. Brand audits provide a way to think about and collaborate on brand decision making. Use these tools to conduct brand reviews, frame improvements, and empower teams.

For educators

Fundamentals of brand building from aesthetics to strategy. This class curriculum offers a scaffolding for brand building. Students are exposed to building blocks for branding, how to align aesthetic choices with strategy, and build robust brand programs.

This video is a recording of a webinar we gave for RGD in Canada based on our book.

Authors Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim are co-founders of the strategic design consultancy Peopledesign.

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Kevin Budelmann is a speaker, writer, educator, and president of Peopledesign. He is interested in design theory and practice in the context of business, technology, and society. After his BA from Carnegie Mellon, he earned a Master of Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design. Kevin has served in leadership roles for the AIGA, Professional Association for Design, the Association of Professional Design Firms, and is currently Global President of IxDA, the Interaction Design Association. Kevin is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

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Yang Kim is the creative director of Peopledesign. She draws on her experiences from Seoul Washington, D.C., Carnegie Mellon to Herman Miller. Kim’s work has been recognized by her peers for its clarity, distinctiveness, humanity, and charm. Her no-nonsense style, her wit, and her devotion to her work have earned her longstanding relationships with clients. Yang is an AAF Silver Medal Award recipient, an AIGA Fellow, and was voted as one of the “50 Most Influential Designers Working Today” in a Graphic Design:USA reader survey.
Read more about Peopledesign, our philosophy, or our work.

“Brand Identity Essentials, Revised and Expanded” by Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim, published by Rockport Publishers, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Copyright © 2010, 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. All rights reserved.