Sharpen and heighten the perception of your brand: what brand identity design can do for you

Stuff that I used to write here in the 2000s seems a little quaint now, like how you need to be who you are and then just live those values and people will connect and get you and there you go. Sure, it worked well then, but now? We’re in a world of fakeness and it’s so, so difficult to isolate what is real and what isn’t. I’m not even sure if we can.

Attention is the big commodity now, and while marketing used to be about getting people’s attention, now, I think, it’s something else. I think it’s clarification to oneself what it is that matters most to you, and what you know you can believe in, deeply, and with a fair degree of certainty, too.


Creating your image begins with: What do I care about, most? Who will resonate with that?

Designing products follows, from there. At least, that’s my theory.

Working these details out can take some time and distance from all that you think you are ‘in the know’ about. It might mean letting go of belief systems that you can sense intuitively are outdated. Is it realistic to think that you can find a great brand identity design by simply working out what it is you believe in and how you feel about the world?

Not sure. I’m not really convinced there’s a magic bullet to anything, anymore. People who change their stories on the turn of a dime, pandering to what’s the hot take of the moment, they make money. A lot, sometimes. They are ‘influencing’ but then they go home and, well, I don’t know what I don’t know, but I think that no matter what’s going on with our business’ bottom line, what counts is different sometimes from what can be counted. That famous quote, and all.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.


We work because we care

I think, for SME owners, we work because we care about something. We care in an honest, real, raw way. I know there are people who make widgets and sell widgets and do very, very well financially, but when I’ve met those people in my life there was always this hanging-around look like, ‘What else can I do? Where can I find meaning?’ To which I’d say, if I was feeling like connecting, ‘It’s really somewhere within you, the meaning thing. It’s not an external thing. It’s probably a lot to think about that, but I promise, when I have helped people along this process of designing an identity, then yeah, we naturally arrive at that place of understanding what matters to each person, personally, and build the design from there.

‘This takes effort. This takes thought.

‘It’s not about showing off something or pretending to be someone. It’s about really finding out what makes you uniquely you, and isolating that first, then thinking about what people who would buy your services and products might enjoy about that, too, and designing a brand identity, accordingly.’ I mean, this is a lot of air if you haven’t gone through the process. Which I understand.

For me, it’s ‘Let’s play,’ that drives DK’s work and when I had an office in Seattle people would walk by and see us in the conference room and literally come in, or call, or email, and ask, ‘What are you doing, because it looks really fun. Can I try that?’ I’d like to have some of what they are.

This was the office:

Design Kompany’s first office in Seattle, shared space with one of our our clients D+A Studio. Photos by Laura Totten, this was a setup for ‘Dazzle,’ a show of her work at our space. Great moment. Great memories. // Seattle, 2006


Things change, but one’s core values, I feel, don’t: design brand identity from here

I might be a Luddite here but I don’t really feel like social media is where it’s at. I don’t have a smartphone. I’m terrible with one, and it’s funny when people ask me to type something on them and I’m, like, all thumbs… [deleted]. I think that even though the shape of DK’s studio today is very, very different now (I’m at my Third Place on a laptop in Phnom Penh, not at my old conference room table at that nice office space in Seattle), the ethos is the same.

My office in Phnom Penh.


Some people still care about fun. I do. I always did, and I hope I always will. It makes everything more pleasant when it’s fun, easygoing, and relaxed. we find better ideas. We connect. We show up. We talk about things, in a way that encourages true dialogue, true ideation, and the serendipity that develops betwixt them. Artfully; in a human-scale way. With attention.

If it’s not fun, why do it.

Time is limited on this earth, and I want to enjoy it. I want to do what matters to me. I want to engage with others who feel the same way. I’m writing and inviting and including and creating space for us to connect, meaningfully not superficially, to design, to design brand identity, and to design brand identity that hits the nail on the head when it comes to answering the big question, ‘Tomorrow, who do I want to be?’

The legacy is the goal. Envisioning that, it’s what we do, with you, in the process that DK built with each and every one of our clients, all these years.


A virtual meetup + Ecourse | ‘Designing Brand Identity’

DK will host an online meetup for those who register for ‘Designing Brand Identity.’ You will also get the 4-week short course on this topic.

Virtual meetups will be held:

  • 14 June 8PM USEST via Zoom voice
  • 16 June 8AM USEST via Zoom voice
  • 19 July 8PM USEST via Zoom voice
  • 22 July 8AM USEST via Zoom voice

Opt in for any date (or none) to be part of the conversation. Max 4 per session. Advance bookings only.

Book now. Here is a link.