The Santa Brand book

20th December

A neat manual parody is doing the rounds from the Quietroom that parodies the medium via new client Father Christmas.

It makes a semi serious point; that even the simplest and most magical of concepts can be confused and made mundane with over intellectual and rational guff. It’s not always easy to write a rulebook which is clear, simple and readable. But it’s very easy to write one that is none of these things.

Perhaps one might take a quote from Leonardo (da Vinci, not DiCaprio) as a compass point: ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ Which I guess might be translated into the thought: ‘if you want to look really smart, perhaps don’t try too hard to make yourself look clever.’ Pepsi got quite a lot of flack when a document rationalising its new logo (see below) did the rounds. It talked in such high-minded language that it ultimately made the actual visual solution the brand had arrived at look somewhat prosaic in comparison to the written strategy.

Equally pinning down a brand’s ‘values’ via diagrams and clichés is perhaps to dilute that brand’s charisma. We feel what brands are, intuitively. If you can stick mapping pins in them and annotate their qualities, there is always a danger that the ‘360 brand’ might end up looking a little, well, two dimensional.

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