Flexible Branding is an identity scheme that can flex and adapt to different situations, messaging, people. A lot more appropriate in the multi-channel, multi-lingual world that brands now inhabit. Some designers are ceasing to creating logo-centred identities, instead creating systems made of rules that can be adapted and manipulated. Not all clients have noticed or appreciate this latest shift.
Over-controlled branding is starting to look old fashioned and stiff. It’s like shouting the same message over and over again.
This Branding Trend brings a kaleidoscope of possibilities. Inspired by the clever use of variation by media companies such as MTV, more and more organizations want to change their graphic identities. Logos can be flexible as long as the message is consistent—and consistently recognizable to its intended audience.
Some form of flexible branding is letting designers “fill” the logo with whatever they like. This is something MTV and the Natural History Museum feel very comfortable with:
Natural History Museum logo designs
The “exclusion rule” is being regularly dropped. Some brands are allowing their logos to be changed, flexed and even covered by illustrations. The most know example of this is, of course, Google:
With Channel 4’s rebranding, the team decided to keep the classic 4 logo originally designed by Lambie Nairn. Though it will no longer appear in its full form on TV. Instead, the 4 has been broken down into its constituent parts, which will be used across all of Channel 4’s branding.
new identity for Ministry of Sound
2016 Adobe MAX Identity by Victoria Siemer
Ravensbourne identity by Johnson Banks
COP 25th Global Climate Change Conference branding by Shangning Wang
Flexible branding takes longer to create. More things have to be taken into account. Even after launch the brand has to be constantly monitored and amended. This is a small price to pay, as the branding is definitely more eye-catching.