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2010 Brand New Conference Summary & Quotes

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On Friday November 5th, here in NYC, I attended the Brand New Conference, a superb “one day event focused on the development of corporate identity and brand identity projects”. The conference was brilliant. (Thanks Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio for organising!)

Below are some of the more memorable quotes & lessons learned, tweeted out by viewers of the conference throughout the day.

If you missed the live event, you can get videos of the conference for a small price on their website or you can view the photo gallery (official or unofficial).

Update 9/11/10: In-depth review here.

The Speakers

Speakers included Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks / London; Michael Lejeune of the LA Metro Design Studio; Michael Bierut and Paula Scher of Pentagram / New York; Christian Helms Decoder Ring Design Concern / Austin; Tom Dorrestejin Studio Dumbar / Rotterdam; Connie Birdsall, Lippincott / New York; Jordan Crane and Karl Heiselman, Wolff Olins / New York; and the steal of the show, Erik Spiekermann of Edenspiekermann / Berlin.

Jordan Crane & Karl Heiselman (Wolff Olins)

“You’re probably not doing the best work of your life if everyone is ‘OK’ with it.”

via Jessie McGuire (@jessiemcguire)

“You don’t hire books, you don’t hire portfolios, you hire people.”

via kdigilio (@kdigilio)

“People come to work already motivated. Our job is to not unmotivate them.”

via Josh Berta (@prttyshtty)

“If you’re not getting noticed, your clients aren’t either & everyone loses.”

via Paul Soulellis (@soulellis)

“As a whole, the corporate identity industry has a too small definition of ‘good’.”

via kdigilio (@kdigilio)

[Re AOL rebrandings] “Aol realized they would get criticized for any change, so why not go big?”

via kdigilio (@kdigilio)

“The goal with the Aol identity was to tell a new story. The new brand focus was on the creation of original content.”

via Artifex (@whoisartifex)

“You can’t order people to do great things — you have to provide the conditions, inspire them, understand them.”

via Michelle Cormack (@freddygrl)

“Treat your client(s) with the respect they deserve.”

via Neenah Paper (@NeenahPaper)

Connie Birdsall (Lippincott)

[Re logos] “Q: If we have a symbol, how long until we can use it without our name? A: A really long time, if not forever… or if you have half a billion to spend on advertising per year.”

via Neenah Paper (@NeenahPaper)

“Color helps increase brand recognition up to 80%.”

via Xdesign (@XdesignInc)

“You cant create brand equity if you change it every year.”

via Debbie Millman (@debbiemillman)

“Brand-building is turning upside down. It’s not just about logos and awareness, it’s about creating advocates.”

via kdigilio (@kdigilio)

“Brands need authentic personality, the fight to change a relevant conflict, and a mission bigger than money.”

via kdigilio (@kdigilio)

Tom Dorresteijn (Studio Dumbar)

[Re branding] “Don’t go for the brains, always go for the heart.”

via @justcreative

“Create things that attract, not push.”

via Brand New Conference (@bnconf)

“We share identity with others. Personality is unique. Should we be personality, not identity designers?”

via Josh Berta (@prttyshtty)

“Describe your brand as a human personality. Define his/hers most essential paradoxes.”

via Dave Jacob Hoffman (@DaveMakes)

“If design is the answer, who asks the questions?”

via Jeremy DiPaolo (@jeremydipaolo)

“A lot of what we do is protect clients from what they want.”

via Neenah Paper (@NeenahPaper)

Paula Scher + Michael Bierut (Pentagram)

“It never gets easy, with clients, even if your name is Pentagram.”

via @justcreative

“All of us are strategists, all designers are planners.”

via Matt Simpson (@dk_msimpson)

“Designing and selling a brand to client is like convincing them to wear clothes that they didn’t buy themselves.”

via Laura Powers (@LPPowers)

“It’s like dating. If you try to break up with a client, they want you. It’s all about relationships.”

via Icograda (@Icograda)

“Every design problem has an infinite amount of possible solutions.”

via @swissmiss

[On hammering out a brand, paraphrasing Seymour Chwast] “If you’re digging a hole in the wrong place, making it deeper doesn’t help.”

via @justcreative

“What makes you a good designer is when you work with people you like, on something you really care about.”

via Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss)

“You can tell how a client relationship will go, by the way you were hired.”

via Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss)

“What makes you a good designer is when you work with people you like, on something you really care about.”

via Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss)

“If you can fake your way through something 3 times, you’re an expert.”

via Paul Soulellis (@soulellis)

“Everyone is human. That’s the frustrating part.”

via @evanstremke

Eric Spiekermann (Edenspiekermann)

“Designing a typeface is like writing a pop song. Others are going to sing it. Naked in the shower or on the toilet, not in tune…”

via Michael Clayton (@ProfClayton)

“Using a typeface with some depth & character, plus a strong color, can sustain a corporate identity program.”

via Paul Soulellis (@soulellis)

“Typefaces are like your children, you let them go and they get out of your control.”

via Rachel Beser (@RayBeezDesign)

“To the young & hopeful, be prepared to do some un-fun stuff.”

via kdigilio (@kdigili)

“We don’t do free pitches cause clients don’t know what the fuck they want.”

via justcreative (@justcreative)

“This [our manifesto] separates the assholes from the lesser assholes.”

via kdigilio (@kdigili)

“Brand is just a typeface, it’s all you fucking need.”

via kdigilio (@kdigili)

“What’s a beige fucking bus?”

via Daniel Wiggins (@dcwdesign)

“They want us to design a brand so they can sell their shit for more money.”
via kdigilio (@kdigili)

“We do not do the unpaid pitch ever, ever, EVER.”

via JessiArrington (@jessiarrington)

“Same bloody [washing] machine, made in the same factory, but with a different price and different logo. It’s called branding.”

via Michael Mizrahi (@michaelmizrahi)

“Keynote is for real people, Powerpoint is for 99% of everyone else.”

via Paul Soulellis (@soulellis)

“I am a Photoshop loser.”

via Sam (@samkap)

“A diagram is not a map.”

via @justcreative

Michael Johnson (Johnson Banks)

“Don’t complain about constraints, embrace them.”

via Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss)

Christian Helms (DRDC)

“Don’t be afraid to jump into something you know nothing about. Promise big and work hard to deliver on that promise.”

via Ryan Fitzgibbon (@ryanfitzgibbon)

[Audience member to Christian] “You convinced chefs to use rats & skulls in their logo. I cant get my son to pick up his clothes. I’m pissed… that is all.”

via Debbie Millman (@debbiemillman)

and the most memorable quote from the day would have to have been…

[Re working for bands with low budgets] “It’s like getting somebody laid, on a handjob budget.”

Sorry for the lack of quotes from the first two speakers Michael Johnson and Michael Lejeune, I hadn’t started saving my favourite quotes that early in the morning.

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