Visual identity, country brand, an introduction.
(Excerpt from the doctoral thesis “Visual identity sources for Romania’s country brand”, author Bogdan Brînzaș)
“I never want to be fashionable. What is fashionable, as fashion passes.”
Part and vector contributing significantly to the creation and functioning of a brand, the visual identity conveys the messages most effectively, together with the other constructive elements of the country brand, and creates the reputation, knowledge, and recognition of the respective country. Also, visual identities contribute to create those stereotypes with a positive impact on the collective mind of the societies to which they are addressed. Designing the visual identity of a brand falls to designers and is part of the strategic approach of branding, being the foundation of any communication manifested through the specific tactical means of marketing. Branding, seen as a whole, is the process by which – programmatically – the brand’s DNA is formulated, working with its tangible and intangible attributes and symbolically expressing a particular essence and vision. The global economic competition has translated the original purpose of brands from simply marking the belonging of a product in relation to a specific manufacturer – hence the English terms brand and branding, coming from to brand (to brand) – to the creation of symbolic value, that goes beyond strictly tangible attributes and characteristics, making it possible to then transgress towards exploring the possibility of creating brands including for countries, regions or cities. Let’s see, for example, a better-said counterexample, the famous “leaf” of Romania.
An important lesson – acquired both during my studies from my teachers, from the experience of over 25 years in the field, and from the collaboration with specialists with whom I had contact – was that any design project must be approached pragmatically and must have a very well-defined purpose in time, space and from an economic point of view, of utility, usability, ergonomics, etc. Design is a border field, a fusion of the areas of art, engineering, architecture, or sociology, it just operates with the ways of artistic expression. At the same time, it is a field of synthesis of several disciplines, pragmatically put at the service of the final beneficiary – the consumer of products and services – and the economic beneficiary – the producer or service provider.