The term ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ has somewhat negative connotations in the art world. This is perhaps due to the role that branding plays in marketing and business which often leads people to associate it with advertising and endless quest to sell products and services. But whilst companies may exploit brands for profit, they are an inherent part of our culture, and whether we would like to admit it or not they exist as fundamental elements of art.
For instance consider some of the most famous artistic styles and the artist themselves who pioneered them, take for example Andy Warhol; famous for his brightly coloured ‘pop art’ prints. Countless reproductions and alterations have been made for a variety of purposes including the advertisement of other products. But to even to those who are far from enthused by art in general this style is instantly recognised as ‘Andy Warhol’ because it communicates the same brand image.
The same is true for business brand image; it takes someone with creativity and vision to design some of the most recognised brands. Take the designers who spend their days creating works for print management companies; whilst they may be referred to as ‘illustrators’, and their work as ‘logos’ they are still creating expressive images that convey a brand, they are in their own right artists.