All posts by Paul Kuhn

When Branding Falls Flat

A quick quiz: name the brands represented below.


No problem right? These are clear, distinct and easily identified.

Extending this a bit, the same should be possible with other design elements and imagery – specifically, a brand should be easily identified by its website as well.

Quiz #2: name the brands represented below by their websites.


Not so easy, is it?* Here’s the problem: when everyone adheres to the current flat design trend, distinguishing branding elements disappear. All brands tend to look very similar, essentially defeating the effort to create a lasting, memorable, and recognizable presence.

This critique usually applies when any design trend becomes adopted by millions. For example, the same thing happened with the Apple-originated aqua-like UI elements; once introduced, the style was widely adopted by many applications and platforms, resulting in a similar loss of brand differentiation.
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