The Condé Nast College was delighted to welcome the Art Director of Editorial Development at Condé Nast, Michael Harrison joins students for an insightful industry talk on maintaining consumer attention and the essentials in creating a solid brand identity. Here, Creative Direction Online Course student Georgia Smith recounts the experience on how brands are urged to break the boundaries of convention more than ever.
About Michael Harrison
Michael Harrison currently sits as the Art Director of Editorial Development at Condé Nast. Joining the College for a virtual discussion, Michael took us through the elaborate history of interchangeable design and editorial. Commenting on his partiality for being on the edge by offering creative solutions in ways undiscovered before, Michael emphasises the precedent of trying new things and pushing the boundaries of convention.
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The influence and evolution of logos in branding
Throughout the discussion, he highlighted six essential elements in the making of a print magazine, outlining the concepts of both past, present and future. Acknowledging that it’s vital to look back, with an appreciation and understanding of the past, while consistently moving forwards, Michael then explored how influential logos have been and their evolution throughout the industry.
As an Art Director, Michael discussed how logos are both beneficial in building rapport to both brand and consumer, as he went on to suggest how logo designs have been modified over time with a more cleaner, sleeker and modern format – particularly sans serif in the modern age – while retaining core principles of a brand.
Successful visual identity through typography
Typography and font are also essential in fostering a solid brand identity, which has proven to be especially challenging in the current technological age when brands are tasked to be omnipresent across both print and digital formats. With that, making the visual identity successful across both platforms requires attention.
Michael also mentioned how important it is to listen to your audience and understand what they desire, which is essential to managing a quality business. He suggested how applying designs can help to influence the environment to create the best experience for the consumer.
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Concluding statements and main observations
The discussion led to the pioneering influence of technology and how the industry has been forced to evolve alongside such cutting-edge developments. With that, communication has become much easier; a more seamless process whereby we are able to observe other cultures and lifestyles unlike before. Now, the boundaries of the digital world are different and we can be educated by these developments and put ourselves at the forefront of innovation.
To conclude Michael talked about the instrumental USPs and the need to create an unknown desire to capture the audience and the market. You need to “watch the competition and look in the other direction for inspiration,” he shared.
By Georgia Smith, Creative Direction Online Course student