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Understanding the Art of Creative Direction for Longevity in Branding

If you’ve worked on a brand design with me, you’ll know I love creative direction. It’s my favourite part of the branding process, and I believe the most important, as it’s the driving force behind the entire brand design. But what exactly does it entail?


The way I look at it is this. Imagine taking a step back and looking down at all the customer-facing elements of your brand. You might call it the ‘bigger picture’ or the ‘driving force’. It’s essentially the overall vision for the brand, including look and feel, creative marketing strategy, route to market, and how all the different creative components work together across the board to create the artistic vision of your brand. 


The Difference between Brand Identity and Creative Direction


Brand Identity encompasses the visual, verbal, and emotional elements that define a brand and serves to create recognition and build a connection with the target audience. It's the overall look, feel, and personality of a brand, and includes components such as logo, colour palette, typography, imagery style, tone of voice, brand values, mission statement, and overall brand positioning.


Creative Direction is the art of guiding the visual and verbal aspects of brand communication to ensure consistency and effectiveness in conveying the brand's message and identity. It’s finding the best way to aesthetically communicate the brand vision over time encompassing the brand identity and plays a crucial role in influencing how customers perceive and interact with the brand.


For example, think of M&S, a long standing brand whose reputation and aesthetic is widely known. Every year they have a Christmas advert, always entirely different from the year before yet still in keeping with the brand identity. This is the magic of creative direction, being able to change a visual whilst keeping an identity.


Creative Direction Ensures the Longevity of Branding

The reason I start my brand design projects with this is simple. By taking this wide angle approach, I'm ensuring the brand has longevity and will be able to grow and develop over time. When I’m considering the core fundamentals of a brand design, such as logo, colour palette, aesthetic and tone of voice, I'm also thinking of the bigger picture. I’ll ask myself questions such as ‘How will this translate into multi-media content? Is there room for further development? Do the design elements allow for creative freedom? This ensures I’m thinking from a much wider perspective and helping to guarantee the success of the branding. 


VisitOne Creative Direction Choices

In 2023, I had the pleasure of working with VisitOne on their rebranding. I presented 2 unique and clear creative directions as is standard in my brand design package. Below are the 2 options I provided and the two directions they could have chosen for their new branding:


Option One (Chosen Direction)

Option Two

A Unique Experience

Seamless experience for you, VIP experience for them.

This direction aims to emphasise and demonstrate enjoyment within the theatre experience which VisitOne amplifies.

Innovators in Tech

A modern solution to monitor & multiply engagement.

This direction aims to emphasise and portray messaging and imagery around being leaders in technology.  

Tone of voice: Maintaining corporate B2B and software, with a hint of show business, glamour, money, nightlife, temptation, fear of missing out, and the finer things in life.


Tone of Voice: Maintaining image if being cutting edge in technology, and problem solvers. Allowing you to help your audience, whilst helping your business. Focus on growth and flexibility.

If you're interested in improving your branding, or any creative development for your business, book a brand discovery call to discuss your requirements and see if we may be a good fit to work together.


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