Automation of Branding

A month ago, our team had the privilege of sharing breakfast with branding guru and Inno Garage mentor Kaushik. It was my first experience with Alina, but I had heard amazing things, so I wasn’t surprised when she struck up fascinating conversation at the breakfast table. She had come to us armed with five questions, from which she had asked that each of us pick one to answer. My favorite, and the one I chose, was this:

“What part of our jobs could a robot do?”

And, in parentheses: “What is it that makes us human?”

Only a few days prior, one of our team members had pointed out a website that would generate trendy logos customized to your tastes, based on only a few clicks of the mouse. Wouldn’t that be nice? We could all save hundreds of hours of laboring over the perfect kerning of a typeface, over choosing a wordmark versus a symbol—and do it all for free.

Sadly—or, perhaps, rather happily—most of the time it doesn’t work that way.

There are always going to be decent ideas that can be transposed into cookie cutter forms and given away cheaply.  But then there is also great work; the kind of work that is produced in collaborative conversations and out of an empathetic desire to reach the best possible result. Here’s the thing we can do that a robot couldn’t do: design with empathy.  Robots can generate trendiness. But they can’t listen, consider, and feel the importance in the details of your brand. Ultimately, a robot can create a logo, but it can’t design an identity.  That’s our job.