The conceptual premise of The Center for the Constitution’s brochure was that we tacitly understand contextual clues in our environment. We instantaneously observe the materials, textures, level of precision, craftsmanship, style, colors and so on. Through some amount of cultural acclimation, we are able to look at man-made objects and glean some idea of whence the object came. We determine timelines, geography and culture. In the blink of an eye. (Blink is an excellent read for more on this.)

The added bonus here is that a person looks at some piece of something and their mind instantly puts it in a context. That’s creativity at it’s best. Design has the power to transport one’s mind very far, very quickly. As visual designers, we’re in good company along with other great other creative professions – music, architecture, textiles, theatre …

When it’s time to add to your brand, consider not just the values of your product/service. Consider if you want it to live somewhere else — chronologically, geographically or culturally. Even if it’s just in your audience’s mind. You may find that to be a very productive place.

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