Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Art and Design

First Advisor

Deanna Douglas

Advisor Department

Art and Design


Brands are all around us - no matter where we go, no matter what we do. As consumers, we are bombarded by images of logos and advertising campaigns every day. However, we rarely think about the process by which brands enter our lives. Before any product is ever produced or sold, it must first be branded. Every idea, from initial sketches to patented logos, supports a branding strategy, or the decisions a production team has made about what will drive a consumer to choose their brand over that of their competitors.

One problem small companies face when trying to get a product branded is that they cannot afford to hire agencies that specialize in branding and instead, turn to average graphic designers. Not all designers, even those who create jaw-dropping art, know what market data to look at and how to incorporate business strategy into a branding campaign. Many do not have the training to conduct research, analyze markets, and develop business strategies. Often times, this results in a designer going into the project blindly and hoping that the design is strong enough visually and the budget is large enough to make it work.

This lack of knowledge lies in the fact that there is no single answer to the question, “What is the best way to create a brand?”. Each project requires a unique approach specific to the product. So much of the process depends on what has already been done in that particular field and how the target audience has responded before. Without prior knowledge or experience in the creation of a brand, designers must invest valuable, and often unpaid, time doing market-specific research or simply rely on the principles of design in order to meet the client’s expectations. A general knowledge base of the elements, or factors, that contribute to the success of a brand is in high demand, but low supply. The lack of research done on visual branding processes and the factors that must be considered leave designers faced with branding challenges, in the dark. The purpose of this study is to analyze the time spent, relative importance, and order in which commonly accepted branding factors are used in the creation of a visual brand to see if any trends can be recognized.