*10. MARKETING: INNOVATIVE BRANDING AND MARKETING TRENDS. TIM GIRVIN, designer and founder of GIRVIN, discusses a new expression: Brand Braille. Tim describes this a sa metaphor – a way to transmit a brand message through the creation of a distinctive pattern that actually transcends design: “Braille is a language that does not rely on seeing, but instead it relies on touch and feel. Branding is another language that doesn’t just rely on seeing; it is also the feel and touch of all that is sensual about the brand. The brand experience might be about touching, scenting, tasting, hearing and sensing holistically.”

Brand Braille (Original commentary)

Is it possible to create a brand message that’s in the form of patterning? I believe so.

Here’s a case reference.

I’m a designer. And a collaborator. I work in the realm of creating experience design, in the context of retail. And other things. It’s all about the interpretation – translation of history, story, emotion into space. I partner with architecture and interiors groups, to sort out strategy, then interpret these as subtle – built – groups of messages. So, for example, in working with the global architectural group, Callison, and under the creative leadership of visionary design director Andy Thaemert…and a reopening of a department store in Osaka, it was a matter of reaching back into the DNA of the brand genetics of this group – a 19th century kimono maker – to create a new legend, a new story, woven from the old. Sogo is the name, reopening to vast traffic in the launching effort late 2005. Now singing into records, 2006 – 2007. What happened? Tying subtle pattern language into the psychic space of the retail environment, to filter in messages, as subtly as wallpapering, use of light, patterned floors, giant glass openings and processional entry ways, to layer meaning into the entire experience.


Brand experience design is not about hammering logos onto walls.

People can perceive the message of a group through subtle – even personalized interpretations – of patterning and symbolics that will create subtle memory and meaning.

Space design for retail can be a holistic cocooning of messages that create impressions that resonate with the attributes of the brand – without smashing people over the head with logos, corporate colors and brand manuals.

This approach gets closer to the heart of the person, memory and the sense of “containment” – and contentment – which are one and the same thing.

All photos are copyrighted and provided courtesy of Callison Architecture/Chris Eden