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The Design Associates

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GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | Seattle

GIRVIN | Strategic Branding & Design | New York

The Design Associates | Tokyo

Brand experience is always about gathering content and pointing — even in synaesthetic context — to all of them. The notion of synaesthesia is about sensations crossing modality, from one sense to another. This concept of merging sentience speaks to mixtures between levels of experience: hearing taste, for example, seeing music. And in some instances the idea of holistic branding is about that — looking for ways in which an environment can capture that whole story, that completely integral expression that reaches into the heart of the person.

Sound does that since we tend to sense sound in our bodies completely, while scent — for another reference — reaches to mind and memory in another way. Sight, touch, taste — each has their varying aspect in relation to the body organism.

Wholeness is the best story. If one thinks about brand as something that is a story — well told, the etymology relates to this metaphor:

Imagine that you are at a campfire, nightfall. You are with someone, they’re telling a story. And you are listening, drifting with your imagination, into the heart of the story, as it comes to you. Around you, there is the scent of the forest, a wafting fragrance comes from the nearby beach, smoke drifts, there is heat and warmth — the sand and pine needles imprint your touch. And you hear the crackling of the burning wood, voicing from the narrator — as the story unfolds. There is a taste of the experience, your tongue gathers sensory experience. The experience is whole. Memory is imprinted.

Brand, from 1000 years ago, is about that — Fire.

Brand– tsg defn. Before 950 AD: O.E. brand, brond “firebrand, piece of burning wood, torch,” and (poetic) “sword,” from P.Gmc. *brandaz, from base *bran-/*bren- (see burn). Meaning of “identifying mark made by a hot iron” (1552) broadened 1827 to “a particular make of goods.” Brand-new is c.1570 and must have meant “fresh from the fire” (Shakespeare has fire-new).

Surely sound is part of that story. The evocation, the voice, the sound of story comes from that place. Music lives there.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/arts/design/

What’s your take – from the sound and scent field?

tsg | decatur island


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