Post-Branding empowers better design of public communication for civic and activist groups by replacing corporate branding’s predatory principles with a new set of strategies embedded in a new culture of craft. A new way of being and knowing, for a new way of relating with the world.
Brands aren’t just intruding on culture, they are our culture. They are the sponsored mechanisms for constructing and manipulating meaning and human identity. But should we cede such a fundamental human need to the market? If not, why not, and is there an alternative?
What is Post Branding? is a work of ‘practical theory’. It is a compact ‘pocket-book’ format publication composed of four main sections. The first, ‘DIS-BRANDED’, is a text of 20 short page-long chapters exposing the ideological underbelly and real-world impact of branding. The second, ‘MIXED MESSAGES’, is a provocative visual essay illuminating the texts’ main themes. The third, ‘MANUAL’, presents a framework for a critical alternative to corporate branding, humorously appropriating found instructional diagrams as a brand manual satire. This section also includes examples of completed contemporary projects that have implemented post-branding principles. The book concludes with ‘CONTEXT’, featuring a conversation with cultural theorist Brian Holmes and an argument with design historian Steven Heller.
Part design experiment, part critical theory, and part how-to-manual, What is Post-Branding? introduces a creative counter to branding’s neoliberal orthodoxy.
‘As we grapple with the concepts and tools of 21st century communications, What is Post-Branding? arrives as a key to the crisis of imagination in which it seems easier to imagine the end of nature than the fundamental system and technological changes needed to shift onto a path of real sustainability. It invites a bright future of infinite potential built on collaborative communcations as an antidote to corporate competition’s bleak zero sum branding game.’
Communications Director, Greenpeace International
‘Rarely do designers fully understand the proper social, cultural and political significance of branding. This book is the exception – it is a critical, extremely witty and creatively produced antidote to branding’s hype. It is a guide through the minefield of mass communication and identity design. In a time that is truly disorientating for both creatives and the general public, “What is Post-Branding” should be read, not just by anyone interested in the subject, but everyone who is concerned about where we are heading as a society, and about how we can stay human.’
Jonathan Barnbrook Barnbrook Design / VirusFonts