Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Branding Of America

Source: IdeaLaunch
The December spirit of holiday consumerism is once again festooning the airwaves. Storefronts are trumpeting their gift-giving slogans, and email inboxes are overflowing with tantalizing discounts. The current branding bounty makes an interesting sibling to November's election season. One month ago, presidential advertisements waged a similarly irrepressible campaign for our dollars and our votes.

The need for media savvy, therefore, has never been more acute. And coincidentally, our students happen to be working right now on Prezi advertising presentations to create unique logos and slogans for the thirteen colonies. Many recent design projects across the Internet have focused on the branding of America. They offer lively perspectives on the nation's history, as well as keen case studies of graphic artistry. As a whole, they invite viewers to reconsider images that have become so iconic as to be routine. Here are a few of our favorites:

Source: Meg Jannott

Branding The U.S. Presidents

One of the most fascinating projects we've come across in a long time is designer Meg Jannott's personal challenge to imagine a unique brand and logo for each of the nation's 44 presidents. In "Branding The U.S. Presidents," she assembles a surprisingly diverse portfolio of altered graphics and signature fonts. Aside from their visual appeal, her images are great companions to any study of leadership or American history. Her eye for balance in layout and text offers an equally valuable lesson for artists of all ages.

Source: Jared Fanning

The United States Of Football

Students are accustomed to examining reference or thematic maps, but designer and illustrator Jared Fanning has created a cultural map somewhere in between the standard geographic expectations. Fanning takes advantage of what Geography and Earth Sciences Professor Rob Edsall calls "cartographic silences." He deliberately leaves out the standard political boundaries of states and replaces them with patterns of football fandom. In "The United States Of Football," Fanning paints the regional loyalty of teams, complete with "unincorporated territories" for the lands neglected by the NFL's marketing squad. Fanning's map is a great tool for teaching media saturation, financial literacy, and sports branding.

Source: Dollar ReDe$ign Project

Dollar ReDe$ign Project

Compared to many other nations' currencies, the United States dollar is relatively bland. Creative strategy consultant Richard Smith thinks "it's time to rebrand the buck." He has sponsored the Dollar ReDe$ign Project, a yearly competition to reimagine the stale green notes. Smith has collected a stunning array of innovative designs, which he hopes will renew faith in America's economy. We definitely encourage you to check out all of the entries on his site, to appreciate the full scope of his project and the fresh range of monetary blueprints. For students, it's also a tour of eminent Americans who might well deserve a place on a banknote.

Source: Library Of Congress

The Branding Of America

The Library Of Congress has produced a helpful site to let students explore the history of American brands. The product map and teaching resources at "The Branding Of America" explore the entrepreneurial minds and iconic products that have impressed their mark upon the consumer nation. It is a good site for teaching media literacy, as well as a fond trove of American nostalgia.

1 comment:

  1. An innovative way to think about the United States. Could be expanded to create brands for other countries as well.


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