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Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Entire Branding Team

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,879 ratings  ·  64 reviews
From researching the competition to translating the vision of the CEO, to designing and implementing an integrated brand identity programme, the meticulous development process of designing a brand identity is presented through a highly visible step-by-step approach in five phases.
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 15th 2003)
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4.11  · 
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 ·  1,879 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-book-list
Loved this book. As a recovering marketer, this was a fun read. I believe anyone could benefit from the insights in Alina's book, business or non-profit.

Some takeaways:

Unify. Simplify. Amplify.

It is never too late to be what you could have been. George Eliot

Brands have three primary functions:
1. Navigation: Brands help consumers choose from a bewildering array of choices.
2. Reassurance: Brands communicate the intrinsic quality of the product or service.
3. Engagement: Brands use distinctiv
Toni Conn
This book was required for the Corporate Identity class for a Graphic Design degree. I am not impressed by this book. I skipped to page 102 to get to the more interesting pieces that I could use as exercises in creating a brand. The first part is terminology to make sure that your team is all on the same page. I am a solo business owner so I did not need to read the large introduction section.

The layout of this book is terrible. There is very little content on the pages. Most of the book is unne
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: graphic and brand identity designers
Designing Brand Identity is an enlightening and helpful resource on the branding process. Its author, Alina Wheeler, is a brand consultant and branding speaker with an obviously exhaustive knowledge of her field.

Trouble is, she is just that: a brand consultant/speaker, not a writer. That may sound harsh, but one read through her book will justify my position. Designing Brand Identity is not written in the typical, straight-forward prose fashion one might expect. Rather, each two-page spread cons
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-design
This a great and helpful book to reference, but not very conducive to reading straight through. There are lots of lists and examples throughout the book which is great for quick digestion but not easily retained if going through large chunks of the book at a time. The writing style is rather dry/corporate-like, but lays out the branding process clearly and thoroughly.

In short, it's an excellent reference to add to your design collection and come back to whenever you need a refresher on brand pr
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is an incredible tool for the aspiring brand professional, small business or really any person or entity working to create a plan around branding and logo identity. It has many visual examples and is a good book to pull ideas from. Reads a bit like a text book, but it helps to securely reinstate what I already know about the fundamentals of design. I've been using it as a reference material, but it can be a super quick/easy study guide for anyone to understand the basic concept of what ...more
Ahmad Badghaish
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it’s one of the best books I’ve read in visualizing brand identity. However, the content of the book isn’t technically deep, but enjoyable.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great and valuable resource. I keep this around me because it's that type of book that you go back to when you need help or specific information. It's a step-by-step guide on how to create a successful brand. It has great brand development strategies (that actually work) so it's perfect for anyone who's willing to start a brand from scratch and anyone who's involved in the brand cycle. I also highly recommend it to the beginners in the industry because it gives you an overall view ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brand is the gut feeling about the product, service, or company. Brand creates perception. Without perception, there is no brand. Brand is not just a logo. It's how the business or company is looked as or perceived as by the people.

Want to create a brand? Start by asking these questions:
Who are you?
Who needs to know?
Why should they care?
How will they find out?

The major function of brand are:

1. Navigation: Brand helps customers choose from extravagant amount of options
2.Reassurance: Brand commu
Stefanie Sugia
So... recently I've been reading design books as reference for my thesis, which is why I've got less time to read fiction books. While I feel guilty with the lack of review posts on this blog, I thought why not review some of the books I read for my thesis? These are also books, anyway. So here goes the first one ^^ Designing Brand Identity is a book written by Alina Wheeler and the first edition has been published since 2003 (I think). Over the years, she added new things and republished the bo ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clear overview of all basic knowledge about branding and a nice try to set up a visual information language.
I enjoyed Wheeler's approach to the subject and her ideas about aligning organizations behind a common goal/message. A good book for this topic.
Chad Warner
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Corey Hayes
A brand identity guide that goes wide but not deep. Each topic is covered at surface level only; I wish there had been more about many of the topics. There's about as much space given to images as to text. It's packed with quotes, examples, visuals, and other info from various sources. It's aesthetically pleasing, full of colorful illustrations and photos.

Part 1 covers the basics; the fundamental concepts to start the brand identity process. Part 2 walks through the brand identity process, with
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Brand is not what you say it is. It's what they say it is." - Marty Neumeier

"A brand becomes stronger when you narrow the focus." - Al Ries and Laura Ries

"Good social media is the difference between teaching a class and hosting a great party." - George Eberstadt

"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

"Look into a microscope with one eye and a telescope with the other." - Blake Deutsch

From researching the competition to
Bailey Urban
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A total newbie to branding, so my opinion on this book comes from true inexperience. Nonetheless, I learned a lot from this book that I will be applying to my organization as we go through a branding campaign in a sense. I will refer back to it as a resource. Biggest takeaways:

-We want our brand to inspire confidence and pride and for people to say, "I get it."
-Have courage to simplify branded phrases. Certain words should come to people's mind, e.g. volvo = safety and mercedes = prestige. We m
Simon Håkansson
Filled to the brim with marketing wank and business-speak to appeal to the clueless CEO demographic; every page is peppered with smarmy quotes from CEO's and marketers that have nothing concrete to say. The circle-based diagrams found throughout the book look like something out of a boardroom powerpoint presentation.
If you ignore all of the corporate fluff the tome does contain quite a bit of useful information, but it could easily have been reduced to a much neater handbook with no actual loss
Batzul Gerelsaikhan
I enjoyed this book very much. Perfect for PR and Marketing department people or for individuals who are in start-up businesses. Whether you are making yourself rich or working for a company, this book will make you question how competitive and catchy your branding is and whether your brand is giving the right message or reaching out to the right people. Loved the pictures, examples and best practice company sections.
Khai Ng
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Share a lot of branding and how companies shifted branding strategy and purposes.
Cover with lots of facts and studies.
Good for those want to have further understanding of branding. Good for those who are doing branding.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: career-business
It is a good reference book for someone who has just started to learn about brand identity and product management.

I didn't really like the pages layout and graphics: too much space and little information.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Solid for newbies like me.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Found this book a great source of information as I was starting out my career in branding. Without going into too much detail, it still provides plenty of strategic ideas and real world examples.
Alex Urlaub
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book which encorporates what it is talking about!
Highlights: Success stories, really amazing quotes (!) & design representations :)
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
A practical reference guide covering all aspects of brand identity including plenty of case studies.
Soumya Jain
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting read about how a brand's visual identities are developed and designed. The examples were extremely outdated though.
Fai Ahmed
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-design
Gareth Otton
This isn't a bad book as far as reference books go but as a designer looking for a good read that would take you from a branding novice to a branding guru (granted for any book that might be asking a little much) then this book falls short of the mark.

As a reference book this has everything you need in order to create some strong branding. It has some well detailed points, a nice process to follow and some great examples of people who have done it before. It is best used however, in conjunction
Ryzal Yusoff
Dec 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I’m hugely dissapointed with this book. I expect it to have instructions on how to actually start and finish the whole Designing Brand Identity process, but instead, this book can be merely considered as a dictionary for the Brand Identity.
Maybe this is good for the beginner who know nothing at all about design, but for those who are already a designer or has already been involved directly or indirectly with design, I do not recommend this book for you if what you are looking for
is to actually
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
( + ) Gives an in depth explanation about the many facets of how marketing and design tie into each other - an excellent primer to the practical designer on corporate-speak.
( + ) Overall page layouts of the book are extremely readable despite the topic, and visually pleasing to flip through.
( + ) Despite the niche corporate jargon of the topic, it conveys big ideas succinctly, and breaks them down into digestible chunks. Smaller topics are explained concisely but thoroughly, usually accompanied
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler is a great reference for designers, decision makers, or anyone working in a team to create a new brand, rebrand an existing company, or just looking for some inspiration.

A great amount of thought and preparation has gone into this guide. It details the steps necessary to craft a strong brand identity and gives a wealth of insight from industry experts. I loved the expert quotes! Designing Brand Identity talks a bit about the various forms a brand can ta
Max Oliveira
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good book that covers almost all the perks of the branding process, a great hands-on guide to branding, with lessons on topics like naming, brand architecture, brand launching, taglines, etc...

The only downside i could point out is the case studies at that end, that could have been better curated. There are some examples in that section that can be hardly taken as successful examples of branding.

But in despite of that, it's an awesome book, a must have for most Designers, even if not workin
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tumbled into the world of Marketing, Branding and the like. Actually, I was pulled in out of work necessity - not kicking and screaming because some of it is very interesting and a lot of fun. It's just not the easiest fit for me because so much of marketing is about the sale and not the journey. I am interested in journeys: memoirs, transparency, authenticity and not selling snow to an Eskimo. That said, this book is helping me move forward in a way that is very important for my job and somet ...more
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Author, speaker, consultant. Alina's business focus is managing perception. Her service is strategic imagination. Her passion is brand identity. Wheeler reinvents the marketing textbook, demystifies branding, and illuminates best practices and tools.