Thread Bristol – Branding

Thread Bristol – Branding
1st June 2016 Daniel


Last week I visited the Thread event on branding, featuring Paul Bailey & James Greenfield. It was a slightly informal affair, with a load of moleskin wielding designers crammed into the Small Horse Inn, struggling to get a view of the speaker and jostling to get a pint at the bar.

The talk featured two London based creatives, Paul Bailey of 1977 Design & Brand in Process and James Greenfield of Studio Koto. The main discussion point for the evening was brand identity and the challenge of designing for brands in the modern age.

First up was Paul Bailey. His talk revolved around picking a famous brand, Nike, and gauging peoples emotional responses when posed certain questions about their relationship with the brand.


“Brand is emotional. That’s what you’re dealing with with when you work with brand.”

The second part discussed how brand has changed in the digital age, and the fine line of failure and success with a brand formed by co-creation and crowd-sourcing. He linked to this old David Bowie interview back from 1999.


“”The digital age is what has massively changed brand. People are much more networked, empowered and heard.””

Next up was a humorous talk by James Greenfield. Having recently launched the successful/controversial rebrand of Airbnb fairly recently it was great to get an insight into the creative process.


“The best brands have started to bring the difference between us and them together.”

The main point to take was to spend as much time with the client and alongside employees to understand what the business it truly about.

1. Get rid of acronyms
2. Get rid of business speak
3. Brand meetings don’t work that well

Thread Slide

Further reading:

Brand Society. How Brands Transform Management and Lifestyle – Martin Kornberger.

Brands: the logos of the global economy – Celia Lury.

Designing Brand Identity – Alina Wheeler.

The Power of Co-Creation: Build It with Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits – Venkat Ramaswamy and Francis Gouillart.

The Rise of Brands – Liz Moor.

The Third Wave – Alvin Toffler.


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