The many potentials of design


The international brand expert, Simon Paterson joined us at Re:design to discuss the relationship between branding and design. At the event, we picked his brain on why design is so important when creating differentiated brands, and what role design played in redesigning the brand of the world’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, Berry Bros. & Rudd. With a perfect combination of inspiring presentations and practical examples, it soon became a sunny afternoon full of laughter, cold refreshments, and clear points on what design can do for businesses.

“It’s really a question of not starting over”

The key challenge for Berry Bros & Rudd was the fact that they have such an amazing history, but had never really dug deeper into what they offered their customers (apart from excellent wines of course). Building upon Berry Bros. & Rudd’s long-lived vision of being the link between the people who are interested in wine and the people who make it, Simon worked out a set of values, a purpose, a visual expression and a tone-of-voice that supported their vision.

“Their brand really wasn’t that distinctive, it wasn’t as attractive as it could be, and it certainly didn’t feel authentic. It didn’t feel as true as they were and it looked very fragmented. The idea was to align and integrate the business to the brand and it was really a question of not starting from scratch and doing something completely new.”

Throughout the process of revitalizing the brand, design served as the anchor in creating a distinctive, authentic and coherent brand. By looking through Berry Bros & Rudd’s huge collection of old wine labels and their vast archive of own branded materials, Simon worked with an international design team on creating a new design strategy. The new designs linked the meticulous artisanship and unique traits of the winemakers to the brand, its quality standards, and its wholehearted historic pursuit of “good living.”

“Why change something that customers know and recognize?”

Graphic designer at Stagis, Torben Slothuus, reflected on both the importance and necessity of redesigns. By taking the audience on a journey through cases of influential logo redesigns, Torben answered the question “Why change something that customers know and recognize?” by emphasizing that a redesign can serve several purposes.

“On one hand, redesigning a logo can serve as a means to express existing values of the brand more clearly. On the other hand, the redesign can communicate new changes within the brand or serve as a way to keep up with changes in society”

However, the question remaining was: “when do you know it is time to redesign your logo?” Torben explained that the most essential thing for the company’s visual identity is its ability to communicate what the brand stands for. At Stagis, we always start a (re)design process by mapping the unique strengths of the brand. Based on these, we analyze if and where gaps between the internal values of the brand and their current visual expression exist. The visual identity is then designed to fill these gaps and to express the core strengths and values of the brand.

“You don’t start by creating a need — you start by fulfilling one”

Ethnologist Lasse Damgaard closed the ball at Re:design by emphasizing some of the hidden business potentials in design. Together with a colleague, Lasse has interviewed 15 companies, who use design as a tool for solving problems for both users and society in general, in order to understand what role design plays in innovation processes.

“Design is exceptionally good at keeping the eye on the ball at all times. You don’t start by creating a need — you start by fulfilling one. This is a relatively essential ingredient if you want to make sure that you actually solve a real problem”

Moreover, Lasse explained that designers are good at hunting complex solutions and at incorporating many different stakeholders. In terms of redesigning brands, design plays a key role in looking to take the brand or product in new directions. You can dive deeper into the results of their research in the publication “Reflective design: The hidden potentials of design”.


Til Re:design fortalte brandekspert Simon Paterson (UK) om betydningen af design og hvordan han forestod redesignet af verdens ældste vinhandels brand, Berry Bros & Rudd. Grafisk designer hos Stagis, Torben Slothuus, svarede på, hvornår og hvorfor det giver mening at redesigne en visuel identitet, mens etnolog, Lasse Damgaard fortalte om de skjulte forretningspotentialer i design.

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