Aegean Winery
Brand Identity Design

Participants: Myself
August 2020 — December 2020
Deliverables: Complete brand identity guide book 
Project Brief:
This brand identity case study was a semester long project under the leadership of Professor Paul Nini at The Ohio State University. At the core of the class was l
earning what goes into creating a consistent and contemporary corporate brand identity and applying that knowledge by re-branding an existing or fictional company, corporation, or organization. Inspired by the traditional wineries of the Southern Balkan, Aegean Winery is a fictional company ambiguously located near the Mediterranean. 
Design Objective:
Create a unique brand identity that celebrates and champions the historic traditions of the region's wineries and is competitive on the global market. 
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Phase 01
Competitive analysis + Mark ideation
What is the competition doing?
An important part of identifying my branding strategy was researching the broader market. Before settling on Aegean Winery, I conducted research on already established wineries in the region and abroad. This allowed me to identify an opportunity for an innovative approach to winery brand design that was missing, but was much needed.
Mark design ideation 
​​​​​Rampant exploration (and failure) of an iconic, indexical, and symbolic mark ideation overwhelmed the start of the project. There was a long way before finalizing the sleek and contemporary stylization that's seen as the final mark. 
Phase 02
Brand development + Application 
Signature + Typography
Typography dictates the tone of the voice in which the brand communicates with the outside world. In the signature, the modern serif "Alga" is complimented by the humanist sans serif "Gaultier" to best capture the essence of Aegean Winery.
Brand touchpoints 
Touchpoint are every place, real-world or virtual, where consumers are interacting with the Aegean Winery brand. Taking in consideration the local nature of wineries and the cultural pride people partake in on the Mediterranean coast in such products, it was important to highlight the application of the brand in every-day touchpoints such as: product catalog, website, product packaging, worker apparel, etc. 
Phase 03
A complete brand identity guidebook
The grand finale
This was the longest and most important phase of the project. The complete brand identity guidebook is a carefully edited and designed culmination of this semester long project, that dives into the specifics of the Aegean Winery brand.
Post Project
Conclusion + Reflection 
Why was it important that I learn brand identity design?
Contemporary brand identity design is a distant relative of the advertising and marketing roles of early 20th century graphic design pioneers. For almost a century, brand identity design has evolved to be at the core of the visual communicator's arsenal. 
This project was an opportunity to immerse myself in the role of a brand identity designer and learn about the process that established designers partake in when creating brand cultures and identities that people can be proud to be a part of. While creating the Aegean Winery brand I couldn't partake in any interviews with CEOs, marketing teams, and other important stakeholders, but I always tried to keep them in mind as if this was the real deal. 
One of many Zoom class critiques during the semester
One of many Zoom class critiques during the semester
Snapshots of a truck, while stuck in traffic near the time I was struggling with mocking up a transport vehicle for Aegean Winery. I needed to understand what key information real world companies advertised.
Snapshots of a truck, while stuck in traffic near the time I was struggling with mocking up a transport vehicle for Aegean Winery. I needed to understand what key information real world companies advertised.
Snapshots of a truck, while stuck in traffic near the time I was struggling with mocking up a transport vehicle for Aegean Winery. I needed to understand what key information real world companies advertised.
Snapshots of a truck, while stuck in traffic near the time I was struggling with mocking up a transport vehicle for Aegean Winery. I needed to understand what key information real world companies advertised.
Exploring previous students' work
Exploring previous students' work
What did the process teach me?
The process of designing the Aegean Winery brand from scratch was one of intensive secondary research, rapid attempts and failures, and occasional success. 

What I'll remember most...
What I'll remember most from this project was the difficulty of balancing good design with meaningful design. This conflicting feeling was most present during the mark design phase, where I kept running into a wall, attempting to design a mark that was culturally significant for the Aegean region but was also good design. My conclusion isn't that these two ideas are mutually exclusive, but that there is a fine line that needs to be thread upon where the best of both worlds is possible: cultural significance isn't sacrificed for a generic and soulless design, and the principles of design aren't ignored out of ignorance and arrogance for creating, what ends up, a functionless work of art. I am a student after all, and this was a valuable lesson that I'm glad I got to learn. 
Thank you for your time!
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