Brand Identity Essentials


– Ralph Caplan, Author of By Design

A lot has been written about brands, but brand builders often lack the structure and approach to make a difference. Brand Identity Essentials lays a foundation for brand building, defining the tools and illustrating the construction of strong brands through examples of world-class design. Making a brand great is easier said than done. Brand Identity Essentials is a guide for leaders, managers, and makers who build brands.

Written by brand experts Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim of Peopledesign, this second edition is a major revision of the first, featuring hundreds of new images and content.

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For Designers

The Brand Identity Framework—a one-stop reference for connecting design elements to strategic branding concepts.

For Educators

Course curriculum for teaching the fundamentals of brand building, including learning the tools and building blocks for branding, aligning aesthetic choices with strategy, and building robust brand programs.

For Brand Managers

Brand audit checklists, including a review of brand basics, how your brand is being applied, and a look into brand thinking.

For Everyone

Core brand design principles demonstrated through a clear organization and a variety of sources and examples from design leaders including Alan Cooper, Collins, Design Army, Multiple, Pentagram, and many others.

Reference Materials

Explore and download the tools for brand building featured in the book.

Brand Identity Framework
Real life is messy. It can be hard to know where to begin to address the complexity of customer experience, but a recipe can help. We’ve built a model for thinking about brand building that can help you make decisions and create systems. The Brand Identity Framework is a reference to help guide the everyday decisions brand builders make on their journey. 
Brand Audit
Brand audits provide a way to think about and collaborate on brand decision making. Use these tools to review brand basics, how your brand is being applied, and take a look into brand thinking.
Brand Fundamentals Course Curriculum
It’s the brand builder’s job to envision the brand and create what the public sees. This class lays a foundation for brand building through examples of world-class design. Students will learn the tools and building blocks for branding, how to align aesthetic choices with strategy, and build robust brand programs.

Praise from Brand Identity Essentials

Reviews of Brand Identity Essentials, First Edition.

“I’ve shared Brand Identity Essentials with many at Amway to help them understand the critical role of design in brand-building. It’s one of the best books I’ve seen on creating brand identity: harnessing the power of color, shape, pattern and other design components to create visual symbols for brands.”
— Candace Matthews, Chief Market Officer, Amway

Great job guys! – beautiful projects and layout, and insightful write-ups.

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Kevin Budelmann

Kevin Budelmann is a speaker, writer, educator, and president of Peopledesign. He is interested in design theory and practice in the context of business, technology, and society. After his BA from Carnegie Mellon, he earned a Master of Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design. Kevin is currently Global Vice President of IxDA, and also serves as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

Yang Kim

Yang Kim is the creative director of Peopledesign. She draws on her experiences from Seoul to Washington, D.C., Carnegie Mellon to Herman Miller. Her no-nonsense style, wit, and devotion to her work have earned her long-standing relationships with clients. Yang is an AAF Silver Medal Award recipient, an AIGA Fellow, and was voted as one of the “50 Most Influential Designers Working Today” in a Graphic Design: USA reader survey.