Evolution Of Brand Identity Design – Technological Milestones In Branding

By Aamina Suleman , Mar 11 2022
Brand Identity Design

Feature Image Source: iStock/Visual Generation

Brand Identity Design as we know it today has evolved over the years with new technological advancements. The first milestone was the introduction of the printing press and mass production. This gave rise to mass media, which allowed for the distribution of a company’s image to a wide audience. The second milestone was the advent of digital technology, which enabled brands to reach an even wider audience through interactive marketing channels such as websites and social media. Today brands are able to establish their presence in augmented reality and virtual reality with platforms like Facebook Spaces, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream VR. And we’ve yet to see what Metaverse can do for brands in the coming future.

The technological milestones in branding can be broadly classified as follows:

  • The introduction of digital technology
  • The rise of social media
  • The emergence of mobile devices
  • The internet revolution
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning

But before getting into how the branding industry has evolved, let us first understand what brand identity design is.

What is Brand Identity Design?

Creating a logo is just the beginning of designing a brand identity. When a client says he/she wants a brand identity design, it can mean anything from designing a logo to creating a specific color palette for the brand, stationery design, and even marketing design. It can also mean that the client is looking for a slogan or tagline for its brand.

Brand identity

When it comes to branding, however, the meaning slightly modifies. Branding is a marketing strategy that helps to differentiate products and services from competitors. It is a way to build a lasting impression on customers and help them remember the product or service.

The goal of branding is to identify the company’s key values, strengths, and attributes for its customers. The ultimate goal of branding is to help consumers make decisions about which product or service they should buy.


And thus, it is important to realize that brand identity design and branding are used interchangeably but they offer slightly different benefits to a brand.

Evolution of Brand Identity Design

Branding in its earliest form dates all the way back to around 2000BC and was purely used to depict ownership. Farmers would brand their cattle to make them stand out from other livestock, and craftsmen would imprint symbols onto their goods to signify their origins. However, as time has progressed, branding has become a way for companies to market themselves and establish a bond of trust with potential customers.

Cattle Brand
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The evolution of brand identity design can be traced back to the 18th century when industrialization and urbanization gave rise to the need for product differentiation. This led to the emergence of logos and trademarks in the 19th century.

Throughout the 20th century, the technology available to designers, as well as the artistic and commercial opportunities for design, advanced significantly throughout the twentieth century.

ibm logo
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Know that, as technology evolves, so does the way in which brands are designed. Designers are constantly trying to stay ahead of the game by using new technologies to create innovative designs.

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Technological Milestones in Branding

The first technological milestone in branding is the printing press. The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. This made books and other printed materials much more accessible to the public. This gave rise to marking books with the printers’ and publishers’ symbols. For example, early printing presses mostly used the orb and the cross as a signifier.

Printers Mark
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Another mark used by printers was the anchor and the fish.

anchor and the fish
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The second technological milestone in branding is the invention of photography. The first camera, invented by Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce in 1827, took a long time to capture an image and it was not until 1839 when Louis Daguerre improved on his invention that photography became more manageable. Photography not only played a major role in advertising but also helped in creating a brand image and product persona.

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With regards to brand identity design, tech companies create brand style guides that contain how the brand’s elements can be used. For example, Apple’s affiliate photo guide has instructions on how to use its product photography.

affiliate photo guide
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The third technological advancement was the invention of the computer, which changed the way professional designers crafted brand identities. We can now create more sophisticated and complex designs in a fraction of time. This is possible because computers have made it easier for designers to experiment with different layouts, colors, and fonts.

yoda cloud
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Digitto co
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power fm
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Technology has made it easier for brands to interact with their audience by providing them with instant feedback on what they are doing wrong or right. It also helps brands to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, such as gradient and minimalism.

sree logistics
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In the past, people would create logos for their brands by hand and use different types of shapes and colors to represent their company. This was a very time-consuming process and it could take weeks or even months before they were able to come up with a logo that they liked.

hand drawn logo design
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Nowadays, companies are able to create brand identity designs in mere minutes using technology like Photoshop and Illustrator.

brand identity designs
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brand identity design
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The evolution of brand identity design has been an interesting journey, with many new innovations in recent years. It all started with a logo design in order to mark products, and then the industry expanded. Today designers are creating full-fledged visual identities for brands including business card design, web banner design, web design, and marketing design.

get a unique brand identity design

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A marketing design enthusiast, super passionate about the evolving scope of visual communication. With 3+ years of experience in content marketing, Aamina is driven by insights, inspirations, trends and creativity. She loves to travel, eat khowsuey, sip coffee, and watch mysteries.


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