Week 11: Studio Practice Development


Case Study 2: Take a brand and look at how it is delivered in different countries, e.g. alcohol, tobacco, transport, cars. Is it symbolised in a different way? Why might colour or typeface have been changed? Does it work at a local level and does it work at a global level?

  • Collect – visual examples and upload onto your blog and onto the ideas wall.
  • Debate – ensure you contribute to debate and discussion and incorporate this into a short 500-word written critical review in your blog.
  • Consider – the impact that the media has on your understanding of visual signs and symbols relating to that piece.
  • Design – your case study:  visual study and written critical review into an editorial piece to be seen in print or on screen.


After visiting the Museum of Branding on Sunday (see my CRJ for a description), these were my first ideas:

  • Brexit – the Museum of Branding drew my attention to the 1975 Referendum in the UK, which was to decide whether to stay in the EEC or to leave. The campaigns for both sides reminded me of the more recent referendum to remain or leave the EU. I mentioned this to Joe, who said it was a great idea, and suggested I look at how referendums present a dichotomous question that divides people, and how graphic design does this. It seems like too big a question to involve with myself given the time given for the project, and it is something I would like to look at later. LSE has an archive of referendum ephemera I want to look at.
  • Royal family – the Museum of Branding displayed the very first coronation memorabilia of Queen Victoria, and the items produced for subsequent royal marriages and ephemera. Given how the Royal Family is a symbol of the UK and the Commonwealth, as well as being rulers of some pretty shady eras, I thought it would be fascinating to see how, graphically, the Royal Family have branded themselves over the world, and how people have responded to that.
  • Penguin or Faber – Both publishing houses have a great history from which designers continue to draw on. However, I concluded that they don’t really differentiate branding across territories.


Several weeks ago I went to Ireland for a friend’s wedding and I bought a tin of Guinness-flavoured fudge for my colleagues. The tin has sat on my desk and when I saw this week’s brief I thought that Guinness was a good brand to look into.


I’ve visited the Guinness factory at St James’ Gate in Dublin, and know they have distributed their beer across the world for years, and so it stands to reason that they have tailored their branding to the territory. Why did they use a toucan? I decided to dig into the archive online to see how their branding has changed through history and across countries. The archive can be found here. My review will look into how the components of the logo and branding and how campaigns have targetted different countries.

Guinness is Irish, right, and no pint of Guinness tastes better than when in Dublin, right? These are common views of Guinness and I want to dig into why that is the case. Is it a cultural view that has grown organically, or is it carefully engineered marketing plan? I will look into the Irish opinions of Guinness and how constructed its reputation is.

Logo and branding

Taking a look at the packaging archives for its trademark logo, progression can be seen (Guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com, 2019). Here’s a sample of the most notable design changes of the Extra Stout Guinness labels though the years:


In 2005, Design Bridge was commissioned to “to breathe life back into the harp and let it sing once again…” (Design Bridge, 2019).



Design Bridge. (2019). Guinness Identity | Design Bridge. [online] Available at: https://www.designbridge.com/work/guinness-identity/ [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com. (2019). Guinness Archives Homepage. [online] Available at: https://guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com/home [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Medcalf, Patricia. (2016) “In Search of Identity: an Exploration of the Relationship Between Guinness’s Advertising and Ireland’s Social and Economic Evolution Between 1959 and 1969”, Irish Communication Review: Vol. 15: Iss. 1, Article 3. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Murphy, B. (2003). “Pure Genius: Guinness Consumption and Irish Identity”. New Hibernia Review / Iris Éireannach Nua, 7(4), 50-62. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20646449 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.