Creating Faces: Finding your Company’s Brand Identity
Team Profile: Annelise Hillmann - Creative Director
I started out as a portrait artist at a very young age, drawing the faces of anyone I could get to sit still long enough. Why portraits? One face can tell you a lifetime’s worth of stories, not in words, but in deep crows’ feet and slightly arched eyebrows. So I learned to capture a person’s entity in a static form, to choose the right lines that conveyed their personality and experiences.
What initially drew me to advertising was the art. I admired the design sense behind Coca Cola’s signature red and white and appreciated the simplicity of Nike’s swoosh. By the time I started considering advertising as a career, I’d moved on from drawing to graphic design, which appealed to my inner perfectionist and minimalist.
But, even though I’ve transitioned from charcoal sketches to logos and ad campaigns, I find myself still dealing with faces. Every day, I give companies a face. Most don’t realize that companies are people - and they need to be given opportunities to express themselves, like people. Every creative decision that a company chooses to make in its brand journey is much more than superfluous flash; it’s a determinative step in understanding who your company is as a person.
So, to anyone starting his or her own company, I say: who are you? Are you the company that wears the salmon shorts to the barbeque? Are you the company that pays it forward at Starbucks? Are you the company that picks up other people’s discarded soda cans on the beach?
Answering these questions for clients is the part of my job I love most. I get the chance to sketch in the features of these new “people”, to represent a corporate entity as a living breathing being with motivations, emotions, and aspirations. At the end of the day, your brand should be flesh and blood, real enough to touch.
Put a face to your name.