Did you see that story in ADWEEK (3/10/08) about how agencies are waking up to the fact that design is actually an important element of the branding process? After I stopped laughing I realized how sad it is that there actually is a culture in which the technical aspects of branding have overshadowed and marginalized the design process.
Here's a little piece of that story -
"The desire to imbue all touch points of integrated campaigns with a common aesthetic is leading to a design boom at many top, traditional shops. The growing emphasis on design at the front lines of communicating the "big idea" is the reason agencies and design recruiters from Aquent, The Creative Group, 24 Seven and Gale Executive Recruiting said the designer's star is on the rise, and that salaries are stretching to meet it."
Alert the media! Someone has discovered that it takes good design to create an effective brand!
The story quotes John Butler, partner and ecd at Butler Shine Stern & Partners, Sausalito, CA -
"We believe that design is branding. It starts there before advertising and controls the look and feel of it," said Butler.
It really doesn't take a major ad industry guru to know that advertising is not a science - yes, George Lois is right on this one - it's an art, and it always will be. The technicians are necessary, but good, talented designers, even interactive designers, should be designers first, and technicians second.