You’re going to see them everywhere this summer — but you’re so accustomed to it that odds are, you won’t even notice them. We’re not referring to the latest hot wheels or designer duds, except by inference: brands are what simultaneously stand out and blend in, because, like fish in water, we’re surrounded by marketing messages.

Branding

“The word brand’ is derived from the Old Norse word brandr, which means ‘to burn by fire,'” writes Debbie Millman in Brand Thinking And Other Noble Pursuits. “In 1876, after the United Kingdom passed the Trade Mark Registration Act, Bass Ale became the first trademarked brand in the world after submitting its now-quintessential red triangle for trademark status. The act gave businesses the ability to register and protect a brand marker so that a similar icon couldn’t be used by any other company. In addition to clinching trademark number 1, Bass’s trailblazing history includes its appearances in Édouard Manet’s 1882 masterpiece A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Pablo Picasso’s 1912 painting Bouteille de Bass et Guitare, ostensibly providing the brand with the cultural distinction of ‘first product placement.’ … A little more than a century later, we are living in a world with over one hundred brands of bottled water.”

What does this mean for your business? Your yard signs or sandwich boards must be more creative and succinct than ever, with clean typefaces and a few complementary colors that say “Your Business” to potential customers. We’re happy to help you raise the bar. We want you to have the best signs around to boost your brand’s success.

Yet entrepreneurship guru Seth Godin questions the very notion of a “brand”, writing, “I believe that ‘brand’ is a stand-in, a euphemism, a shortcut for a whole bunch of expectations, worldview connections, experiences, and promises that a product or service makes, and these allow us to work our way through a world that has thirty thousand brands that we have to make decisions about every day.”

Well said, Seth. In that case: we promise to boost your promise that customers will receive the solutions your signage promises, so that those 30,000 decisions reduce to just a handful, and your business stands out as the clear choice.