Hello and welcome. It’s been a little more than 2 weeks since I last blogged but a break is in desperate need. Now, recharged and ready for more brain strain, it’s time to get down to business, as the semester is drawing to an end. Sad… but no time to stop and grieve, gotta keep moving and this week, the lecture topic is on identity.

There are a few questions that need to address such as…

                                         What is identity?                                     What is pictograms?

What is branding?

                                    What’s the message to the audience?

How does this all fit in with the overall project?                    

So what is identity?

Identity in sociology means “The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing/a person is definitively recognizable or known.” (Cape Sociology, 2012)

Identity in business as defined by the Business Dictionary is “Combination of colour schemes, design, words etc, that a firm employs to make a visual statement about itself and to communicate its business philosophy… how a firm view itself, how it wishes to be viewed by others, and how others recognise and remember it.”(Corporate identity, n.d.)

The web page further discusses there is a difference between corporate identity and corporate image. Identity is the notion of being ‘out there’ such as uniform, stationery etc – think for example, Apple logo. (Corporate identity, n.d.) Is there a catch phrase that goes with the identity?

What is branding?

Once again, I refer to the Business dictionary and it is defined as “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.” (Branding, n.d.)

In today’s lecture, we checked out Köln Bonn Airport identity – “So Simple”. (“Köln Bonn Airport,” n.d.)

In the previous blog, the group activity was on airport experiences and since the process is universal it makes sense to Keep It Simple Silly. The KISS method which is exactly what these designers have achieved in their icons – simplified, recognisable pictograms for passenger ease.

What are pictograms?

This various definitions have been simplified by Walters as:

  • “An element of a system of absolute validity.” – Otto Neurath
  • “It must have the character of a sign and should not be an illustration.” – Otl Aicher
  • “It is an iconic sign that depicts the character of what is being represented.”– H.W. Kapitzki
  • ” The purpose of a pictogram is to make our lives easier and safer. For a pictogram to work it must be instantly recognisable and understood by all. Therefore the image must be kept simple and consistent.” (2010, June 14)

(Walters, 2010, June 14)

At a closer look, the pictograms’ simplicity fits the overall image of how an airport should operate –  minus the stress! When further looking into their website, the designers have also made the look interactively engaging with animation, bright colours distorting out of the pictograms, giveaways such as postcards, collectible plane. These designers have pushed the product into this overall service the traveller can get before they get to the ‘real thing’ of boarding the plane.

This is an eye opener for our project as there are questions we need to address with our project such as:

  • Do we have a catch phrase/motto?
  • How do the people see our product (the festival) before the festival commences? Is it newspaper, mags, social media etc.
  • Think about the situation when using our service.
  • Think about the identity and how it fits in with the situation.

A final word of thought for our project…. Less Brand, More Identity.


Branding. [n.d.]. Retrieved from the Business Dictionary website: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html

Cape Sociology. (2012). Definition Identity. Retrieved from the Cape Sociology website: http://www.capesociology.org/definition-identity-32.html

Corporate Identity. [n.d.]. Retrieved from the Business Dictionary website: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/corporate-identity.html

Köln Bonn Airport. [n.d.]. Retrieved from the Köln Bonn Airport website: http://www.koeln-bonn-airport.de/

Walters, S. (2010, June 14). Pictograms, International Communication and Cultural Diversity (Part 1) [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://wayfindinguk.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/pictograms-international-communication-and-cultural-diversity-part-1/