Deep Design
Corporate Identity or Why Today Everything is Important

Knut Maierhofer, KMS München

Things were simpler in the good old days. Tasks were executed in their natural order – just as a movie does not end before its climax and popcorn is not sold before actors are cast.

Today, processes occur almost simultaneously, a fact that makes the tasks of a design office much more demanding. While the mission statement is being defined, the name must be developed, the basic elements of the corporate design must be laid out, and the appropriate language for the company must be found. It is only when all of the various elements are precisely coordinated that we obtain a consistent company image. Much like the making of a movie.

No matter how famous the director is, if just one actor performs poorly, or if the editing or the soundtrack is not right, then certainly you will not find viewers on the edge of their seat. And if the screenplay is not right it is useless to even begin.

As a design office we have worked on behalf of many large and small brands. No matter whether we’re designing a trade show stand for Mercedes-Benz or the entire identity of the Pinakothek der Moderne, or whether we’re developing only the new trade mark for Saturn or explaining the complex business of biotechnology on behalf of GPC, our concept is always the same:

"Deep Design" or What Matters

For us as a design office the focus of work results from the respective proximity to the brand. Hence, our tasks always have something to do with revealing an identity, even in cases where the relevant object is limited. To this extent there is nothing that is unimportant. We work out ways of expression, which reflect the essence of a company or institution authentically and holistically. We try to make its specific "character" visible by means of a precise aesthetics.

The fact that the processes of "identity formation" are becoming more and more complex demands a high sensibility and intensive cooperation with the client. On account of our insistence on conceptual consistency, we are sometimes regarded as "irksome" – but that is a price we are willing to pay. For it is our claim not only to advise, but as partners to take a step or two together with our client.

We have called our concept "deep design", a term that is now familiar to most of our clients. To make visible, to question, to inspire, to accompany, and to demand – this has also characterised our work for two large firms in the media business. One of the firms was KirchMedia, now insolvent. The other, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, has held a work relationship with us for nearly eight years now – a testament to our successful cooperation.

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Design Management
VIZO Workshop

“Design makes the Difference”
Brussels, Belgium - 29/30 November 2002

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