27 comments

  • Jibran KutikJibran Kutik, almost 7 years ago

    As an experiment or an art project, I'm intrigued. It's gorgeous work and a really great set of visual elements.

    Practically, however, I don't see this being a thing that makes any sense. A brand is far more than a collection of logos, t-shirt designs and app icons. This is like the epitome of design as decoration. Art for art's sake. I feel like you could almost go as far as defining this more as 'art' than as 'design,' if one would allow the distinction.

    That said, some desperate startup could get a great set of icons and buttons for a pretty good price, I wouldn't be surprised if he sells it.

    (I posted this on the other thread about Hessian, but figured I'd repost here since that thread should probably be killed since this one came first)

    6 points
    • Foobar YeahFoobar Yeah, almost 7 years ago

      You are right, feels like "an art project" and that's key. If this sells its even more relevant as art, and even a critique about what design means.

      1 point
  • Ben PierattBen Pieratt, almost 7 years ago

    FWIW I put up some thoughts about Hessian on my blog:

    http://blog.pieratt.com/post/42024943625/some-reasoning-behind-hessian

    5 points
    • Guilherme CartaxoGuilherme Cartaxo, almost 7 years ago

      This is very interesting Ben!

      There's a subversive undertone in the act of selling a brand without a product that really makes me think about conceptual art.

      1 point
    • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 7 years ago

      A brand is useless without a designer to implement and extend it.

      A brand is also a lot more than a collection of visual elements and implementations.

      While as an experiment this is fine, but it becomes extremely dangerous for the design community if we begin to accept that selling our ideas wholesale to the highest bidder is okay. In all likelihood, the "entrepreneur" will not be able to do them justice without the creator's guidance. That's why in-house designers are important.

      That about sums up my thoughts on it without turning this into a long diatribe.

      1 point
  • Allan YuAllan Yu, almost 7 years ago

    Tailored Suits vs. Old Navy 11 Madison Park vs. McDonalds JaZz vs. Pop

    What is a brand? What is a logo? What is design? What is art?

    2 points
  • Dennis KramerDennis Kramer, almost 7 years ago

    I'm pretty confident this will sell. And when it does, I'm pretty confident it will work well for whoever buys it. Why? Well, a few reasons: 1. At the moment, Hessian is pretty much a stand-alone brand; there isn't much room for real brand personality from an actual product to have any influence. However, Ben does state that "30 hours custom design time" will be spent to help transition the brand to suit the client's needs. 30 hours is a lot of time. I have a feeling that next time we see Hessian, it will feel quite different, even if the big picture personality stays the same. 2. Hessian requires a very specific kind of buyer, and I have a feeling Ben will be somewhat picky with the kind of person he wants to sell it to. Whoever ends up going for it will probably bring something to the table that pushes the Hessian brand far beyond t shirts and wallpapers. 3. Companies (and the people who run those companies) often don't know what they want until they see it, and if they've seen it, its because someone else has already done it. Usually, this results in people ripping each other off and muddling each other's brands. Instead, Hessian is a unique, cool, and untaken. For the company that falls in love with it, this is a dream come true.

    2 points
    • Jibran KutikJibran Kutik, almost 7 years ago

      It's funny. The more I think about this, the less I think of this this as a brand. It's a collection of delightful visual elements, but it is not a brand. At best, maybe it's a collection of branding elements. Maybe it's an identity project. A brand is a communication between a business and it's customers. The word 'Coca-Cola' as set here without their trademarked logotype and colors still evokes a certain emotion. Even the made up brands you create in art school require you to think of the product you'll be branding and the users you'll be targeting. Hessian is meaningless.

      So maybe this is a study on the meaninglessness of branding in startup culture. The majority of startups don't seem to put a lot of effort into truly defining their branding beyond a catchy (yet meaningless) name and a blue logotype.

      Whichever startup falls in love and purchases this will get a nicely designed set of graphic elements and a new name and Tumblr account. If a few hours of work and an incredibly picky seller manage to somehow magically find a product/team that 'Hessian' truly represents, it might become a brand.

      But as it stands, without a product, a team or users to stand for, Hessian is not a brand.

      3 points
  • Kristy TillmanKristy Tillman, almost 7 years ago

    Its interesting my gut reaction is to hate it because it goes against everything we think about how to build a brand, but I will spend some time with it before drawing a conclusion.

    1 point
    • Kristy TillmanKristy Tillman, almost 7 years ago

      Now that I think about this a bit more this feels very much like buying a typeface....

      0 points
      • Jeffrey KamJeffrey Kam, almost 7 years ago

        Except only 1 person can buy it. Which, when I think about it, is kinda awesome. I've seen limited quantity typefaces.

        1 point
      • Jibran KutikJibran Kutik, almost 7 years ago

        I would disagree that this is similar to a typeface. A typeface makes up an element of a brand, but is always a part of a more cohesive branding effort.

        This is defining the brand before defining what the brand stands for. Even a custom typeface is designed after the brand is defined.

        1 point
        • Kristy TillmanKristy Tillman, almost 7 years ago

          You can easily cannibalize the visual elements. The brand is a kit to be used altered in some or in part as the end user sees fit.

          0 points
  • Dennis EusebioDennis Eusebio, almost 7 years ago

    It's an interesting experiment. I'd personally find it hard to align a company to a brand instead of a brand to a company. You'd have to compromise on too many things.

    1 point
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, almost 7 years ago

    I like this a lot. I'm not sure what kind of company could pick this up and run with it, but taking ideas here and there would work.

    1 point
  • Bryan KulbaBryan Kulba, almost 7 years ago

    Sooner or later, someone was gonna have this bright idea. Designers are gonna get pissed off because it's beaten into us that we must consider the problem before working out the design. On the other hand, if there is a designer here that hasn't created something that looked cool and then backwards justified it, then you are our new king. Pieratt has just created something cool and skipped any illusion of justification of purpose.

    If someone buys this, and it suits their company for a few years, good for them. If the time ever comes where the brand breaks under the needs and demands of the company, then the design world can really cluck their tongues at it and say they were right. Either way, they will get what they pay for.

    Doing this shows a serious bit of honest awareness about what design consumers want and a designer's role is in it. I do respect that.

    1 point
    • Kristy TillmanKristy Tillman, almost 7 years ago

      "On the other hand, if there is a designer here that hasn't created something that looked cool and then backwards justified it, then you are our new king."---Exactly

      And I think this is a point worth considering....

      0 points
  • Keenan Cummings, almost 7 years ago

    I think this thesis is worth testing. Could the design process be disentangled from the from the business process and sold as a package. You have to ask if the current popular process actually limits the potential of the work since it (as Ben mentions in his blog post) requires the designer to get involved in "launching, leading, growing and managing a product". If the creative process can happen independently, it just might be able to get farther than it would have otherwise. I suspect that if someone ends up buying this brand, they are going to have to "rise to the occasion" — go beyond where they might have been comfortable had they ben more involved in the process all along.

    I've found that designer's lack of business acumen has more do with interest than ability. If your creative and have a vision for a business or product that you think needs to be in the world, should you also have to learn how to incorporate a business, set up payroll, seek out and sell to investors, etc?

    The fundamental question here is whether this can be sold in the market as a new kind of design service product. It's worth testing and if Ben proves it out, he has a lot to gain. I appreciate this not just for the cool design of Hessian (still admiring the colors!), but for the proof of concept that he's put out to test a radical thesis.

    0 points
  • Matt SistoMatt Sisto, almost 7 years ago

    I wish I had $18,000.

    0 points
  • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 7 years ago

    A brand is useless without a designer to implement and extend it.

    A brand is also a lot more than a collection of visual elements and implementations.

    There's something extremely dangerous for the design community if we begin to make it okay to sell our ideas wholesale to the highest bidder, who in all likelihood will not be able to do them justice without the creator's guidance.

    That about sums up my thoughts on it without turning this into a long diatribe.

    0 points
    • Ben PierattBen Pieratt, almost 7 years ago

      "extremely dangerous"?

      C'mon now. We're talking mood and aesthetics here. This isn't Burma.

      4 points
      • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 7 years ago

        I'm not one to mince words, so forgive me and know that no offense is intended:

        If mood and aesthetics are the most important thing to you about a brand, go paint a painting. If you want to do design, you have to solve a problem.

        The danger in wholesale brands is the same as selling wholesale logos: You're miseducating people on the value of design and how good design is made. Sure, some people only want to spend a few bucks on the design of their company/app/whatever because its not important to them. Those people will probably always exist. As professionals, though, we really shouldn't encourage that.

        Design—good, respectable design—is more than just slapping together a system devoid of context, selling it for a few grand to the highest bidder, and being on your merry way. It's about more than mood and aesthetics, and thats why I think that the communities that have formed on sites like Dribbble are poison as well. Design, at least how I define it, is about thinking through and visually solving a problem.

        There's no problem here.

        4 points
  • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 7 years ago

    I think this is a great idea. Well done Ben! I think there's many brands this would be a good fit for. Essentially it's similar to a designer showing a concept to a client, and the client deciding if it fits their needs well, except this time it's being shown to many clients, and they all get the chance to buy.

    0 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, almost 7 years ago

      Forgot to add that there's many business models that can work for design and branding. It doesn't always have to entail a long winded wordy brief and many meetings. Also, this could be seen as a starting point, rather than a destination.

      0 points
  • Victor MarkVictor Mark, almost 7 years ago

    Interesting. Very interesting. What should doing this be called? Unspec work?

    0 points