Is blanding the end of a visual era?

new yves saint laurent logo

“Blanding” is a play on “branding” and represents lack of innovation and differentiation in visual communication. Examples are Yves Saint Laurent Helvetica logo and Andreessen Horowitz using the same home page template for many of their investments.

Following arguments might motivate blanding:

1) Companies do not want to dedicate resources to innovative visual content.

2) New content distribution technologies, such as social media, require a lot of standardization.

3) With increased competition companies are innovating in products and services, not visual content.

4) Visual brand awareness is loosing relevance due to decline of visual media such as print and retail packaging.

5) Customers are requesting less distractions and more focus on core, hard, real values.

Overall customers are making less decisions based on visual content. As quantity of global visual content increased, customers are more interested in what a video says, than how it looks. They are more interested in how does an app work, than how buttons are designed. They are more interested in how the clothes meet their needs than what the logo of the brand is.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 18 May 2020