Take Five: Brian Adducci & Identity design

Founding partner and creative principal of Capsule, Brian Adducci is responsible for the design process and creative product for our clients. Every project leaves our clients inspired for the future. From the Byerly's identity in 2002 to the AlpineAire packaging released this past summer -- each one of these clients has gone on to thrive and flourish.There is an obvious passion behind Brian's work, and it shows in the design product delivered and relationships established thereafter.

In the hustle and bustle of the current busy season we find ourselves in, we snuck in five minutes with our creative mastermind to gain insight on his design perspective. We focused specifically on identity design this time around. 

Who has been the biggest influence into your way of thinking about identity design?

Paul Rand – to this day – is considered to be one of the most influential graphic designers in the world. He was best known for his corporate identity in the 1950's and 1960s, including logos for ABC, Westinghouse, UPS and IBM.

He has shaped my viewpoint on design thinking throughout my career with books and articles on theory and philosophies of visual design. His principles continue to inspire me even today.

What is the most important thing you find yourself incorporating into each of your identity design projects?

I always incorporate three principles when designing identities.

First, they must express an insightful concept about the brand that resonates with its audiences.

Second, they need to be simple and direct in the visual form they take so they can be easily recognized.

Finally, they’re memorable or distinctive as the result of one or more distinguishing characteristics in the identity itself.

Tell us about Capsule's first "big" identity design project - what went through your head when you learned Capsule had landed that account?

Capsule first "big" identity project was the work we did for Lund’s and Byerly’s in 2002. The Byerly’s grocery chain was a prominent and beloved brand in Minnesota (and it still is today), however, its reputation was losing mind share from the younger demographic. Its image of old fashion, carpets and chandeliers wasn’t resonating with its customers any longer.

We had the opportunity to help transform this aging brand into a gourmet lifestyle grocery experience. Capsule had to make sure the identity could attract the "20-something” crowd and also retain loyal customers. We did this by replacing the old script logotype with a contemporary monogram that alluded to quality and gourmet.

I remember the day it was first introduced to the public. Everyone held their breath at Capsule, bracing for the onslaught of public opinion as it hit every local newspaper and TV news station. It was amazing to see the outpour of positive comments from the community. It really proved that our team hit this project out of the ballpark and it became a catalyst for larger brands going forward. 

What was it like designing Capsule's Identity 15 years ago?

Ask any designer, creating a name and identity for your own company is a very daunting task. We took the opportunity as a company to go through the exact Foundations™ process we take all of our clients through. This not only helped us define our brand personality and attributes, but it also helped us refine our research process to get it to where it is today.


Connect with Brian on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter

About The Author

Courtney Johnson

Affectionately known around the office as C-John, CoJo or Uptown Girl, I make sure the whole world knows about the general greatness of Capsule. Armed with the Mary Tyler Moore theme song and Audrey Hepburn inspired wardrobe, I coordinate all details around building relationships and exploring new design opportunities. Sailing on Lake Calhoun and attending local concerts feed my daily musings. 


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