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Industrial designers stress importance of good branding

The second session of the iDEA Herald Design Forum gathered creators of the world’s best-selling cars, the most creative plastic products, and top mobile phone service providers to discuss the next step for achieving commercial success in industrial design.

Moderated by Kim Young-se, CEO of Inno Design, the two-hour session included Chris Bangle, former head of design at BMW Group, Pyo Hyun-myung, president of mobile business group at KT Corp., Chung Kook-hyun, president of Samsung Art & Design Institute and industrial designer Karim Rashid.

The four shared the idea that creating a unique brand for companies has become ever more important in this fast-changing world.

Pyo said the telecommunication provider’s intensified focus on creating a brand for the company is the secret behind making KT a top five corporate brand of Korea last year.

“When KT was privatized in 2002, our design team was tiny part of our marketing team. We made it big, gave it direct communication channels with the CEO and used it as our strategic base to brand the company,” Pyo told more than 400 design experts, chief executives and students at the forum.

Pyo said unifying the company’s logo in red Korean characters and marketing “Olleh KT” in anecdotal advertisements gave the firm a passionate image. 
Chris Bangle delivers a speech at Session II.
Chris Bangle delivers a speech at Session II.

“Design was our best bet to revamp the company and the bet was a highly successful one. KT wasn’t listed as top five national brands in 2009, but we made into the list last year along with Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor Co., LG Electronics and Kia Motor Corp,” Pyo said.

Bangle and Rashid focused on introducing the audience of the creative process relevant in any industrial designs.

Bangle, arguably the most influential auto designer out of from BMW Group, said there are three phases of design process.

“Any design process should begin with a concept of ‘why,’ and knowing why you want to do this should come with a strong intuition.”

“The next two process, ‘how’ and ‘believing in the idea,’ should challenge every boundary one can see and add all the details to the creative process,” Bangle said.

Bangle, the industry lexicon for controversial yet popular car designs, is now a consultant for Samsung Electronics after 28 years as an automobile designer.

Karim Rashid, better known as the “Prince of Plastic” for his best-selling designs of plastic products, displayed some of his over 3,000 works gone world-wide famous, to make a point that design is democratic art that can be expressed in so many different ways.

“At some point design became its own culture. We use things we don’t know where it’s from, we just accept it as a part of built-in environment in this world,” Karim said.

(cynthiak@heraldcorp.com)
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