To Be or Not to Be? The Rise and Fall of Branded Environments

The word "brand" was originated to describe the mark on a cow's butt. Today it covers much, much more than that. Branding is an art form, a short hand for customer preferences, and even a cause for world domination. Katie Sprague,Senior VP at Callison RTKL, covers the long and short of it at Be | The Branded Environments Event Thursday in Los Angeles.

>>There’s still time to “Be” there!

The word “brand” originated to describe the marks made on cow’s hindquarters to identify their owners. The lexicon expanded in the 21st century to refer to icons, then to comprehensive identity systems and finally to the collection of assets that make a product or company unique. In the world of experiential design, branded environments have come to represent the ways that a brand is expressed in physical space.

But the concept of brands or branded environments is not even remotely a new idea, Sprague reminds us. “More than 17,000 years ago, people felt the need to make a mark, to tell a story in a place. We know that because of the caves at Lascaux, France.”

Sprague’s presentation “To Be or Not to Be: A Brief History of the Rise and Fall of Branded Environments” will kick off the Be event on Thursday, August 20, at Woodbury University in Burbank. On Friday, August 21, attendees will join a Downtown LA Walking Tour to explore how branding plays out in the cityscape.

Sprague will give a rapid-fire recounting of the rise and fall of branding, from Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s “postcard branding” and renovation of Paris and Harry Selfridge’s invention of the “theater of retail” to Los Angeles’ brand being shaped by its freeways and Wal-Mart creating a new model of “stuff" over experience.

“Those may be the highs and lows, but there is a lot of territory in between, and we’ll explore the new landscape for branding and city branding,” promises Sprague.

Sprague will be among a top-notch panel of branding experts including Peter Dixon, Prophet; Graham Hanson, Graham Hanson Design; Simon Borg and Brian Mirakian, Populous; Hillary Jaye and Tom Horton, Gensler; Joe Zenas, Thinkwell; and Lucy Holmes, Holmes Wood.

>>Join us in LA this Thursday for the Be event and Downtown LA Walking Tour! 

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