Are you a Serif or a Sans: Interviewing a brand

I’m working on a design, and was having a tough time defining the brand. In an effort to pin it down, I decided to conduct a thought experiement. I imagined that I was interviewing a person, and that this person was the physical embodiment of the brand. He or she had all its characteristics. By anthropomorphizing the brand in this way, I was able to see it in 3-d, and get a really specific vision of the brand.

Here’s a few of the questions I ran through:

* Are you male or female?
* Do you prefer modern or classical architecture?
* What colour are the walls in your place of business?
* What music do you listen to?
* Where do you shop for clothes?
* What’s your favorite cuisine?
* Are you a serif or a sans?

The exercise was amazingly helpful. In seeing the brand in such an abstract way, I was able to interact with it, and understand it at a visceral level. I have a really clear image in my mind of what the design needs to do to satisfy the brand’s needs. And my mind is swimming with ideas.

Give it a try if you get stuck.

4 thoughts on “Are you a Serif or a Sans: Interviewing a brand”

  1. Very interesting, Peter. I have a similar system that I use which combines an odd questionnaire (like this) with reference sites. Except I use it on my clients, not myself. It usually gives me a pretty good read on the conscious and unconscious preferences of a client.

  2. As a business/personal life coach, I ask my clients these types of questions to help them get a better perspective of *themselves*. My current two-part favorite:

    Part One: How do you picture yourself currently? (e.g. type of car, movie character, etc.)

    Part Two: How do you picture yourself ideally? (Other type of car, movie character, etc.)

    It’s a great way to get some new synapses firing and stimulate a deeper conversation.

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