Happy St. David’s day! Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Today is 1st March, and a celebration of the Patron Saint of Wales. It is also a shameless opportunity for some (us) to ease bloated pancake hangovers with startling amounts of Welsh cakes and bara brith. Our social media feeds are currently sporting a colourful number of Welsh flags which, because we’re quite interested in design here at Mineral HQ, set us off on quite a tangent.

Vexillology and branding

We’re unashamedly nerdy in our delight at having learnt a new word, with the additional plus that saying it aloud feels a bit like rolling a sweet around your mouth. Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags. This gripped our attention, because it’s basically what we do when producing branding concepts. We look at the history and context of the client, identify the connotations associated with them and with the industry, and then find new and interesting ways to convey this information in such a way that it can be understood outside of the ‘priesthood’. That is, outside of the circle of people who already know the jargon. Would a random person stopped in the street understand the symbolism? As the client grows, will the way they use their branding continue to distinguish them amongst a crowd? 

A national flag is, on a basic level, an exercise in branding. Wearing a flag on our sleeve can convey huge amounts of information, such as the language we are likely to speak. Nationals living under other flags are liable to make assumptions on the basis of it; our spending potential, attitude, other stereotypes that we might either disprove or live up to. Sporting events where competitors are representative of their country particularly inspire overwhelming brand identity with the relevant flag.

Some brands, through consumer experience or clever marketing, are embedded in our consciousness as being synonymous with good quality, good value, reliable. Shoppers find a brand they really like or really aspire to, and will often ‘buy the badge’ for the long haul.

Branding matters. Did we mention that it’s one of our areas of expertise? Cheeky does it…