Corporate design: All-embracing integral design

Jan 27, 2017
Sindelfingen

The central remit for the area of Corporate Design is to define the visual appearance of the Daimler Group and its brands and to distinguish between the respective brands. The focus is on a holistic design approach, in the interests of a consistent look and feel for all products, visualisation and communication media. In this way the corporate designers create a unique brand experience covering all traditional and digital touch points between customers and the company. The starting point is provided by the style-defining vehicles.

Brand and design are directly related, as design renders a brand`s core values emotionally accessible, thus influencing how the brand is perceived. The designers specify this dialogue between brand and design for the core Mercedes‑Benz brand in the Design Code, which defines the style of the respective brands.

On the basis of the Design Code, the designers evolve the design strategies together with the other centres within Daimler’s design unit and liaise closely with all relevant corporate units in order to develop this holistic design approach across all product divisions and communication channels.

“Corporate design is the company’s team strip”, says Klaus Frenzel, Head of Digital Graphic & Corporate Design. “It strengthens the team’s own sense of identity while at the same time communicating the special values and aspirations of the company and the brands to the outside world”. The starting point for the core brand, Mercedes‑Benz, is the design philosophy of Sensual Purity, which is applied firstly to the brand’s prime ambassadors - their vehicles.

Beyond this, the holistic design approach also applies to the visual design of everything which shapes the way in which the brands and the Group as a whole are perceived.

The designers work closely with the marketing and communication area here. The Corporate Design remit extends from the design of the company’s internet presence through print media to fairs and events. The “Silver Flow”, a large-scale sculpture consisting of silver slats, is a defining feature of Mercedes‑Benz’s appearances at major car shows, for example. The interior and exterior architecture at sales outlets and the design of the teamwear also fall within this unit’s scope of responsibility.

“We are certainly not seeking to change everything for the sake of novelty”, explains Frenzel. “On the basis of our traditions, it is rather a matter of adapting forms or materials which are ingrained in the brand to new platforms and keeping them alive and up to date”. This applies from the design of digital media and content through to essentially unremarkable products, such as the charging cable for an electric vehicle. Particularly when it comes to upholding the global iconic status of the Mercedes star, Frenzel and his team also see themselves in the role of “style sheriffs”, as he puts it with a telling wink.

Beyond the vehicles themselves, the Mercedes‑Benz designers are already involved in the creation of a diverse range of products with selected premium manufacturers under the “Mercedes‑Benz Style” label. Such products include the exclusive Airbus Helicopters “ Helicopter H145”, the luxurious motor yacht “ARROW460 – Granturismo" and the futuristic “Ameluna” hanging lamp by Artemide (see following “Under the microscope” section for details). These take the distinctive, progressive design idiom into other product worlds and areas of life, such as mobility, lifestyle and interior design.

The designers'’ aspirations extend still further, however. An example of the corporate designers’ “out of the box” creativity is their “Future World” design for the book “Sensual Purity – Gorden Wagener on Design”. Fascinating renderings were produced here, presenting a vision of the future and illustrating how Sensual Purity might influence all areas of life as a design philosophy. The “Future World” series shows how the designers’ dreams of a future world take shape as fascinatingly bold yet realistic visions. A visionary living environment of the future is to be seen, with roads, bridges, villas and skyscrapers, cars, boats and aircraft.

The Corporate Design remit extends from the design of digital media and content through to essentially unremarkable products, such as the charging cable for an electric vehicle.Particularly when it comes to upholding the global iconic status of the Mercedes star, the CD team also sees itself in the role of a "style sheriff".
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The Corporate Design horizon extends from advertising through online presentation to events and fairs. The "Silver Flow", a large-scale sculpture consisting of silver slats, is a defining feature of Mercedes-Benz's appearances at major car shows, for example (photograph: IAA 2015)
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