Yang Kim

Design Change is one of the many projects on which Yang Kim and Kevin Budelmann collaborate. In 1997, they co-founded Peopledesign (then BBK Studio). As executive creative director and president (respectively), they lead a 25-person team to help clients transform their businesses through a proven method of Brand Experience Design. Along the way, they got married and started a family, perhaps their most rewarding collaboration to date.

In 2010, they co-authored Brand Identity Essentials for Rockport Publishers.


Brands as Symbols: Symbols in Brand Design

The best brands tend to symbolize something in a culture beyond the specific, pragmatic offer.

Topic: Branding Identity

Do Your Homework: Research in Brand Design

Before you begin designing a logo, do your homework.

Topic: Branding Identity

Planning for Change: Evolution in Brand Design

Commitment to an identity program over a defined period of time makes sense, though identity programs are made for reinvention.

Topic: Branding Identity

The Truth Comes Out: Authenticity in Brand Design

Logos that try too hard, feel forced, or seem to be a stretch can stand out—in a bad way.

Topic: Branding Identity

Owning an Aesthetic: Intellectual Property in Brand Design

Protecting the brand identity in a legal sense becomes even harder than identity programs, but attempting to "own" a meaningful space in the mind of your customer is every marketer's objective.

Topic: Branding Identity

Ingredient Brands: Multiples in Brand Design

Logos often look their best when they're set apart, standing alone, all by themselves.

Topic: Branding Identity

Stick with a Good Idea: Commitment in Brand Design

Too often, a logo change is seen as a cosmetic, tactical choice, equated to changing out business cards.

Topic: Branding Identity

Brand Bibles: Documentation in Brand Design

When some people think "bible," they think rulebook.

Topic: Branding Identity

Timelessness: Originality in Brand Design

During the first decades of the twentieth century, graphic identity was a novel idea.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging, Product Design, Professional Development

Standards of Hierarchy: Multiples in Brand Design

Strong programs are often about standardized treatments.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Pattern & Palette, Random

Decisive Brands: Commitment in Brand Design

Decision by indecision is no way to build brand value.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Design Reference, Packaging

Dueling Logos: Competition in Brand Design

Fifty years ago, when discussions about graphic design found their way into corporate boardrooms, the idea of creating a unique, graphic representation of a company and what it stands for was new.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging, Product Design, Type

Cultural Symbols: Symbols in Brand Design

We live in a world of complex symbology, where symbols with deep cultural roots are modified, editorialized, and juxtaposed to create ever-new meaning.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color

Shape and Meaning: Shape in Brand Design

Identity programs can reinforce brand identities by echoing or suggesting brand promises.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Pattern & Palette

The Human Element: Originality in Brand Design

Some of today's most successful brands capitalize on human emotion.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging, Product Design, Professional Development

Social Innovation: Social Media in Brand Design

New media are continually offering new opportunities for identity programs.

Topics: Branding Identity, Interactive Design, Managing Design, Professional Development

99% Perspiration: Inspiration in Brand Design

An inspiring business plan that addresses a commonly understood human need provides the best of inspiration for a brand identity.

Topics: Branding Identity, Interactive Design, Managing Design

Digital Brands: Digital Identity in Brand Design

It's been said that half the money in advertising is wasted, but the trick is figuring out which half—a problem online advertisers have endeavored to solve.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Managing Design, Self-Promotion

Narrative Applications: Story in Brand Design

Programs are all about context, and each place the identity is expressed reveals an opportunity to extend a narrative.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Professional Development

Customer Experience Planning: Touchpoints in Brand Design

Customer touchpoints shape a customer's perception of a brand.

Topics: Branding Identity, Random, Studio Secrets, Type

Logos with a Sense of Humor: Wit in Brand Design

As with art, literature, and life, some of the most memorable work done in the area of graphic identity gives people a reason to smile.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Random

Editorial Style: Writing in Brand Design

What do product and service names, taglines, headlines, body copy, captions, and sidebars have in common? If you hope to build a successful identity program, let's hope you answered "editorial style.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging, Professional Development

Logo Specs: Documentation in Brand Design

Once you've arrived at a perfect drawing or configuration for your graphic identity, take the time to write it down.

Topics: Branding Identity, Professional Development, Studio Secrets

Constraints and Opportunities: Research in Brand Design

Initial research provides a better understanding of the constraints under which an identity program will operate.

Topics: Branding Identity, Professional Development

What Is "On Brand"?: Order in Brand Design

Brands are promises, and keeping promises is all about being consistent.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Packaging, Pattern & Palette, Product Design

Competitive Landscape: Competition in Brand Design

A lot of brand positioning work relates to an organization's competition—a brand might be positioned this way, but compared to what? A brand identity is built in part on a competitive position.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Packaging, Product Design

Physical Elements: Dimension in Brand Design

As identity programs make their way into physical spaces, they present golden opportunities for amplifying brand attributes.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Environmental Design

Trademarks: Intellectual Property in Brand Design

Originality is seldom the explicit client goal of a new graphic identity project, but stretching yourself to develop a graphic identity that doesn't look like anything else may help legally protect the mark in the marketplace.

Topics: Branding Identity, Professional Development, Random

Walk the Talk: Shortcuts in Brand Design

Whether an organization invests up front in its graphic identity, or gets away with a cheap logo and carelessly slaps it on everything possible, a strong brand identity is hard to fake Brand identity taps into what an organization does, how it behaves, or who it is—or is trying to become.

Topics: Branding Identity, Professional Development

Change Strategy: Evolution in Brand Design

Some markets rely on a sense of stability and consistency.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging

Managing Multiple Brands: Multiples in Brand Design

The question of how multiple brand identities might peacefully coexist only recently became an issue.

Topics: Branding Identity, Product Design, Professional Development

Brand Stories: Story in Brand Design

From religious parables to folk songs to business case studies, stories serve as a primary vehicle for communicating complex ideas in a clear, easily digestible way.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color, Studio Secrets

Color Power: Color

Clinical and anecdotal tests on color psychology and emotion have led to the development of widely accepted theories about color.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color

Visual Style: Imagery

Creating a coherent identity program involves more than slapping a bug on baseball hats and polo shirts.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging

Applied Color: Color in Brand Design

As color spreads across an identity program into environments, packaging, websites, and more, consistency and meaning reign supreme.

Topics: Branding Identity, Color

An Aesthetic Niche: Imagery

Images add immediacy, power, and clarity to communications, from stained-glass church windows to Michael Jordan billboards.

Topic: Branding Identity

Illustrative Logos: Imagery in Brand Design

All illustrative logos are pictures, but they cover quite a range of meaning.

Topics: Branding Identity, Packaging, Product Design