Brand Identity Design’s Secret Ingredient

Defy Time with Sagi Haviv

The branding presentation by Sagi Haviv (Partner & Designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv) at the 2022 Design Thinkers – Vancouver focused on the ingredients that have produced successful, memorable, and notable branding design throughout his career and traits that skilled designers embody.

Be timeless, be relevant to any time

Creating successful branding projects requires a dedication to balancing alignment and differentiation. What does this mean in the context of brand identity design? It means developing a brand design that fits alongside the competition yet stands out and incorporates an aesthetic that sets it apart. Sounds simple right? If you’re Sagi Haviv, having years of success and the cachet of an internationally recognized agency behind him, then yes. For the average designer or agency. How do you build this level of trust with your client that allows this level of creative freedom to explore unorthodox ideas? Understanding your clients’ business/organization and their business needs/goals will help build their trust in you. Open communication (which means listening to client challenges and concerns) and project progress transparency will also increase the client’s comfort in the process.


Sagi Haviv - 2022 Design Thinkers Vancouver QA

Defy the genre

To increase buy-in from the client, Sagi Haviv presents the brand identity design to the client with contextual mockups. These showcase the brand design in applications and environments that pertain specifically to the client’s business/industry, helping the client visualize how their brand identity will display out in the wild.

Sagi Haviv - 2022 Design Thinkers Vancouver About-workingSagi Haviv - 2022 Design Thinkers Vancouver About-sagi-marilee

Photo Credit: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv |

Talk Takeaways

  • Defy your own style
  • Break out of your own style
  • Defy the genre
  • Look completely different in the field
  • Defy contradiction
  • Defy time 60 years later
  • Be timeless, be relevant to any time

Non-technical skills

  • Find your voice
  • Distill complex ideas into simple solutions
  • Drawing, sketching and problem solving
  • Curiosity, obsession and editing