Obama’s Campaign Designer Built a Card Game for Brand Identity

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Scott Thomas, former lead designer of the 2008 Obama campaign and founder of Chicago-based design and technology studio Simple.Honest.Work recently introduced The Brand Deck. The Brand Deck is a simple card game designed as a simple branding tool for companies to help define your brand’s personality.

How do you “play” this group exercise? The Brand Deck consists of 100 adjectives, with black and white contrasting terms such as “simple” and “complex” on reverse faces of a card. Each card is placed into one of three piles: You Are, You are Not, or Not Applicable. At the end of the game, a company is left with the adjectives that best represent its brand’s essence.

The Brand Deck was inspired by Simple.Honest.Work’s own experience working with rebranding companies who could not distinguish its brand’s identity, leading to frustration over the design process. “I think one of the most important things with starting any company, or any brand—the sort of core characteristics that define who you are—even if you’re focusing on the visual perspective of that brand, communicating certain attributes is key,” Thomas says. “We really need a simple tool to be able to determine exactly what those core characteristics were.”

The project has already raised donations of nearly $50,000- surpassing its initial goal of $45,000 on Kickstarter, with 18 days remaining in the campaign. In addition, Simple.Honest.Work has partnered with Cards Against Humanity to assist in printing and production. Thomas is also offering brand chats and workshops for those that pledge over $500. But the deck itself is for anyone and everyone, he says. Learn more in the video below.

[kickstarter id=”simplescott/the-brand-deck”]


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