The term brand design describes the contemporary implementation of the brand style elements. It provides creative expression and keeps the brand up-to-date.
The difference between brand design and brand style: While brand design is short-lived, brand style refers to the fundamental appearance of a brand and is characterized by predictability and continuity.
Metaphorically speaking, the brand style decides whether the gentleman wears a tie or not. The brand design determines what color the tie should be. One example of the modern adaptation of brand design is the fox of the building association Schwäbisch Hall: The basic style elements have remained in place, only the look of the fox has changed over the years.
Brands with larger product portfolios also take advantage of the freedom of brand design. Take for instance the kidney grille in BMW's automotive design: The kidney on a 3-series BMW looks different than that on a 7-series BMW, and yet, it and the brand are unmistakable.
Creativity can only develop within defined limits. Brand design is therefore bound by strategic guidelines and brand rules. These are of particular relevance for multi-brand companies to take the best possible advantage of the synergy effects of the brand architecture and prevent a watering-down of the brands.