An Introduction to the Development of a Product Brand: An Evidence-Based Template for Use with First Year Undergraduate Industrial Designers


  • George Edward Torrens Loughborough Design School Loughborough University
  • Kevin Badni College of Arch., Art and Design Department of Art and Design American University of Sharjah
  • Karl Hurn Loughborough Design School Loughborough University
  • Ian James Storer Loughborough Design School Loughborough University


The manipulation of colour, form and texture within a commercial design activity is a core competency for an industrial designer. The job of the Industrial designer is to use colour, form, texture, temperature and movement to deliver a sensory experience that evokes a desired response. The core deliverables of an industrial designer are embedded within an evidence-based and user-centred approach to product design. Social functionality may often be most easily seen through the delivery of Brand. The aim of this paper is to provide education practitioners with a template to facilitate the introduction of Brand construction to undergraduate industrial design students through the visual and physical embodiment of a product. The objectives of this paper are to: provide signposting to the underpinning theories of the template; describe the template; show examples of student work that demonstrate the outcomes of template application; and, highlight where students have used the template within brand related design competitions to produce successful design outcomes. 

Author Biographies

George Edward Torrens, Loughborough Design School Loughborough University

George Torrens is a lecturer in the Loughborough Design School and has been a practicing Industrial designer for the last 30 years. He had undertaken a four year course in Design For Industry at Newcastle Polytechnic (now known as the University of Northumbria), prior to which he served a four-year apprenticeship at Bristish Nuclear Fuels Limted, Windscale and a one year arts and crafts foundation course at Carlisle College of Art and Design.

He has undertaken research and design development projects for charitable and commercial organisations, as well as the United Kingdom Government. George has been the named inventor on four patent applications, with two GB and one US patents granted. He has been an invited speaker to present on issues relating to Inclusive design and design ergonomics at National and International Conferences. He has also been a panellist reviewing short listed proposals for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as well as the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council. George regularly reviews papers for eight academic journals.

George was the founding member of a University spin-out Company, Dexterity Research Limited, which was the first University spin-out company to win a DTI SMART Award. He was a Director and shareholder between 2000-2003. George currently advises inventors on their designs through the East Midlands Development Agency and The Nottinghamshire Business Venture Trust. In 2009 he was awarded funding by the Audi Design Foundation to develop the his patented fit-splint, an innovative new method of fracture support for the wrist.

Kevin Badni, College of Arch., Art and Design Department of Art and Design American University of Sharjah

Kevin Badni is the Head of the Art and Design Department, in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. Before moving to the Emirates Kevin was a senior lecturer and Design Masters Programme Director at Loughborough University. Prior to becoming an academic, Kevin spent ten years working as an Industrial Designer for a number of manufacturing companies and design consultancies.  Kevin’s main research area is the personal perceptions of vision in both design and art. His research covers the use of augmented and virtual reality technology to enhance design and create art pieces. Kevin’s art pieces have been exhibited in the UK, Australia and the UAE.

Karl Hurn, Loughborough Design School Loughborough University

Karl Hurn, programme leader and lecturer in the Loughborough Design School, has a 1st Class Honours degree in Industrial Design; a Postgraduate Qualification for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education; and, is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He worked as an Industrial Designer for 5 years at Hotpoint before becoming an academic in 2002. In his last position he was Programme Leader for the BA and BSc Product Design Programmes at the University of Derby. During that time he specialised in teaching computer aided design and visualisation, design presentation and tutoring for final year undergraduate projects as well as teaching on the Masters programme in Sustainable Design and Innovation.

Ian James Storer, Loughborough Design School Loughborough University

Ian Storer  is a lecturer in the Loughborough Design School. He has over ten years experience as a product designer and nine years as a lecturer in Industrial Design at Loughborough University at undergraduate and masters level. He has designed a wide range of transportation, military, consumer and industrial products, both as an independent consultant and as part of design teams. He has worked on live projects sponsored jointly by automotive manufacturers and UK research councils. He has also been funded by UK Research councils in the area of product visualisation and task analysis.





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