10:50 - 12:30
Session: S03
[Digital Age] + Design
Is Feminist Branding Possible?
Feminism; Branding; Discourse; Disruption; Design

Intersectional feminist and decolonial scholars have laid the theoretical groundwork examining design’s complicity in structural oppression. Decades of literature contend that design must be profoundly reframed to recognise broader perspectives and plural traditions, destabilise hegemonic methods, and dismantle forces that threaten equitable futures. For these transformations to be lived as well as thought, designers must apply emancipatory principles to practice. This paper examines strategies for using an intersectional feminist framework, which advocates for equal rights with the understanding that people experience multiple and interlocking forms of oppression, to disrupt conventions in brand identity design. The author, a practicing communication designer, uses feminist theory to question historical and contemporary ideas about branding from modernist corporate identities to the recent “femvertising” trend. This analysis is followed by a case study, the brand identity for the Women’s Group on Race Relations, which presents a possible feminist approach to brand identity design practice.