What are brands? How do they affect our environment? How do they promote themselves? And how do we as consumers respond to brand names? As the year 2000 draws to a close the V&A looks at brands and consumer culture in the late 20th century in a unique and imaginative exhibition, opening on 19 October 2000.
Branding, advertising and consumers will be explored through case studies of global brand names like Coca Cola as well as the more subversive labels like fashion brand, Diesel. Luxury branding will also feature - Brand. New will look at how brands promote themselves as luxury items through colour and materials in both product design and advertising.
The voices of consumers and our responses to brands will be represented through testimonials, revealing how we use brands to identify ourselves. What do your Nike trainers say about you? Or your Jaguar? Or your Swatch? Why do you choose one washing powder over another?
From mass-market products like the Kellogg's cornflake packet to exclusive fashion labels, Brand.New will show contemporary design alongside traditional brand names, reflecting the diversity of material culture and values.
The exhibition, is curated by Jane Pavitt, University of Brighton/V&A Senior Research Fellow in Product Design and Museology and Gareth Williams, curator at the V&A. Brand.New will be designed as a series of stimulating installations by young, influential designers, allowing the visitor to understand the world of goods with new clarity.
Two books will be published by V&A Publications. A major illustrated book, Brand.New, edited by Jane Pavitt, will expand on the themes of the exhibition, with contributions from leading cultural historians, curators, critics and representatives of the world of commerce. A shorter, illustrated book by Gareth Williams will focus on a selection of branded products.