TEAM CHOICE: Brands and their Values


We have been banging on about this for well over a year now, and surprise surprise, things haven’t changed a bit! We love sculpting a brand from the ground up and that building process involves setting up some epically sturdy foundations in the form of brand values and strategy. A brand strategy can help to shape not only the brand’s tone of voice but can also have a beneficial impact on its overall aesthetic. Afterall, a brand strategy should take research gained about a company’s markets and target audience in order to shape a suitably attractive visual and voice to attract the right people.

We took a bit of time out to ask the designdough team what their favourite brands were based on their values alone. The team weren’t to be swayed by colour, logo design or web offering, but instead had to pick based on the integrity and strong values conveyed through the brand’s messaging…and as ridiculously cheesy as it sounds, our choices ended up reflecting quite a bit about our individual personalities too.

Here are our picks:


  1. ALICE: Airbnb

    Branding and design by: DesignStudio

    Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences”

    The Airbnb brand is organic, youthful, friendly and adaptable. The brand, through it’s visual and UX/UI allows interpretation from each individual using the service, as well as each individual property. They appear solid and trustworthy, yet exciting and unique; truly summarising the emotions involved with travel and adventure through one simple emblem.

    Branding and design by: In-house at TOMS

    "At TOMS®, we believe we can improve people's lives through business. Founded in 2006, we understand the imperative for our company to operate responsibly and know that you want to buy from a company that works hard to integrate sustainable and responsible practices into all that they do.”

    TOMS is one of the first brands I became aware of that sold that consumerism could actually make a positive difference in the world. No matter whether you buy TOMS shoes in order to give back, or the giving back is just an added bonus, the brand opens up a dialogue on how consumerism can actually benefit people and the planet. I hope we see more of this concept for the future.
  3. RHYS: Pirate Studios, Cardiff


    "Artists recording at our studios get the chance to stream live to millions of viewers worldwide. Join ranks with the likes of Carl Barat of The Libertines and Dave McCabe of The Zutons via the revolutionary Pirate Live initiative.”

    Pirate Studios provide musicians with affordable rehearsal studios and really help to support creativity. Their site has a simple online booking system integrated with PayPal so you can get a room booked within a minute which is really convenient. When I posted a photo to Google Photos the co-founder called me from his mobile thinking I was posting it to complain and went out of his way to make sure we were happy with the rooms and if there was anything they could do for us and then gave us £10 credit towards future rooms. The warehouse where the rooms are situated has lots of “nice-to-have” extras like a kitchen with tea/coffee, WiFi and lockers.
  4. ABI: Mr. Kate Studios

    Branding and design by: Mr. Kate Studios

    "Mr. Kate Studios is an omnimedia lifestyle company based in Los Angeles, California making life fun and beautiful one creative project at a time. We produce home, style and beauty content and products including daily multimedia content for digital platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. . .) We are all about creating quirky, beautiful, fun and inspiring lives for everyone within our team and for everyone who consumes our content and products.”

    Mr. Kate is the overarching brand that structures and delivers one woman’s vision of how to live your best, most creative life, one DIY project at a time. The Mr. Kate brand takes into account different people’s skill levels yet still manages to produce engaging content that challenges, welcomes, inspires and has managed to form an online community of ‘creative weirdos’, brought together by their innate appreciation of individuality, uniqueness and unashamedly standing out from the crowd.
  5. JAMES N.: Raspberry Pi

    Website: Raspberry Pi

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.

    They make a low cost computers the size of a credit card and smaller, starting at £5. It’s a fantastic learning platform for electronics, programming, linux and more. As a foundation they work a lot with education, rolling them out in schools and other organisations around the world. They also manufacture a large amount of them here in Wales and are a UK company.
  6. JOE: Aston Martin


    "The love of beautiful has always been our guiding principle. And Martin and Bamford’s coming together – our origins as a company – was our earliest expression of it. From our humble origins to today, on road and track the irresistible draw of an Aston Martin endures. People all over the world seek our beautifully designed cars; cars that have always been synonymous with high performance, bespoke craftsmanship, technological innovation and timeless style.”

    The Aston Martin brand started from humble beginnings and worked itself up to the British pop-culture icon it is today (thanks in part to its associations with James Bond). Conceptually, and under the guise of the Aston Martin brand, Art, Craft, Beauty, Science and Engineering all work harmoniously to create automobiles that aren’t only fast, comfortable and powerful, but act as timeless emblems for luxury, simplicity and success.
  7. EZ: Finisterre

    Website: Finisterre

    "Born over a decade ago from the needs of hardy British surfers, Finisterre designs functional and sustainable product for those that share a love of the sea."

    Finisterre's design ethos of functionality and sustainability is brought to life in an understated style and identity, yet they always remain committed to their product, environment and people.
  8. JAMES: Skagen Denmark


    “SKAGEN was inspired by the Danish coastal town from which we borrow not just a name, but a warm spirit and a minimalist mindset.”

    Skagen sports a simplistic and minimal brand that let’s the quality of it’s products speak for itself. It conjures a feeling of style and neutrality through it’s lifestyle and product photography and it’s simple yet unique typography is utilised to further accent the style of the product range without becoming overpowering.