Ancient peoples believed that time was cyclic in character . . . We, on the other hand, habitually think of time as something that stretches in a straight line into the past and future . . . The linear concept of time has had profound effects on Western thought. Without it, it would be difficult to conceive of the idea of progress.
—Robert Morris, as quoted by Stephen Jay Gould in Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle1
Over the course of its lifetime, a business will have varying design needs. Too often, design is focused within a narrow sliver of time, compared with the life of the business, and the relationship a customer may have with the business. As a result, design is often deemed necessary only at certain stages, and once these have been completed, it is as if what has been created will suffice forever and never needs to be revisited.
The “foundation” for many businesses is their brand. Brand means many things to many people, but for most modern businesses, it provides several basic requirements: what the company is called and what its identity (logo or trademark) looks like, its mission and vision, and often its values and positioning. Because these are things that don’t need to change frequently (except when a major change has occurred, such as a substantial shift in the offering, a major gaffe in performance or behavior, or the hiring of a new chief marketing officer [CMO]), this is an area that rarely gets attention from design. ...