Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
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The 22nd Century Brand: a three-part video series by Hunter Tura

4 min read

How did brands gain such control of our lives? How will brands function in a rapidly changing world? What about the role of designers? How will designers maintain their position as people who can continue to speculate about the future to deal with the social, ecological and cultural challenges of tomorrow?

In this three-part series presented by DesignSingapore Council and the National Design Centre (NDC), global branding expert and Syndicate X CEO Hunter Tura unpacks the concept of branding, walks us through its evolution and looks at the urgency that branding holds to address contemporary issues. This series is part of the NDC’s thematic programming for the month of June 2020 – “Building Strong Brands”.

Episode 1: The Origins of Brands

In this episode, Hunter Tura share the genesis of brands. Historically, brands have been thought of as “static” entities – trademarks that represent a particular product or service and denote a certain quality or consistency. In 1982, everything changed. For the first time design became fully digital, and by 1984 and the release of the first Macintosh, design had become democratised.

Episode 2: Brands Today

In this episode, Hunter Tura looks at how brands have shifted – over the past generation – to “dynamic” systems where every part of an organisational image and reputation is designed. Whereas older brands were primarily an image that stood for a set of principles, today the brand itself has become a platform for participation and exchange. Watch the video to unpack what this means. 

Episode 3: The Future of Brands

In the final episode, Hunter Tura discusses The Future of Brands. While there are many uncertainties in the post-Covid 19 world, there are certain trends in the recent history that are exciting. Brands are now more participatory and responsive to inputs from and interactions with customers.

Brands that succeed are the ones that have an empathetic relationship with customers, resulting in deep emotional connections that lead to affiliation and ultimately growth in sales. These shifts in what we expect of brands today and in the future have led to a shift in the role of the designer too. The designer is now regarded more of an impresario, bringing together the right people and opportunities and synthesizing various inputs that are responsive to changing cultural and economic conditions.

About the Speaker

Hunter Tura is founder of SYNDICATE X, a global strategic brand consultancy where he is responsible for the firm’s overall creative direction, design excellence and global business development. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with business, culture and design leaders from leading organisations such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as companies like Netflix, Audi, Asics, Lululemon, Samsung, GE, Unilever, and Sonos on a range of brand strategy & design initiatives.

Trained as an architect, he was a juror for the 2018 President*s Design Award, organised by the DesignSingapore Council. He has worked with brands in Singapore, including Unilever and GE.


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Singapore’s highest honour for designers and designs across all disciplines
One of Asia’s premier design festivals that champions design thought leadership
National Design Centre