10?’s with The Brand Identity founder, writer & graphic designer, Elliott Moody

Graphic designers are spoilt for choice when it comes to resources: blogs, interviews, mockups, case studies, podcasts and even our own 10 Questions series. There are so many places we head to for a hit of inspiration and one of our faves is The Brand Identity (TBI) for its diverse range of content, coverage and bespoke write-ups. Its founder – a fellow graphic designer and writer – along with his team keeps up with countless project submissions but found the time to answer our 10 questions, letting us look under the TBI bonnet.


Hey Elliott, and welcome. Firstly, you founded and are still managing one of the most popular design resources out there, The Brand Identity. Can you give us an insight into how you built TBI to where it is now?

The main thing is consistency. We’ve shared projects on our site and socials five or six days a week since 2015. Whether it’s back when I was working full-time as a designer, writing and scheduling articles in the car on the way to work, or today where we have a great team that puts everything together like clockwork.

Showing up every day is what enabled us to grow an audience initially, and has helped it continue to grow now.

The other thing that helped us initially was probably the timing. In 2015, it was much easier to get a great name on Instagram and grow a following just by posting, as not many others were doing it.

The Brand Identity index page

Other design blogs have existed before TBI (and others have come after) so what was your inspiration for starting it? What did you think you could do differently?

I was interning at a studio in London called Campbell Hay (lovely people), and had some downtime most days. I either spent it learning to code (and failing) or looking at design blogs like BP&O and Brand New. I love those sites (still) and didn’t particularly set out to do something different to them – that wasn’t even really a thought. I just became obsessed with branding projects and wanted to share them on an Instagram account. What we’ve become now – writing about projects and studios, publishing books, making products – has developed one step at a time over the years. There’s more of a ‘master plan’ now, but back then, nothing was too thought out.


Have you always been interested in writing about graphic design?

To be honest, no. Writing our own words about projects was just the natural next step after focusing on the visuals for the first few years. I think I just happened to be reasonably okay at looking at a studio’s case study text, asking them a few questions about the work, and combining them into a fairly short and functional article. We’ve since hired writers who are far better than me.

I believe the writing is important because there is so much to learn from every project, studio, brand and topic we feature. The visuals only do so much. We want each article or feature to provide the reader with some kind of inspiration or insight. The educational aspect of what we do has become one of our priorities in recent times.

The Brand Identity Hayu feature
The Brand Identity F-Secure feature

Do you feel that TBI is responsible for dictating what is popular or on-trend with what you choose to feature?

No, I don’t think so. What has made our curation good over the years is probably that we don’t focus on either of those things. I don’t think we’ve used the word ‘trend’ once in our features – but don’t quote me on that! We also aren’t concerned with the reputation of the studios or brands that are submitting their work to us. Anyone can be featured if we like what they’re doing!

At the same time, I do like to think of our site as an archive of all the great projects – as the years go by. So, deciding what those are can be difficult, for sure. But at the end of the day, it mainly comes down to taste, intuition and an acceptance that we can’t feature everything!


We love your The Freelancers editorial column. What was the original thought behind it?

The first interview series we did on the site was The Designers, and is still ongoing. We speak to employed designers at our favourite studios, usually below a senior level, to find out about their roles, day-to-day experiences, etc. We find it interesting to speak to the people that aren’t usually the ones representing the studio, but are the ones doing a lot of the work.

This naturally led to the idea of doing The Freelancers, when we sat down to decide on another interview series. Freelancers obviously have to deal with a lot more than just designing – finance, new business, uncertainty – so we try to talk about those things with some of the best out there.

The Designers 011 – Stan Haanappel
The Freelancers 004 – Josh Lassen

You must spend so much of your time being immersed in graphic design and branding, what do you do to escape from this? If you want to, that is…

I wouldn’t say I need to escape from it. I try not to take it for granted that I’m able to look at graphic design as a job.

But I do love gaming. So, I play lots of Zelda :)


Do you ever see projects and have an opinion on how you would of done it or are you able to remove yourself from other people’s work?

I don’t think so. The projects I like, I just like. And those I don’t think, I try to leave at just that without being too critical. As a designer, I’m much more functional/detail-orientated than I am creative, so I don’t know if I even have it in me to look at other people’s work and think about how I would do it differently!

The Brand Identity OOH
The Brand Identity writeup

Speaking of working on projects, how much of your time is spent running the blog vs doing design work/projects outside of TBI?

I’ve been working on TBI full-time since around 2019, which has flown by! I’ve been fully absorbed in it since then, and we now have a core team of six that are instrumental in everything we do.

There’s probably no time for me to do any client work these days, even if I wanted to.

The design work we do now is all for TBI, from books and social media assets to a few things I won’t mention just yet ;)

The Process – One
The Process – Two
The Process – Three
The Process – Four

Like you said, TBI has been around since 2015 and has seen many changes over time, where do you see this project going? Any long-term visions, goals or pipe dreams?

We’re trying to become the resource that graphic design professionals can rely on. Need some inspiration? Go to TBI. Need to learn something? Go to TBI. Need an asset or product? Go to TBI. The list could go on. Essentially, we want to cover all of the needs of a graphic designer in one place. Still a long way to go!

TBI – Insight article
TBI – The Edit article

Finally, for anyone reading who wants their work to be featured on TBI, what are your top three tips for a successful submission?

1. The way the project is presented needs to be amazing. Great photography, mockups and assets are a given, but also how it’s sent to us. The folder structure, image order and file naming are all things that can be influential when we’re trying to understand a project for the first time. Sometimes it’s so chaotic and unorganised, which can be offputting. Obviously, that’s not everyone’s strong suit, but it really goes a long way.

2. We really appreciate a proper text explaining the concept and thinking behind the project. Again, this isn’t everyone’s forté, but even a short paragraph can make us like and understand it much more than if it was purely visual. Sometimes we just receive a Behance link with no explanation, for example, and it just instantly gives you less chance than other submissions.

3. Send a nice email, not one that’s clearly been spammed to 30 other sites and doesn’t even say hello!

4. Bonus tip, we have submission guidelines on our site that outline exactly what we need and how we work. A DM on Instagram saying ‘REPOST PLZ’ isn’t going to get very far!

Elliott Moody is the founder and managing director of The Brand Identity, an independent graphic design resource with a global reach, showcasing the best projects, companies and products relevant to the industry. TBI aims to empower the graphic design industry and those operating within it by providing a consistent, diverse and easy-to-use platform, made for all.


Questions: Craig Berry & Marion Bisserier
Editor: Craig Berry

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