Elisava Masters Beyond

Master Beyond Branding

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Branding has evolved from the solid, static, established brands of the past, built on rules and coherence, to an ever-changing panorama of fluid labels behaving like living organisms, adapting and evolving in real-time. Audiences shape and determine what a brand is or should be with the power of likes and shares. How to build concepts made to last and survive and thrive in these conditions? The answer is simple: redefining branding.


Albert Folch
Rafa Martínez
ECTS credits
60 ECTS (400 hours)
September – July
Three afternoons/week

The Master Beyond Branding is backed up by Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, an institution with 60 years of experience sharing knowledge to design and transform the world. The school develops projects to generate and transfer knowledge, address present and future challenges and foster change.

Elisava is a space to become a professional with the skills needed to design products, services, and environments to create a more environmentally responsible, inclusive, and community-focused society.

Master Beyond Branding

Albert Folch
Founder (Folch Studio)  

Albert graduated in Graphic Design from ESDi School of Design, Albert had previously studied Geology at UAB and photography at Royal Academie of Arts of Antwerp, in Belgium. Albert has given birth to editorial initiatives like Odiseo and Eldorado. He is also co-director and teacher in the Master of Editorial Design at Elisava and member of the Comunitat 080 Barcelona Fashion. He was awarded with Premios Gràffica. 

Master Beyond Branding

Rafa Martínez
COO and Head of Business (Folch Studio)  

Rafa is also partner at Eldorado, Odiseo and Folch Insights, and executive producer and founding partner at White Horse. After a career in Journalism at Blanquerna- Ramon Llull University School of Communication, Rafa is also member of the Barcelona Council of Digital Communication and the Comunitat 080 Barcelona Fashion.  

Master Beyond Branding

Nicolás Cevallos
Researcher and Digital Strategist (Folch Studio) 

Nicolás is a graphic designer based in Barcelona. After graduating on a major on Communication Design and a minor on Illustration both at Universidad de San Fransisco de Quito, Nicolás moved to Spain to do a Master in Graphic Design at Elisava. He is deeply interested in visual research and the role of design in creating communities in the online and offline world.  

Master Beyond Branding Elisava

Camilo Roa
Art Director and Co-Founder (Rèplica Studio) 

Camilo is a creative director and digital designer working as senior UX/UI designer at Folch Studio. After graduating Communication Design in Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), Camilo moved overseas where he completed his Master in Graphic Design at Elisava. He is also teacher at the Master of Editorial Design at Elisava. 

Paula López-Nuño
Strategic Designer (Folch Studio) 

Paula is interested in using data and design as tools for research. She studied a Master in Data and Design at Elisava, where she previously received her Undergraduate Degree in Design obtaining the recognition to the Highest Academic Record. In 2020, she was awarded the ADG Laus Young Talent by the ADG-FAD and the Silver Prize for European Student of the Year by the ADC*E.

Nowadays, brands are presented in different shapes and formats, navigating from corporations to B2C startups, people, celebrities, social causes, and movements. All of these types of brands compete for attention, connection and sales. By existing in shared spaces with a digital and physical nature, they push the boundaries on what we think a brand should be and how it should interact with us. 

If the limit of what a brand does is unclear, how can we work with and for brands in a way that adapts as time goes by?

We use culture to navigate the world; we connect with ideas, beliefs, and ways of living from old traditions to new social conduct.

The relationship between brands and culture is stronger than ever, existing on a symbiotic dynamic that feeds each other. With economic and social shifts affecting culture, the contemporary brand strategy has a solid ethos compared to complementary, flexible elements. When we change how we buy something, we also change what we are purchasing; when the things we buy are no longer just objects, they end up being connected to a political act, a story or a cause. Those objects, therefore, embody a piece of culture.

In a content-overload era, people upload new videos and share thousands of tweets and images each second; it becomes hard to navigate through the noise. Curation becomes not just a tool but a necessity for people. Curators sort through culture and filter under their unique perspective what is relevant to them and why.

In this context, knowledge and taste are valuable. Curation plays on the value of things by connecting them with a point of view, a history, a subculture or a purpose that makes them stand out among the crowded digital landscape.

For brands, curation acts as part of their strategy, both brand and business-wise. Selecting key collaborations and associations brings value to their product and builds a universe around it. A brand expression becomes an exercise of constant creation and a reflection on possible associations.

With the rise of social media influencers and their impact on consumer behaviour, brands had to learn to incorporate them into their strategies to reach new audiences.

The influencer “persona” has given way to the everyday influencer; suddenly, anyone can gain influence status on social media. The power they held watered down in a sea of profiles with an audience and something to say. So, what does it mean to have influence today?

The long-known brand awareness referred to in advertising and marketing is now reframed under “influence”. Nowadays, having awareness, it’s not only a top of mind situation. It also involves building engagement with audiences, community trust, and creating a world around it that people want to be part of.

A large audience does not mean more influence – the power lies down on people’s connection with different aspects of the brand and what it means to them. Influence is achieved through a commitment to generating transparency and awareness of the topics around the brand’s culture.

This programme results from different experiences and explorations related to brands that Folch has worked on throughout the years. Here are three projects that exemplify different brand-building approaches and brand awareness.

→ Gallery Sessions (Curation as a brand)

Live music sessions recorded in different window displays in Barcelona are both a brand and an ongoing project initiated by Folch. The recognizability of the format is set on the three white panels, leaving the logo and other visual elements on a secondary level. The artist’s selection is how the brand communicates with its audience. From the outfit to the song and the music genre, these decisions become the brand assets for the Gallery Sessions.

Master Beyond Branding Elisava

→ Casa Les Punxes (Space as a brand)

A coworking space hosted by one of Barcelona’s modernistic buildings takes a contemporary approach to the workspace. Both the visual identity and the verbal tone of the brand are based on the coexistence between the building and its new essence, looking back to its history and shapes for inspiration.

→ Pull and Bear Community (Community as a brand)

A series of campaigns focused on one of the P&B main brand assets: the community. The videos are created to reimagine and reinforce the concept of the community viewed from different perspectives. The latest campaign approaches more organic visual languages closer to UGC that connects influencers with their focus audience by letting them be the directors of their footage.

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