A Book Recommendation
If you work with me there is a good chance you will be getting a copy of this in the future. I think this is a great tool to inspire anyone involved in a branding project.
Why? In part because its short. I realize this is not the best way to judge a book but I sometimes find it difficult to get clients to dedicate even more time to the development of their visual brand than I have already asked them to. It’s a quick read that will get a client thinking about the value of spending more time thinking. It’s to the point and manages to grab your attention and hold it, doing away with any university-style text in favor of real life, relatable examples.
This is not a book specifically about logo design but I don’t think my clients need that book. I want them to spend some time thinking about how design affects everything about their company, product, and service, rather than look at pretty logos. It is a book that talks about the importance of being authentic because your audience will discover your true character in the end. It explains that you can’t just hand off design to a graphic designer and expect it to work. It clarifies why your logo is not your brand and that your brand is not what you say about your company, but what your customers say.
All this and more in a 236 page afternoon read that can easily translate into more effective results, and isn’t that why my clients hire me in the first place?
Below is the Table of Contents, a few excerpts, links for reviews and more information about the book. I recommend you check it out for yourself.
Author: Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery and Russ Hall
Publisher: FT Press
- Design Matters
- Do You Matter
- How to Matter
- Being Design Driven
- Your Brand is not Your Logo
- Products as Portals
- Your Products and Services are Talking to People
- Building a Design Driven Culture
- Go Forth and Matter
“The difference between a great product and a merely good product, however, is that a great product embodies an idea that people can understand and learn about—an idea that grows in their minds, one they emotionally engage with.”
“Ask yourself questions such as “Who are you?” (which most people can answer) or “What do you do?” (you will probably get this one wrong). You might answer that you’re a manufacturer of computers. Well, we say you’re not merely a manufacturer of computers; you’re creating systems to help people get work done. In light of this, why does what you do matter to people? Better yet, why do you matter at all? This is the deep soul-searching question we want you to ask yourself. Does your company matter to your customers and constituents? Really, honestly, answer this. Are you a positive force in their lives? If you disappeared, would their lives be diminished in some way? I think if you tell yourself the truth, you might even conclude, “Well, probably not.” Will we shed any tears if Cheer laundry detergent is not on the shelves anymore? No, probably not. Will we shed some tears if BMW suddenly ceased to exist? Yeah, we might. If Apple ceased to exist? Probably.”
“Another way to look at brand is that it is like an individual’s character. That’s really what a brand is, the embodiment of a company’s character. When you think of the character of people, you find things about them that encourage you to like or dislike them. When you first meet someone, you might draw a few conclusions based on how they dress and style their hair, and few more of their mannerisms. A lot of times you’re right, and a lot of times you’re not. But then, as you gain real insight into their ethics and values and how they treat others, you begin to understand the person’s character. That’s how you really start to define how you feel about somebody. It’s the same way with a company. You can dress up people in cool clothes, and give them a hip new hairstyle, and create some ideas about, “Wow, maybe they’re really pretty cool and hip,” but as you really start to get to know them, you realize that, “No, they’re really moving violations of the truth in packaging laws.” All this is a veneer. You start to wonder about them. It’s the same thing with companies.”
Reviews and More Information:
I am interested to hear what your favorite brand identity books are and if you have any thoughts on Do You Matter? Please share your comments using the form below.