Power of brand books to distill the essence
Brand books are exciting projects to work on. They perfectly distil the intent, philosophy and essence of company, and are a great way to communicate these clearly to clients and customers. They work in multiple ways to help a company and their staff navigate their own brand.
Adam Thomas, Spinach Partner and Creative Director, feels that once successfully designed, they are a compelling vehicle for reflecting the soul of a brand. However, he warns: ‘Brand book shouldn’t solely be driven by corporate identity. The key is to remember these are “brand books” rather than a “branded book”, which are quite different.’
Spinach has a long history of working intimately with companies to write, design and create bespoke brand books, most recently for Enotria & Coe, Urbane Living, Paul Rhodes, Ultimate Travel Company, Domaine La Lauzeta and C&B.
One of the most comprehensive examples is The Life Negroni – a lifestyle publication created independently in-house at Spinach to tell the story of one single drink. Over some 300-plus pages, through meticulously edited words, photographs and artful direction, the creators have weaved in the wider world of the Negroni to tell an engaging story with great critical and commercial success. This is possibly not your average brand book, but it does show how a single topic can be explored and explained as a story, for brand books are essentially vehicles for storytelling.
‘There are many things that we may never know about a brand unless it is told to us,’ says Spinach Partner and Director of Branding Leigh Banks. ‘What it does is to enable a company to tell their unique story. It is a means to capture and present their origins and aspirations, as well as the beliefs that motivate them.’ He says a successful book will demonstrate the brand’s meaning and purpose. ‘It helps them emotionally engage not only with customers and suppliers, but also those charged with representing the brand.’
Thomas feels it is important that whatever part of the book you dip into, the values of that company shine through. ‘A brand book must be exciting to open at any point, yet still have flow and pace for the conventional cover-to-cover reader.’