In this lavish, generously illustrated book, Sean Adams offers several prominent branding and identity consultants an opportunity to discuss their work and their approach to identity design. A few consistent themes emerge, most about managing client relationships, with “listen to your client,” and “make sure you’ve identified and are reaching the real decision makers,” perhaps most prominent; more concretely there’s also broad agreement about ensuring a logo reproduces well at small sizes. But a handful of commonalities aside, what really made an impression on me was the diversity of approach and execution. The designers have vastly different opinions on how prescriptive or relaxed an identity system should be, and even on what it should include. Those selected represent Europe, North America, and one each from Russia and Australia. Much of the work presented is beautiful and elegant (Margo Chase’s work for shoe retailer Chinese Laundry, Steven Liska’s design for the dog hotel Stay, and Felix Beltran’s geometric minimalism particularly struck me); some of it seems crass or even cheap; some of it is so thoroughly ubiquitous that it’s hard to separate associations to the marks or identities from what their merits might have been when they were actually introduced.
I’m not an expert in this field, so I don’t know how it ranks among books about identity design, but I certainly found it accessible, engaging, and informative.
needs more demons? no.