There's just something fervently beautiful in the a long germination process of getting to intimately know a company, articulating their entirety into the most simple words and visuals, and creating one image that stands true as their unique definition in a world full of imitation. Such is the process of designing brands.
Aside from its own modern graphic styling and layout, the content outlines several imperative stages of logo and brand identity design, as well as the other aspects of being a designer that aren't drawn on paper, or sketched, or a tablet.
What I enjoyed most about this book were the specific examples that he gave as case studies for certain client interactions in different situations. One of the hardest things about being a designer, on any level or in any industry, is client relations. Not saying that clients are the worst part about the job, but there are a lot of variables that can change a simple project into a "project from hell" in the blink of an eye because you may have said the wrong thing, or assumed another.
One thing that they don't exactly teach you in school is the infinite consequence of good presentation and diplomacy between you and the client. After being a graphic designer for a wide variety of clients over the past eight years, reading this book reassured me that I am doing all the right things as far as being a responsible and courteous designer. Had I read this book at the beginning of my career, I'd have saved myself from a lot of stress learning the hard way.
Aiery broaches the following topics:
- the importance of brand identity to companies
- elements of iconic design
- laying the groundwork for the design process
- how to avoid the hazards of a redesign
- minding manners and diplomacy
- how to price your time and efforts for clients
- the importance of the pencil, paper, and PDF
- client communication rules to live by
- maintaining motivation & inspiration
In each of the chapters, he lists a specific case study in which he applies his knowledge and experience to emphasize the importance of his message in a clear, versatile way. I found myself nodding and saying, "Yup, I remember that happening with Client X a few years ago" as I read through.
That being said, I highly recommend this book for any recent design or marketing graduate. I plan to keep this book on my shelf as a valuable resource in the future, and use it as a frequent reference for the do's and dont's in designing brand identity. I also plan to read more from Mr. Aiery, and encourage anyone interested, to follow his blog and online publications at www.davidairey.com.