November 18th, 2020

Reawakening a love for brand books

Brand guidelines – two words that can often cause you to bring out your finest yawn hiding techniques. Nobody wants to read 200 pages of how not to flip the logo upside down or turn it inside out, so consequently they’re often left at the bottom of desk drawers or lost in the archives of the downloads folder.

Although this information is needed, it can lead to misguided preconceptions of what brand guidelines should be. Here, through ‘The Story of Love’, we show how the most important function of brand books should be to bring the brand essence to life. 

In a recent project with the UK’s number 1 Italian cooking brand, Napolina, we developed a brand book designed to encapsulate and showcase its positioning of ‘Food created with Love’, after spending much of the last two years developing this proposition across their packaging and ATL campaign. 

Napolina brand books

Our approach to the brief was to consider both the brand story as well as the brand assets we had created for Napolina. With ‘love’ being the common thread that runs through all brand touchpoints, we wanted to create a true love story to bring the brand to life. 

This meant creating two beautifully printed hardback books held within a black slip case: 

  • ‘The Story of Love’ which beautifully illustrates the heritage, values and mission of the brand, and
  • ‘The Recipe for Love’ which brings to life the brand design assets in an engaging and considered way. 

We wanted to get across the simple elegance of Italian design not only in the packaging and marketing material, but also in the format of the brand books. Bringing to life the Italian heritage of the brand, touches of red on the ribbon bookmark and the inner book pages also continue the theme of love throughout.

By taking this approach, the brand book has now become something that is not only used as best practice for the Napolina design principles, but also engaged with by many as a coffee table book that can be flicked through at leisure, with the brand essence being brought to life in an instant.