When I learned that in every book there must be a preface page, it was mind-boggling actually to write one. “Just tell them why you write this book”, I was told. I did not write it, it is just a book depicting our works, that’s all. As I started the first line, I knew that there was a story I need to tell or as a journal to myself and the team.

As a graphic designer, I started just like most of the designers out there, a pixel pusher. My job is to make it lovely and beautiful. Of course, coming along were those words like awesome, impactful, wow, mind-blowing and many more. Honestly speaking, did not really mean anything to me now. They are non-actionable words or phrases and very subjective to interpretation. So how you describe your works if all I can converse “awesome work”, “mind-blowing packaging design” or “our works were so impactful, it blew our client’s mind’s off”. As I mature in this industry in this region, I have learned that design transcends beyond aesthetic and I am sure if we continue to look at the model that way, we will be out of the picture sooner or later.

As part of our marketing plan, this book tends to introduce our branding agency to the businesses that require more than just those expressions. It is supposed to be our 12 pages short agency profile for us to email to our prospect. A simple company profile for our client just like everybody else. It was easy sending off an agency profile in pdf format. No pitching needed and no need for justification. As we progressed page by page, I asked myself what else it can be beside its functions as an oversized, overkilled and over-information business card? Can it be a branding reference book focusing on branding and its presentation? Alternatively, can it be a book of case study for branding?

Well, yes. Why not?

We had decided to put in some of our work. Nothing fancy or it was a collection of big celebrated brands. We do hope they will be one day. We expect the one who flip it, will look at it as a process of how a brand built from the ground up. We hope they can look at it and think, “so this is how a brand is built with a strategy and process behind it”. It is not as simple as it seems to be. We do hope those who wish to build a brand around their business remember why they are in the industry in the first place. Moreover, that is where we make the brand foundation.

Lastly, when it comes to branding, it is not about you, our dear paying client. It is not about us either. It is about the people that both of us serve. We are in this together. If this is what you have in mind, continue flipping.

Jon Tyson #unsplash
Luca Laurence #unsplash
Valentin Lacoste #unsplash
Catrin Johnson (left) Daniel McCullough (right) #unsplash

Bryan Chen

Bryan Chen is a brand strategist, brand manager and consultant. He helps his client discover the reason for their brand existence through brand strategy and prioritise their branding efforts to achieve their business goal. His clients are like Giant B Melaka, Funwater France, TTW Los Angeles and many more. He believes that no successful brand can be imitated or copied and have the same outcome simply because of our differences be it our agenda, culture, worldview or goals. Just like businesses, branding is an infinite game with lots of intentional failing, learning and growing. Before he makes stuff, he would like to find out why. Cause... The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain. The same goes for your business.

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