Monday, February 21, 2011

Nine Recommended Books on Branding

I have curated this short list of recommended books on brands, brand design and other related branding issues for a lecture on corporate identity and branding that I am giving at the School of Art, Design and Printing in the Dublin Institute of Technology. I am sharing it here as it may be of broader interest.

Marks of Excellence — Per Mollerup, 1999
Comprehensive and exhaustive, this is the standard by which all future works on the classification of brand marks by design will be measured. ISBN 0714838381

The New Guide To Identity — Wally Olins, 1996
This can be a difficult volume to locate these days, but this concise guidebook covers all of the stages of an corporate identity project. This is a particularly useful book to share with clients. ISBN: 056607737X

The Brand Handbook — Wally Olins, 2008
This most recent book by the grand master of brand identity thinking is a more accessible primer. A good place to start. ISBN: 0500514089

On Brand — Wally Olins, 2004
Olins’ attempt to synthesise all of his thinking into one comprehensive textbook. Not without its flaws, but definitely essential reading if you are serious about understanding branding. ISBN 0500285152

The Invisible Grail — John Simmons, 2006
Simmons’ impeccable treatise on the role of language in establishing and sustaining brands. ISBN 9812618325

The Brand Gap — Marty Neumeier, 2005
A short, concise read. Full of insightful brand thinking, presented in an interesting way. Another great book to share with clients. I recommended this book to my Managing Director and he bought one hundred copies! ISBN 0321348109 

Purple Cow
— Seth Godin, 2005
Godin’s concise, opinionated manifesto for reinventing marketing and focusing on remarkable differentiation. If you only read one book on marketing this year... ISDN 014101640X 

My Sister’s A Barista
— John Simmons, 2004
All of the books in Cyan’s series of Great Brand Stories are generally a good read. This one by John Simmons about Starbuck’s brand and coffee culture is a great place to start. ISBN 1904879276

Brands And Branding — The Economist, 2009
The topic of branding is dissected from a top-level business-orientated perspective by a range of experts. While this collection only touches upon the design aspects of branding it is still well worth the effort – if you are up for it. ISBN 1846681197

I have found all of these books invaluable at one time or another, and can recommend them to designers and marketers alike.