The Annual 2012

School of Visual Arts

Chapter and Verse

Debbie Millman

In January 2012, Rockport Publishers released Brand Bible: The Complete Guide to Building, Designing, and Sustaining Brands. Edited by Debbie Millman, president of the design division at Sterling Brands, host of the popular podcast series Design Matters and chair of the MPS Branding Department at SVA, Brand Bible began as a class project of the first group of students to graduate from the program. Those students wrote the book’s case studies, commentary and brand profiles.

In an interview for Rockport’s blog Rockpaperink, Millman said:

Richard Shear, one of the esteemed faculty in the program, was serendipitously teaching a class titled Origins of Consumer Markets, Brand Identities and Package Design. The class covers a comprehensive overview of consumer brands and the retail marketplace that supports them, and traces how they have evolved through several stages in the last 500 years. He reviews how each has been strongly influenced by radical changes in culture, technology, and the nature of markets, and reviews the historical formation and evolution of consumer markets though the lens of retail brand identity and package design. It also covers the long history of brand identities, beginning early in the 16th century, and the aesthetic and cultural influences that have shaped their path. We decided to use his class as a thematic framework for the first third of the book, and the students’ research on the book began.

Arranged by theme (Building Brands, Sustaining Brands, Designing Brands), the book takes a comprehensive view of branding by tracing its history from Elizabethan times through its contemporary evolution into such iconic names as Martha Stewart and Coca-Cola.

About Brand Bible, Library Journal said:

There is discussion of Ivory Soap, Band-Aids, Lacoste sportswear, MTV, Google, and Oprah, among many brands. The particular challenges of establishing a completely new product or service are also addressed. The final chapters are made up of brief interviews with brand consultants or managers about design. VERDICT: A well-researched and accessible how-to and history. Besides attracting marketers and entrepreneurs, the book’s 300 illustrations (many ads and product images) will also appeal to commercial artists and graphic designers.

The students who contributed essays were: Noah Armstrong, Jada Britto, Lee Changzhi, Jeremy DiPaolo, Sascha Donn, Rebecca Etter, Brian Gaffney, Myles Gaythwaite, Margaux Genin, Maxine Gurevich, Timonthy Harms, Portia Hubert, Chi Wai Lima, Daniel Lin, Zachary Lynd, Jessica McGuire, Abby McInerney, Manal Nassar, Mo Saad, Natasha Saipradist, Richard Shear, Kathryn Sptizberg and Curtis Wingate.

Editor on the Run: Branding Is NOT about Branding!