What The Life Negroni taught us about creating successful brand books
The Life Negroni is a bit of a hybrid. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a cocktail book, nor is it a historical account of a drink or even a straightforward design and branding publication. The book’s refusal to belong to a tribe is perhaps what spoke to readers for it was a phenomenal success for the creator Spinach Branding both critically and commercially. And the journey seems to continue, even though the book is over a year old we have been partnering with numerous bars and boutiques in London and Dubai, and have interest in Canada and Mexico for exhibitions, talks, and joint ventures.
Could it be that the printed book – with the romance of ink on paper – remains more evocative and precious, and therefore timeless than its digital sibling? The Guardian newspaper ran a story recently noting that book sales have been on a continuous increase, especially with younger readers, and that digital downloads have significantly declined. Perhaps as the world edges further and further to the digital, the physical becomes a necessary element of life.
Spinach works extensively with both print and digital. Consuming online, via mobile and tablet, offers an entirely different experience than spending time with a magazine or a book. Much in the same way as watching a film at the cinema is altogether a more visceral act than catching one on your TV. And digital and print can benefit from working in partnership with one another – for one to tease and the other to deliver the emotion.
The Spinach team approached The Life Negroni as we would any new branding project. We knew from the start that this book had to engage the reader through multi-layers – not only via words and stories, but with exciting graphics and type, image, illustration, and photography. The visual direction had to take the reader on a provocative journey. And, of course, it needed to have an alluring cover – for this is where the printed book holds its true power.