Book review: Identity 2.0

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The Dutch design and branding firm Total Design was founded in 1963 by Wim Crouwel, Benno Wissing en Friso Kramer. Total design focuses their business on total branding of an organization, service or a product, meaning every level of visual communication should be according to what Total Design had thought out in a concise and consistent output. Since the startup Total Design managed to create many different new identities for different corporations and became ‘famous’ when they designed the Dutch Yellow pages. In 2000 Total Design changed their name to Total Identity because that is what they stand for. Now they have published a book named ‘identity 2.0’ as follow-up title of the (sold out) book Total design.

Identity 2.0

Identity 2.0
The book has a bright red cover with high contrast lettering IDENTITY 2.0, with this very powerful cover the tone is set for the rest of the book. This is not only a book about showcasing work Total Identity made, it is a book about identity in its broad perspective.
In the introduction of identity 2.0 the managing director Hans Brandt talks about the influence of interaction in working and consumer sides of life, where the individual roles within corporations and environment will become more as one and how do companies play a role in creating an (human) experience to make their ambition. Identity 2.0 is a collections of thoughts from persons within the network of Total Identity, how does the future look like and do we have the power to change this in our own define ways of thinking. A new and fresh perspective for branding and visual communication for organizations.

Communicate through Identity

Identity 2.0
Identity 2.0
The book connects identity to social life and economic topics. Many of the written articles are empowered with illustrations and diagrams to explain how identity reflects the inner organization by anticipation. Identity 2.0 looks at the current and future issues that influence organizations. The psychological factor behind identity is published in short articles and will give you insight in branding, human behavior and visual communication. I found reading these parts of the book very interesting and a great learning proces. This is not about designing a folder, website or signage, instead this is about setting a standard for the brand and visual communication of a organization, service or a product.

Essays and cases

Identity 2.0
Identity 2.0 consists of a hard cover, containing 229 pages all with full color photos, bright colors and strong messages. Although it looks heavy it actually has a nice feel and pages flip very easily. The used typeface is Oneliner, a custom created sans typeface for Total Identity by Aad van Dommelen. The book addresses various topics including:

  • The Expressive Organization
  • Innovation
  • Labour Market Communication
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship in Service-Oriented Organizations
  • Emancipation of the Patient
  • Scenario Communication
  • Fusion of Brand and Corporation

Design & Branding

Identity 2.0
Identity 2.0 has several topics on the visual aspect of branding and how design can work in the advantage of creating an social environment. Through adding social elements in design the branding will become a feeling which people can relate to. The book also talks about sustainability and branding and how it will enhance each other for a stronger brand. I very much enjoyed the variety of topics in Identity 2.0 which will give you a broad perspective of branding and visual communcation which can be adapted in your own environment. The book contains contributions from Pentascope, Boston Consulting Group, Twijnstra Gudde and many many more. It is available in both Dutch and English language.

Availability of Identity 2.0

Identity 2.0
The book Identity 2.0 is published via BIS Publishers in Amsterdam, available for Eur. 65,- Hardcovered with a dust jacket, dimensions 28 x 21,5 cm. The Dutch versions comes with a listening CD.

  • Visit the BIS Publishers shop for English, ISBN 978-90-6369-183-7
  • Visit the BIS Publishers shop for Dutch, ISBN 978-90-6369-184-4

More information

See more information about Wim Crouwel at this wikipedia page and visit the corporate website of Total Identity for more information about their book and cases.
When you are into branding and visual communication I would recommend reading this book, I found it very useful and full of inspiration. As the previous book, I believe Identity 2.0 will set a new standard in branding and all of its related factors.

As I am searching for words to describe this book only this came up… Identity 2.0!

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