Manuals 2 is a comprehensive study of corporate identity manuals from the golden era of identity design. First published in a limited run of 2,000 copies in 2014, the book sold out almost immediately. Since then we have received numerous requests to republish it, but, as an independent publisher with limited funds – and a full programme of books currently in production – financing a reprint is a step too far.
So, we’ve brought it to Kickstarter and invite you to support this graphic design publishing venture – and help us to bring this book back into print!
The book is essentially a carefully curated collection of 20th-century style guides, or as Steven Heller calls them – “sacred texts, revered for how they help shift graphic design from simply an intuitive practice to a rigorously strategic one”.
Without your support, Manuals 2 will remain out of print – so help us to make this important collection available again. We’ve got some interesting rewards lined up to help you decide.
Manuals 2 includes reproductions of 20 design manuals created for US and European institutions and corporations including IBM, Westinghouse, Canadian National Railway (CN), Bell System, Knoll, PTT, the Montreal Olympics and the Dutch police.
Many of the manuals included in Manuals 2 have been designed by the giants of 20th-century identity design. These include: Lester Beall (USA), Paul Rand (USA), Allan Fleming (Can), Total Design (NL), Alan Fletcher (UK), Otl Aicher (Ger), Studio Dumbar (NL) and North (UK).
Each manual is reproduced in exquisite detail and accompanied by meticulous descriptions of its physical make-up. Manuals 2 is a companion volume to Manuals 1.
What are identity manuals?
Design and identity guidelines provided detailed instructions on the use of logos, colour palettes and typographical formats across a vast array of platforms and surfaces – stationery, literature and architecture. In today’s landscape, designers and, increasingly, non-designers rely on digital templates to implement brand identities. Fast, accurate and easily updatable, these digital manuals are now obligatory.
But, in the eyes of many, we have lost something in the transition to digital style guides, and there is a growing recognition that the great printed standards manuals from the pre-digital era deserve a better fate than to be junked.
Manuals 2 makes a strong case for their survival and continued appreciation.
The text and design
The book is art directed by Tony Brook and designed by the Spin design team. It is edited by Unit Editions co-founders Brook and Adrian Shaughnessy.
The manuals have been expertly photographed, retaining all essential details. They are presented in a spacious and functional layout, allowing the reader to fully appreciate these wonderful examples of sophisticated information design.
Manuals 2 comes with a substantial essay by design historian R. Roger Remington (Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design) and an insightful text by Martha Fleming, daughter of Allan Fleming, designer of the Canadian National Railway logo.
Also included are in-depth interviews with experts in the field of identity design: Michael Burke (UK/Germany), Sean Wolcott (USA), Liza Enebeis (NL) and John Bateson (UK). The foreword is written by the legendary Lance Wyman, designer of the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games and many other important brand identities.
Here’s what people said about Manuals 2
This is another fantastic collection. Brand New
London’s Unit Editions publishes some of the very best design books anywhere. In their few short years in operation, they’ve elevated the form to an extraordinary degree, producing some of the most exquisite, well-written studies of various aspects of the graphic design industry ever to hit bookshelves. Subtraction.com
Like the first edition, Manuals 2 photographs each of the guidelines and provides a meticulous description of them. Design Week
We had a really great time contributing an interview as well as several design manuals to Unit Editions’ Manuals 2. Unit Editions never ceases to impress with their passionately crafted books. Sean Wolcott, rationale-design.com
The book’s design pulls the book even higher into the upper echelons of graphic design precision, surely delighting the most fastidious of graphic design geeks. Unit Editions spent months re-photographing and retouching each image so that every single piece of text is legible. It’s Nice That
Stock: Matt Art, 140gsm
Format: Hardback with wrap
Risks and challenges
Unit Editions has successfully completed five Kickstarter campaigns to date: Manuals 1 (second edition); Lance Wyman: The Visual Diaries 1973–1982; Octavo Redux – 1:1 record of Octavo, International Journal of Typography, 1986–1992; Vaughan Oliver: Archive; Herb Lubalin: American Graphic Designer (1918—81) second edition; and A to Z of The Designers Republic (estimated shipping August 2019).
Unit Editions is hugely experienced in the production and delivery of books and publications of all kinds. We only use high quality suppliers (printers, binders, etc.) and we distribute globally on a daily basis.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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