Jane Gunn is a lawyer and speaker on conflict resolution as ‘the Corporate Peacemaker’. her book was a comprehensive collection of her expertise on how to resolve conflict in the boardroom in business and at home with family and personal relationships. The concept of the book is that the two are inter-related; problems in the office affect relationships at home and vice-versa.
The title came early on. It’s long and a bit of a tongue twister for some. But as Jane was writing the early drafts of the book, the title seemed to resonate with those she was working with. It’s weaknesses of being long and odd made it stand out. It also gave an impression alluding to something salacious. This too became an advantage.
Jane was keen that the book had a solid feel. After all, the topic was serious and her reputation and experience was in law, quite a sensible and serious profession. As the brand for the book was going to be, from the start, used by her to promote her speaking, it had to straddle this respectable ‘weight’, with the novelty of the Bedroom/Boardroom metaphor and Jane’s personal brand. The result was to wrap the book in what looks like black leather. It give it a seriousness and alludes to the depth of legal expertise that the book draws on. The other colours on there are gold and pink. They certainly stand out and give a hint of the quirkiness and personality of the way the book is written.
When the title for the book is written out as a sentence it can be perceived as being ‘difficult to read’. This is of course a nonsense. It’s no harder to read than any other sentence. What’s different here is that the title is not short and punchy. This means that the brain can’t capture it in one glance and process it. You have to actually read it. So it’s not difficult to read – it just needs to be read. By stacking the words in the square block I managed to mitigate this. So now a glance at the book gave you the black leather, the gold and pink and a block ‘logo’ of text with Bedroom and Boardroom prevalent.
Inside the book, the layout is clear, clean and fresh. Flicking through, the potential reader sees that the book is easy to read and yet has a lot to read. The separate sections of personal stories, information and examples of bedroom and boardroom mishaps and solutions are clearly delineated with attractive use of boxes and shading. It proves that in most cases, a lot can be done with good typography and greyscale within a business book. There is often no call for colour unless images depend upon it.
With the production of the book we opted for a couple of extra features that helped add gravitas. They are small things but have really contributed to the success of the book. The cover is matt laminated. It feels cool and smooth to the touch. The logo block has a shiny coating (applied by a process known as UV). This means when you run your fingers over the cover you ‘feel’ the difference in finish as well as see it. The pink on the cover was applied as a ‘spot’ colour, i.e.. a pure ink rather than a colour mixed from the four colour process. This has a subtle advantage of making the pink brighter than it otherwise would have been.
The other treat that the book employs is that the cover has 100mm flaps folded inside. This not only allows more surface area for colour (we added a large portrait photo of Jane, and varnished that with UV too) but it also thickens the cover giving an impression that you are really holding a hard back book and not a paperback.
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