A lot of honing and refining goes into the creation of the modern appliances and fixtures we take for granted today. The daily challenge at a brand like American Standard is to imagine the needs of the home not only as we see them today, but also tomorrow, as well.
Based on its research, LIXIL Global – American Standard’s “mother ship” – created “The Reference Line,” a guide to the brand’s products and design standards that are used as a benchmark for their future plumbing fixtures – kind of like a mission statement brought to life. Naturally clean, sharp versions of their products required a clean, sharp book for graphic and industrial designers alike.
Produced by our friends at Enpointe on Sappi McCoy 100 lb. Matte Text [PaperSpecs PRO members: Get Swatchbook!], this companion volume looks a lot like the products featured inside, from the distinctive Red and White color scheme to the clean lines that make it look more like an art object than a reference guide. Even the edges are painted Red.
The covers are comprised of a super-thick board that is covered with a White 80 lb. wrap and coated with a Scuff Free Matte laminate for a soft, appealing touch. Red hot foil stamping is used sparingly but effectively here on the icon on the front that looks both like a faucet and a person, as well as on a heart-inside-a-home icon on the back.
Opening the book reveals that it uses Swiss binding, one of my favorites, wherein the signatures have been Smyth sewn together, covered with a linen band and then mounted to the inside back cover – a nice touch that hints at the elegant products on display inside. [PaperSpecs PRO members: Check out this Swiss binding PRO Tip!]
Throughout, Black and White scenes of people enjoying the style and convenience of American Standard’s fixtures are interspersed with full-color photographs.
As you can see, great care has been taken to carry the Red-and-White color palette on the cover all the way through the product shots, which are all gleaming White counters, tiles and basins punctuated by the Red accent colors of the fixtures.
Brand Values, Signature Elements – each chapter in this guide is separated by a single White flysheet that’s been flooded with Red ink on one side. At the very end of the book, under the Brand Expression header, are the typical elements we’d expect to find in a brand guide, including examples of typography, logos and icons.
More than just a brand guide, “The Reference Line” beautifully captures the essence of the American Standard brand, from its core values to its brand intentions.
Swiss binding was a smart choice in keeping with the style and elegance of this volume, but there are so many other options available to designers today. Be sure to download your free Binding Cheat Sheet – featuring the pros and cons of 12 of the most popular – right now!