Since starting the Identity Designed website as a side-project in 2010, it’s been a bit of a labour of love to collate the 500+ design projects that have been contributed from around the world. Fast forward eight years and I’m delighted to have signed a book deal with US-based Rockport to bring the name to print. The switch deserves something more special than the online features, so to make the most of the designs that’ll be showcased, the focus will be on around 20 to 30 studios at the top of their game, looking at one of their strongest identity projects and detailing the process from start to finish.

It’s being written for design students with an interest in visual identities, for studios who want to know how their peers handle projects, and for business owners who want to make the most of their time working with designers.

The trim size will be 8.5 x 10 inches, with a provisional page count of 240. Initial copies will be hardcover, potentially followed by a paperback a year or so later. If everything goes to plan, the book will be available at the end of 2018.

A quick word on contracts

If, like me, you don’t have an agent, but you still want to work with an established publisher, it makes sense to get legal advice on any potential contract. I joined the London-based Society of Authors so I could email them my terms. Within five days of joining, one of their legal team shared recommendations and suggestions that helped during contract negotiations. The Authors Guild is a similar organisation in New York.

Studio interviews

Next I need to bring the right studios on board, and I’ve drafted some interview topics to give potential contributors an idea of the detail I’m looking for.

The resulting features will be a combination of interview, studio insight, and an in-depth look at the process of creating a visual identity. There’s a lot of work ahead, but I know it’ll be a special compilation, with memorable design and lasting advice.

Your help

This is being created with you in mind, so I’d be hugely appreciative if you could share what studio(s) or project(s) you’d like to learn more about (any size, any country). And if you could uncover anything about the design process, what would that be?

Feel free to comment below, or email:

January 10, 2018


Love this David! I can’t wait for the book. I’d like it if you went into depth on the subject of planning and structuring a project. Even as far as the software used to plan, bill, write a proposal, etc.

I feel that the creative part of getting to an idea and designing the identity is something most people have a handle on… And it doesn’t really matter which of the many roads you take, as long as you end up with a great design.

However, with things that are more of an administrative nature… There’s very possibly an optimal road to take… And since this is the more boring part for designers, it’d be pretty good to streamline that process (and automate or make it easy) as much as possible.

Oh, and I’d also love to know about working internationally via the web, with regards to copyright, payment and such…

PS. My personal ‘main’ inspiration as far as studios goes is HeyDays.
I think they’d be great to feature in the book.
All the best!

This is going to be a great insight into the logo processes of top agencies. Can’t wait to get it. Hopefully it will be out in time to give myself a Christmas present.

Anybody who has read David Airey’s book, “Work for Money, Design for Love,” will no doubt start saving money for this ID (Identity Designed) book.

The question I am asking David is, “What kept you so long before releasing, yet, another reliable book (like the ‘Logo Design Love’ and the ‘WFM, DFL’?”

Hi David, this is exciting, cannot wait for this book to come out. What fantastic news to start the new year. I agree with Paul Christian’s comments, the administration side of design is not my best and I’d love to know how to write proposals, document and track jobs, etc.

I would love it if you could feature Grid Worldwide.

Cheers and all the best.

Hi David, this is super exciting news. According to your research headers, the book will be focusing on the realistic points where creativity / visual identities happen to solve customer problems. We can’t wait to get our hands on a copy.

Our model studios for sustainable visual systems — SocioDesign, Anagrama, Fabio Ongarato, Essen International, Kontrapunkt, and Bibliothèque. We would love to read about what they accomplished, and how.


Hi David,

I think it’s curious these days to examine the role of digital-first, and indeed digital-only brands. A lot of us are designing for RGB first and foremost, with print and other material stuffed into a long list of nice-to-haves.

I’d be very interested to read a chapter on the role of social in how companies and brands are designed. Obviously this includes animation and gradients, but I think it’s deeper than that. Colour choice, form, logo vs. larger visual style, curating photography, etc. Some food for thought.

Also, make sure you poke rookie designers to learn what the heck CMYK is and how it works!

Simon, been having too much fun with client projects, and spending time with family. I’m ready for it, though.

Prescott, I’m not quite sure what you mean by the role of social. The idea is to divide the book by studio rather than by topic, so you’ll be able to read one section and get a full picture of the process, read another and get a different studio’s take, and so on.

Thanks very much everyone, for all the suggestions and support. It means a lot.

Good day David,
I have been following ID for a long time, checking several days a week if there is any new content published. The site has always been a reference while creating identities. One thing I discover is: while the process and the outlook looks great, creative, and surprising, some identities fail to survive through time (I checked some of them on the internet, they are not available now). When they don’t exist now, questions enter my mind: How do the studios prepare or what do they do to make the identity survive through time? What are their strategies? If the identity doesn’t exist anymore, is this a sign that it wasn’t well-created or well-executed? How do studios prepare/anticipate for this to their client?

I think it’s important to include in your new book as new identities emerge as spores, very fast.
Thank you.

Congratulations David! I wanted to drop a line and tell you that I really enjoyed reading your book “Work for Money, Design for Love.” It has really helped me to put my current design path in perspective. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us all. Thank you again!

Dan Budzban

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