Does your central image tell your corporate story? That’s the key question CorporateHistory.net asks when we create covers and home pages for clients’ business anniversary books and history timelines.
Our guiding principle is that the anniversary image should convey what the organization does. And it should do it warmly, at a glance, and without need for written explanation. That’s good visual corporate storytelling. Companies typically go in one of five directions: showing the founder(s); headquarters or key buildings; the logo; “then and now” historic images; or signature products or services.
Show the founder(s)
When you’re chronicling The Pep Boys, how can you not show Manny, Moe & Jack? But unless your founder is as famously photogenic, you’re better off looking for a different image. One exception: If your book and website are strictly for internal use, then show the founder even if he’s not publicly well-known. It helps greatly if you catch him or her in an expressive pose. That approach worked for a foundation whose book we created, which had a strong image of the founder tipping his hat to the community.
Show the headquarters, key buildings, or just your logo
Annin Flagmakers felt that its internal story was best illustrated by a progression of buildings: from Fulton Street in Manhattan in the 1800s, to its headquarters in the mid-1900s, to a current-day manufacturing facility. This was also a winning approach for Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply, whose main building and line-up of sparkling clean trucks were perfect symbols. Alternative: If your logo is strong, consider it by itself. That worked for our publications for BAYADA Home Health Care, with its beautiful dove logo.
Show one or two strong historical images, maybe as a “then and now”
Consider this if your organization boasts a few gray hairs, i.e., is old enough to have a strong photo that is clearly antique in relation to today. You might want to add a modern-day equivalent, as we did for our Dominion Energy centennial corporate history book, which features a rural electrification lineman of the 1930s juxtaposed with a current worker, and our work for PARC, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation, which contrasted the twilight of the base with current-day uses.
Show signature products or services
For The Clorox Company book, designed by Morla Design, the iconic bottle of Clorox® liquid bleach was a natural. Ditto products from the six business lines of Sandvik USA, and the smiling faces of employees at Clinton County ARC (which also included historical photos and was designed to match the client’s website), Melwood, and Superior Linen Service.