I am the author of Virgin By Design, a premium ‘coffee-table’ book celebrating 50 years of the Virgin brand.
Collaborating closely with the Virgin Group brand team and the book’s publisher Thames & Hudson, I helped develop a content strategy to appeal to brand designers, creative marketeers and ambitious entrepreneurs.
Rather than a chronological retrospective, we agreed it would be more compelling to tell the story thematically, exploring the unique characteristics that make the Virgin brand special.
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The process involved over 120 interviews with CEOs, CMOs and other influential individuals responsible for shaping the past, present and future of the Virgin brand – from the early days of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic in the ’70s and ’80s, through to present-day innovations from the likes of Virgin Galactic and Virgin Voyages.
Drawing on hundreds of thousands of words of transcript, I crafted the many diverse stories into 10 distinct chapters. These explored areas such as Virgin’s ‘cheeky start-up’ mentality, the importance of taking risks and innovating, the ‘feel-good experiences’ and ‘magic moments’ at the heart of the brand, and how Virgin can stay relevant for the next 50 years.
With multiple senior stakeholders involved – including Virgin Group’s chief brand officer and global CEO, as well as Richard Branson himself – my copywriting brief was to capture Virgin’s brand values, while remaining engaging and entertaining for an external audience.
Nick helped us shape a cohesive narrative from multiple voices. He was quick to understand Virgin’s brand principles and history, and convey it seamlessly throughout the book. Nick’s skill in finding compelling stories translates to a joyful yet comprehensive read. He was a joy to work with.Charlotte Bufton – brand manager and project lead, Virgin
Fascinating archive photography, striking campaign visuals and playful commissioned illustration bring the featured stories to life.
The design, by Pete Rossi at RM&CO, encourages different levels of engagement. Readers can flick through for visual inspiration, or deep-dive into each chapter’s theme.
Content formats vary from bite-size captions to long thematic reads, bound-in as inserts amongst full-bleed images to maximise visual impact. Gatefolds expand the canvas at key points to do milestone campaigns justice.
“Nick’s deep understanding of how branding and design work within a business, and his industry knowledge and contacts, make him an invaluable member of a creative team.”Andrew Sanigar – commissioning editor, Thames & Hudson
Virgin By Design was published by Thames & Hudson in March 2020.