Culture and Heritage Brands

Hi, I am a student who is currently studying visual identity and brand experience in school. Could you recommend some books on brands targeted towards heritage and culture for reference in terms of style and look etc? Tips on heritage and culture branding would also be helpful :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what you mean by Heritage and Cultural “branding”?
Style and look would certainly depend on what part of whose heritage or culture you are attempting to put in a box and call “branding.” Seems like that would be bad form to me.
Can you elaborate?

This would probably be mentioning food and beverage brands that have some form of cultural significance in showcasing local and traditional foods of the country or museums that show historical monuments and any form of branded materials in terms of packagings, menus, store designs etc. that showcase the history behind their brand idea.

Oh, you mean like Toblerone chocolate that can no longer picture the Matterhorn on its logo due to Swiss law that something not made in Switzerland can’t pretend to be made in Switzerland?
That kind of thing?

Your focus is too broad. You can do a paper on just foods. Or Historical museums are a whole breed of things unto themselves (I do graphics for a lot of varied ‘brands’ of museums.) And then there is packaging/menus/fit-outs (an Italian restaurant comes to mind) that is yet another whole field of things.
Pick one.

Something like this?

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To further perpetuate a cultural myth, is that the restaurant Marco Polo opened?

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Not proven, but entirely possible.

WooHoo27, don’t let us scare you away. Now that we get your topic, maybe you can narrow it down some.

I’ve never run across any books on the subject, but I have some thoughts on the subject.

  1. Avoid hokey or insensitive cliches — especially the kind that @Eriskay mentioned.

  2. I’m not sure the essence of the problem differs from other similar, non-cultural problems. For example, if I were designing a book cover on steam-powered railroad train engines, I would use appropriate imagery and typefaces with the emotional qualities that suggested the heavy industry of the 19th Century. Similarly, if I were designing a book cover for Japanese woodblock prints, I would study the subject, then design a cover that fit within the general aesthetics of the subject matter — again, staying clear of crossing the line into sentimentality, hokey typefaces, or cultural insensitivity.

  3. The problem, as you described it, borders on the woke (for lack of a better word) concerns about so-called cultural appropriation that is especially rampant in some areas of higher education. I could go off on a long tangent about this, but I’ll refrain from doing so. Instead, I’ll just mention that if this concern is an unstated part of the research you’re doing, pay attention to it.

B’s Item #3 is something you should pay attention to. Check which way the wind is blowing before writing your paper.

Cultural Sensitivity is why I mentioned museums being a whole class unto themselves. Any particular educational exhibit goes through literally 2 years of development taking all kinds of views into account. If an exhibit has a cultural focus, most often those parties are invited to the table. In some cases, it is even mandated. For instance, if an exhibit is to feature Native Americans, you MUST get approval from the Nation in question. It can be a very layered experience. If you want more info you can try here:

Here’s a link to an article on the AAM site that specifically deals with cultural representation.