Featured image for Turner Duckworth’s Book 'I Love It. What Is It?' is a Design and Branding Anthology from Creatives Around the Globe

Turner Duckworth’s Book 'I Love It. What Is It?' is a Design and Branding Anthology from Creatives Around the Globe

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 02/19/2024 | 5 Minute Read

“Room to Breathe,” “Trust & Faith,” and “Giving a Shit”—these are a small selection of the essays and think pieces inside Turner Duckworth’s new book, I Love It. What Is It? Releasing February 24th in the UK and February 28th in the US, the book features and discusses work on brands like McDonald’s, Amazon, and The Coca-Cola Company. Each piece, from the words on the page to the compelling visuals, explores creativity, marketing, and brand-building, all through the lens of “instinct.”

Sarah Moffat, global CCO at Turner Duckworth, said that the idea to create a book came about for two reasons. David Turner and Bruce Duckworth (who co-founded Turner Duckworth in 1992) planned to retire, and the timing coincided with the agency’s 30th anniversary. Everyone thought it would be nice to somehow mark the occasion. “It began as looking for something to commemorate the past thirty years,” she said, “but in the end, it really became something about the next thirty years, which was really fun.”

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Their proposal to Phaidon Press outlined a book highlighting the brands Turner Duckworth had created. The publisher, however, wanted the subject matter to be more broad, and Joanne Chan, global CEO at Turner Duckworth, admitted that this made the book even better.

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“We invited people who aren’t Turner Duckworth employees or former employees to write pieces as well,” she explained. “Some are former clients, some are other designers or artists. We have a photo essay by photographer Stan Musilek. So it became more of a love letter to brands, and the red thread that runs through is the power of instinct in design and branding and trusting one’s gut.”

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Turner Duckworth had no master plan of who to ask about participating in the book or what aspects of design they wanted to cover; instead, they embraced that theme of instinct. People who they reached out to were the ones they felt would tell compelling stories and would be willing to devote the time to working with Gyles Lingwood, the book’s co-author, to shape their pieces. Gyles, a Professor of Business Creativity at the University of Lincoln, allowed each contributor’s voice to shine, filling the book with delightful surprises on every page—highly personal anecdotes about brands ranging from Cheerios to Metallica, inspirational quotes like “The opposite of beauty is not ugly; it is carelessness,” and “Anyone who doesn’t like this logo, doesn’t like puppies!” Reading the book is like going to a party with all these designers and brand leaders in one room, where they all talk about their favorite projects.

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“We wanted the contributors to speak in their own voice to tell their own stories,” Joanne said. “There isn't one style of writing throughout the book. It's a look behind the scenes at people's journeys and how they created the brands that consumers have grown to love and admire.”

Joanne and Sarah each wrote their own pieces for the book as well. Joanne actually wrote two, with the first covering one of her first big identity projects at Turner Duckworth for Amazon. The other is about the messy process creatives must go through, the trust everyone on the team must have, and the fun and the magic that can take place. “I create a safe space for creativity and design to happen,” she said, “but I'm not the actual creator. I have found working with creatives kind of drives me crazy, but at the same time, that's why I love working with creatives.”

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Sarah hopes her piece, “Something’s Hiding in Here,” reveals more about how creative minds work and inspires those called to create. “People tend to see art as a career you pursue, but it's played down, like a hobby. At least that's what my mother said to me when I was planning on doing art,” Sarah said. “So, to be able to show that you can make a living and a career out of doing something creative was also really important for me. We really want to get more people into the creative field and from more parts of society who wouldn't consider it a professional career.”

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Turner Duckworth has talked about doing a book for several years, so the team is proud the idea has finally come to fruition in the form of I Love It. What Is It? The book will also coexist with a digital experience—coming soon—to better highlight brands in motion and digitally native brands. Of course, the agency has the fear of putting something out there to be judged, of people reading it and having an opinion—either good or bad or anything in between—on the book. But they also recognize that they’ve accomplished what many never will and something they dreamed of for decades.

I Love It. What Is It? rewards curiosity from the start—from the title to the red, dog-eared corner on the cover, which reveals a sweet discovery inside (one of Joanne’s own favorite elements of the book). Designers will naturally enjoy perusing the book, but so could any type of creative, or anyone who wants to know more about how some of their favorite brands get made. Inspiration appears on every single one of the 272 pages that will speak to every reader differently.

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Sarah added that it’s not exactly intended to be read in one sitting. She envisions the book more like a box of chocolates where you can pick and choose what most interests you at that moment.

“Books feel slightly antiquated in such a digital world,” Sarah said. “But we created it with the idea that people will pick this up, dip in and out, and walk away with something that changes how they think that day. It gives them an idea to do something differently or a sense of, ‘No, you’re on the right thing, keep going with it.” It's a little bit of that reassurance and a bit of inspiration.”

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