Grafik The Right Idea written on a brick wall

“What will be.”

So, this is like the 8th draft of me writing this. And every time, 2 paragraphs in, I realize that all I’m doing is writing about how great Honda is. Stop, backspace backspace, delete delete. I’m supposed to be talking about my design for the 2009 “Honda in America” brochure, about MY contribution, MY concept. And, inevitably, 2 paragraphs later, Honda Honda Honda.

But then I thought, maybe that’s appropriate. That really is the concept for their 50th anniversary brochure. Why do the talking when Honda really speaks for themselves.

“Think Simple.”

Since I first started at Grafik 4 years ago, I’ve been designing this brochure. Until this year, it has been a strictly informational piece, relying on content and photography to convey its message rather than concept. However, this year was different. It’s the anniversary of Honda’s first store front in America, a motorcycle dealership in California that opened in 1959. 50 years later, Honda’s employing 28,000 Americans in all 50 states and has a capital investment of $12.1 billion dollars. If you are driving a Honda or Acura that you bought here, there is a 76% chance that it was made in North America (see, I’m doing it again, talking about Honda…).

Honda In America Investment Map

“More of a good thing.”

I started looking at Honda’s vintage ads. Tons of them. And there it was. Everything that was outlined in the neat charts and graphs, all the bullets and captions of this content heavy brochure, was exactly the same. For 50 years, Honda’s advertising and messaging proves that all the copy in that brochure is true. So why should I do all the talking? Let the power of their message speak for itself.

So I found a vintage ad who’s headline worked for each section. “New openings from Honda” talking about creating manufacturing facilities across the country. “It comes with a conscience”, 1970s ad headline, now serving as the headline for the environment and energy section. Apparently, Honda was green when green was still just a color. “Rare Accord” to discuss the relationship Honda has with it’s suppliers. Honda’s involvement in community programs: “One good turn deserves another.” I mean, this is easy people! Next one!

The brochure really just rolled itself out. I’d love to take the credit. Okay, sure, I did do all the research, find the ads, pair them up with each section, make the brochure visually interesting, balancing copy with concept. Let me tell you, when a client sees white space on a page, for them it’s an opportunity to fill it w/ more information. So I was a gatekeeper, fiercely protecting the CONCEPT, protecting the page so that the power of their message wouldn’t be fighting for attention, but not muffling or diminishing the important information that needed to be conveyed.

“Take one out and open it up.”

I must say, I’m very proud of how this brochure turned out. I pulled a few jpegs of each spread to show the design, but, like anything conceptual, you really need to pick it up and look through, page by page, and see for yourself.

And, by the way, I have a 2001 Civic Coupe, which I love, and now, after designing this brochure, can say for sure that I am very proud to own a Honda.

50 years Honda in America Post

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