|> My stuff
This is a non-exhaustive list of some of my articles and papers. Excerpts
will be added gradually as this site grows. A red dot without an arrow
() signals that no excerpt is available
My best year: Jack Yan, 1990, The Dominion Post,
January 1, 2007, p. C1
A full page in a Fairfax papera humorous look back at 1990 and my
final high school year.
‘Online branding: a definitive guide’, CAP Online, August 19,
I wrote this paper in March 2006 but only published it a week before the
Medinge Group conference that year. Its a follow-up to my 2001 paper
on online branding, updated with Web 2·0 in mind. Also published
no. 36, autumn
Grunge is backjust not here, Desktop, August
In the 1990s, I wrote a lot about how I disliked grunge typography. Now,
I am almost looking at the trend romantically, as I examine magazines
from Thailand, the UAE and Finland.
The China syndrome, Desktop, July 2006
The two competing styles of Chinese typetraditional versus simplifiedcreate
controversy and chatter. I trace the origins of the two styles and just
what the hassles are. My 10th anniversary piece for the magazine (June
was bumped), following some
discussion on my blog.
You only live once , Lucire, vol. 2, no. 7, June
2006, p. 114
In a James Bond mood, we were the first magazine in New Zealand to publish
large photographs of the new Aston Martin DBS, and I penned this article
to go along with them.
Thoughts in a V8, Lucire, vol. 2, no. 5, April
2006, p. 104
I wrote this parody of a James Bond novel as a short article in Lucire,
testing the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
‘Knowing whom not to listen to’, CAP Online, May 7, 2005
Also republished in The
National Business Reviews
online edition and in Thread,
my thoughts just prior to Lucire Romanias launch.
On MG Rover, the Chinese haven’t been that smart, either,
The National Business Review, online edition, April 9, 2005
On the collapse of British automaker MG Rover. Most of the British press
lay blame at the British executives, with next to no media willing to
criticize the Politburos part in the collapse. But some things needed
airing. This was carried by numerous blogs during that week.
Starting the axis of good, CAP Online, December
Nothing much has changed, and even al-Qaeda can be seen as a brand, especially
its use of virtual techniques. Why not use the same ideas for good?
The grille of your dreams, Lucire, vol. 1, no.
1, November 2004, p. 102
This article is a departure from the others on this page. Ive always
had a love for cars and as I was creating Lucire as a print title,
some compared my frankness to that of Jeremy Clarkson. Flattery indeed.
Im more accurate than Mr Clarkson, mind. This piece is on the Audi
A6, and appears here in unedited form. It prompted the New Zealand boss
of Audi, Glyn Tulloch, to say it was the best piece ever written about
the new grilles of the cars. Audi wound up buying many copies to give
away to its dealers and customers.
Branding and the international community, Journal
of Brand Management, vol. 10, no. 6, 2003, pp. 44756
This 4,000-word brief, submitted in December 2002, discusses international
policy issues in branding, from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
to how the United States may position itself in accordance with it, especially
in overcoming negative impressions about the country. Several key members
of the US cabinet and administration have a copy. An edited version appears
in Agenda, no. 14, March 2004, pp. 45 and in full in CAP,
‘Branding 2010’, Agenda, no. 13, June 2003, pp. 45
The future of branding and the formation of a “brand manifesto” to counter
the negativity of Naomi Klein’s No Logo.
Corporate responsibility and the brands of tomorrow, Journal
of Brand Management, vol. 10, nos. 45, 2003, pp. 290302
A new paper on why CSR is vital to the survival of brands given media-savvy
Generation Y consumers.
Between the Gibson Sheats: a law firm rebrands, Allaboutbranding.com,
Written in June 2001 originally for another publication, this paper eventually
was published 18 months later by Allaboutbranding.com. This case study
analyses the rebranding for a law firm and how DNA Design went far further
in both differentiation and finding Gibson Sheats soul
Customers have brains, too, Headway, vol. 26, no.
1, autumn 2003
A column on fashionmy first for this magazineon how companies
that respect consumers intelligence and freedom, such as Dunedin,
New Zealands Mild Red, deserve to do well in the autumnwinter
Spirituality and business: the next movement?, Chief Brand
Officers Association conference, Amsterdam, January 17, 2003
Presented in absentia by colleagues to the CBOs January meeting,
a discussion of how global business can advance using one of its roots,
overcoming corruption and materialism. (Republished at Ourhouse
and CAP Online.)
Analysing brands can tell you whether to buy, CAP Online,
January 6, 2003
With confidence in traditional stock analysis hurt, a better and more
long-term way could be examining corporations’ brands. (Republished
brand-based stock analyst.)
The brand manifesto, CAP Online, September 9, 2002
Summarizing the Medinge conference on branding and what can be expected
from the industry as it rescues commerce from its current mess. (Republished
‘Type on TV’, Desktop, September 2002
A primer on how type on television works, at Sweden’s TV4 network.
Jack Yan takes note of the width of the World Wide Web,
Design Interact, April 10, 2002
Noting the use of width in web design.
‘The states of play’, Desktop, March 2002
In-depth article on the Australian type industry.
The brand attitude of automobiles, CAP Online,
March 16, 2002
Brand equity is not why the Toyota Corolla is more successful than the
Chevrolet Prizm. Anecdotal evidence that some automobile brands have matured
into extendable attitudes conducive to their survival while others remain
fixed in narrow, product-reliant niches. (Republished in Allaboutbranding.com
brand attitudes of automobiles and by the Institute
of Chartered Financial Analysts of India as the cover story for its
Mastermind, February 2003.)
‘Fighting globalization with globalization’, CAP Online, February
An article discussing globalization and fulfilling its promise to move
workers to higher-gain jobs. (Republished in Allaboutbranding.com.)
‘Nations that listen’, Agenda, no. 12, first quarter 2002
A discussion of how firms could get more global after 9-11 for the Australian
Graphic Design Association.
Branding in the early 2000s: the new forces at work, CAP
Online, December 11, 2001
As a new world economy emerges with governments being more cooperative
after September 11, 2001, I examine how branding might look in the next
few years—and how they might be remembered. One conclusion: Chinese WTO
entry wont change branding, though Swedish business and the Nordic
school will. (Republished in Allaboutbranding.com.)
‘Welcome back Harper’s Bazaar’, Visual Arts Trends, November
With Kate Betts fired and a new editor in place, I look back on the typographic
and business prophecies in my April 2000 article.
‘Carry on globalizing’, CAP Online, October 18, 2001
In response to an article for The New York Times which I was interviewed
for. This defends the United States and branding and globalization theories.
‘Brands transcend economics (and The Economist)’, CAP Online,
September 25, 2001
In response to an article in The Economist, I point out the shortcomings
in the British publication’s analysis. The Economist’s article
was notable for the points it raises from other leading commentators,
including Wally Olins, that follow my predictions for the industry made
above. Again prophetic in light of later events at Enron, WorldCom and
President Bush’s call for corporate responsibility.
‘Online branding: an antipodean experience’, Human Society and
the Internet. Berlin: Springer-Verlag 2001.
Academic paper on the success of online brands in Australia and New Zealand.
‘Playing tag’, Desktop, June 2001
The web and the relative failure of new font technologies.
‘The moral globalist’, CAP Online, May 2, 2001
Originally destined for the print edition, but later placed online, how
the good in globalization could be properly realized.
‘The attitude of identity’, Desktop, October 2000
Unparalleled access to corporate identity guru Wally Olins in my examination
of his latest theories on branding.
‘The business of identity’, CAP, volume 4, no. 3, spring 2000
A full summary of my study into identity and business performance. (Republished
‘Ringing in the DIN of a few Bazaar changes’, Visual Arts
Trends, April 2000
Article criticizing the Harper’s Bazaar rebrand—prophetic in light
of the sackings of that magazine’s editor and the departure of its art
‘Those nostalgic 1990s’, Desktop, May 1999
A retrospective examination on what the 1990s will be remembered for.
Leading commentators were interviewed and their responses analysed.
‘The identity business’, Desktop, April 1999
My ground-breaking study is detailed for the first time in Australia,
linking brands to an organization’s business performance, including its
‘Generation Xperts’, Desktop, September 1998
Generation X designers’ trends, awareness of market positioning and other
factors are examined to see whether anything marked out the 20-something
‘Inspirational type’, Desktop, April 1998
Australian designers are interviewed to see whether there is an Australian
‘The non-conformists’, Desktop, February 1998
Non-conformists in the type design industry including Zuzana Licko and
Erik van Blokland.
‘Mile high type’, Desktop, November 1997
Airline identities and brands examined, including the controversial British
‘Beyond modernism’, Desktop, September 1996
Postmodernism in international corporate identity and branding examined.
‘Nicole? Papa!’, CAP, autumn 1995
Discussing the highly successful “Nicole? Papa!” campaign which used national
branding notions about France.
the 21st century, there is a growing awareness of the honour and integrity
behind the brands, given that they have become increasingly powerful.
As corporations become more global the actions of its individuals become
more important: misbehaviour by the CEO or impolite service by a clerk
are communicated with greater impetus via email and other media. Because
of their intrusion into peoples lives, corporations have in many
ways switched roles with nations, many of which have tried to reduce the
size of their governments. Thus, audiences have become interested in the
substance behind the façade.
The concern of the widening gap is then addressed by
the market. This is not a pure economic model as advanced by Friedman
and others, but one that is based around branding. The market—or more
correctly the audience—will purchase because of the sincerity behind the
brand and how the corporation behind it treats its workers. Since information
is becoming easier to get, it is likely that the modern consumer is more
knowledgeable. Abuses could be quickly propagated through viral email
campaigns. Already, the largest companies are learning that consumers
are tiring of big-brand stances, with their revenues falling, for reasons
of market segmentation and, I believe, awareness of their corporate citizenship.
Citizens are swayed more by the intangibles of emotions and brands than
the hard economic data of globalization.
Should jobs leave one country in favour of another where
wages are lower, then there is exceptional potential for retraining and
upskilling the newly unemployed. From the perspective of corporate citizenship,
there is potential for the corporation to partner with a group of training
organizations. This may bear a cost but the benefits from being a good
corporate citizen are invaluable from a brand-equity standpoint.
In a corporate world that is driven by financials as
much as PR and brand equity (though all are interrelated), such actions
improve an organization's profile considerably, measurable in terms of
goodwill. On a simpler note, it is part of carrying out a duty, doing
the right thing.
'The moral globalist', CAP Online, May 2, 2001