P. Papadopoulos and J. Yan: Panos: My Life, My Odyssey. London: LID Publishing 2022.

I ghost-wrote for my friend Panos Papadopoulos, through a series of interviews, manuscripts, notes and emails. His 130,000-word autobiography, which I wrote through 2021, is filled with rich anecdotes and Panos’s journey from poverty in the Greek countryside to creating his multi-million-dollar swimwear label, then selling it. The journey is filled with celebrities, too, including Victoria Silvstedt, Whitney Houston and Jamie Foxx, as well as two kings. It helped that Panos and I have been friends for over two decades, which allowed me to prompt him to recall some of the press-worthy moments in his colourful life. I even laid out and typeset the book, getting it within the prescribed number of pages without reducing the point size (this is where pre-desktop publishing typesetting knowledge came in handy).

Click here to read about my thoughts as the launch date neared, and here for the publisher’s official page. Highly commended in the ‘Business Journey’ category at the Business Book Awards 2023.


N. Ind and S. Horlings (eds).: Brands with a Conscience: How to Build a Successful and Responsible Brand. London: Kogan Page 2016.

This book, Medinge Group’s second, looks at some of the companies that were named Brands with a Conscience by the organization in the 2000s. It features lessons for businesses on how to create and sustain a culture that meets the needs of both internal and external stakeholders. I wrote the first chapter on Dilmah Tea, which you can download directly from the publisher’s website. Click on ‘Sample chapter’ once you’re on their site.


N. Kumar and A. Varna (eds.): Nation Branding: Concepts and Country Perspectives. Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press 2009.

Contributed a chapter, ‘Poised for Success: the Indian Brand Prepares Itself for the 21st Century’, on how India, above many other countries, has the right ideas for its nation brand.


J. Yan: Typography and Branding. Christchurch: Natcoll Publishing 2004.

Created with Natcoll in Christchurch, New Zealand, published in November 2004. The lessons are still current, fortunately. I wrote it in 2002 with 9-11 having inspired some of the thinking in this title.


N. Ind (ed.): Beyond Branding: How the New Values of Transparency and Integrity Are Reshaping the World of Brands. London: Kogan Page 2003.

Beyond Branding, published in autumn 2003, challenges business to adapt to a world of transparency. My fellow authors and I argue that business has to have a human perspective so that it benefits people rather than manipulates. This was Medinge Group’s first book, and we even had a site at, co-designed by me and developed by Johnnie Moore. The book went into its second printing in 2004 and went paperback in May 2005.


J. Yan: View Point Series 1 of 4: User Seductive—Perspectives on 21st Century Branding. Wellington: Charlie Ward and Wai-te-Ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington 2004.
This was a pleasure to work on. Charlie Ward is a talented young Irish designer who came to me with a book proposal, with a series of four books, each of which would be printed privately and in limited numbers. I wrote the first; Kevin Roberts the second. Charlie (and Barbara Schmelzer, and photographer Jono Rotman) has more than done the remainder justice with a startlingly stunning work. Nominated for a Best Design Award in New Zealand in 2004.


N. Das (ed.): New Age Branding: Concepts and Cases, Vol. 1. Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press 2003.
I contributed one case to this marketing course book, ‘The brand attitudes of automobiles’, which I originally wrote for CAP in 2002.


Academic articles

J. Yan: ‘The impact of digital and social media on branding’, Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing, vol. 3, no. 1, 2015, pp. 59–72.
This was originally slated for the début issue of this new journal, but due to a mix-up, did not appear till volume 3 after I asked what had happened to it. A pity, as I consider it one of my best academic papers: I was very proud of this because it was the first piece I had authored that required next to no changes from my reviewers. I examined how brands can be managed in a digital setting, bringing together market orientation models with social media. As part of volume 3 it had lost its visibility—even though the article itself remained current—and it’s one of my least-cited pieces. It would have been powerful for 2013; by 2015 people probably weren’t as keen to learn about social media as their damaging effects were becoming obvious. Maybe it’s just as well marketers weren’t as well armed with my work!


J. Yan: ‘Social media in branding: fulfilling a need’, The Journal of Brand Management, vol. 18, no. 9, 2011, pp. 688–96.
I discuss how social media impact on branding and brand equity.


J. Yan: ‘Branding and the international community’, The Journal of Brand Management, vol. 10, no. 6, 2003, pp. 447–57.
The relevance of the international community and the shortcomings in the nation branding of the United States.


J. Yan: ‘Corporate responsibility and the brands of tomorrow’, The Journal of Brand Management, vol. 10, nos. 4–5, 2003, pp. 290–302.
Dealing with the future of corporate social responsibility.


J. Yan: ‘Online branding: an antipodean experience’, Human Society and the Internet. Berlin: Springer-Verlag 2001.
From conference proceedings, a paper on how the digital divide is being bridged and early success stories.


There is a legacy page with some earlier references here.


Trade and consumer articles

J. Yan: ‘We’ve been here before’, Lucire KSA, August 2022, pp. 22–5.
In a 2020 editorial, I drew parallels between modern design trends (and economic events) and those five decades ago. If that is true, then what is around the corner? Also in French: « Nous sommes déjà passés par là ».


J. Yan: ‘At a premium’, Lucire KSA, May 2022, pp. 26–9.
How premium brands could operate in the metaverse. Also published in French, « À un prix élevé ».


J. Yan: ‘The classic era’, Lucire KSA, April 2022, pp. 26–9 and Lucire, issue 45, 2022, pp. 22–5.
How the 1990s is considered a classic era for fashion today. Also published in French, « L’ère classique ».


J. Yan: ‘The Generation Z game’, Lucire KSA, October 2021, pp. 22–5.
How fashion brands can appeal to Generation Z. Also published in French, « Le jeu de la génération Z ».


J. Yan: ‘Stronger together’, Lucire KSA, March 2020, pp. 12–15, and Lucire, issue 41, 2020, pp. 22–5.
Collaboration and co-branding in fashion.


J. Yan: ‘Big Tech is not your friend’, Branders, issue 13, August 2019.
How large US tech firms have created “big brand clubs”, at the exclusion of independent voices.


J. Yan and P. Gascoigne: ‘The fall of the influencer’, Lucire, issue 38, 2018, pp. 22–6.
With social media mainstreaming, how influencers’ staying power may wane.


J. Yan: ‘New dawn’, Eye, issue 79, spring 2011.
The future of webfonts and the digital market-place.


J. Yan: ‘Getting serious with subvertising’, Desktop, June 2009.
The typography behind subvertising and the anti-globalization groups.


J. Yan: ‘The even fresher food people’, Desktop, February 2009.
Another rebranding from Hans Hulsbosch, this time for Woolworths.


J. Yan: ‘Thoroughly modern’, Desktop, May 2008.
Three-dimensional effects and modernism in logo design in Europe.


J. Yan: ‘A new era for Qantas’, Desktop, November 2007.
The Qantas rebranding, with an interview with Hans Hulsbosch.


J. Yan: ‘The transporter’, Desktop, January 2007.
Highway signage typefaces by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert discussed.


J. Yan: ‘Capital gains’, Desktop, September 2006.
The state of public design around the world and a new Dutch film, Kapitaal.


J. Yan: ‘The China syndrome’, Desktop, August 2006.
The competing script systems in China.


J. Yan: ‘Paradigms lost’, Desktop, March 2006.
A study into the different civilizations of humankind and parallels with typography and print.


J. Yan: ‘Newspapers and their type’, Desktop, November 2005.
American newspapers’ typography examined as an extension of an “American brand”.


J. Yan: ‘A type magazine? On paper?’, Desktop, August 2005.
The history of U&lc, one of the landmark publications on the typographic arts.


J. Yan: ‘Hermann Zapf’, Desktop, April 2004.
Interview with one of the type world’s greats.


J. Yan: ‘The body gets a lift’, Desktop, October 2003.
The link between branding and typography explored.


J. Yan: ‘The brand people choose their fonts’, Fontzone, February 28, 2003.
Corporate identities and typeface choices.


J. Yan: ‘Branding 2010’, Agenda, no. 13, first quarter 2003.
The future of branding and the formation of a “brand manifesto” to counter the negativity of Naomi Klein’s No Logo.


J. Yan: ‘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.


J. Yan: ‘The Nation, indivisible’, Desktop, November 2001.
The best newspaper editorial designs around the world: how type differentiates daily broadsheets.


J. Yan: ‘The attitude of identity’, Desktop, October 2000.
Unparalleled access to corporate identity guru Wally Olins in my examination of his latest theories on branding.


J. Yan: ‘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 director.


J. Yan: ‘The non-conformists’, Desktop, February 1998.
Non-conformists in the type design industry including Zuzana Licko and Erik van Blokland.


J. Yan: ‘Mile high type’, Desktop, November 1997.
Airline identities and brands examined in depth, including the controversial British Airways rebranding.


J. Yan: ‘Fonts of justice’, Desktop, July 1997.
The state of copyright law in the United States and the reason TypeRight was founded to protect American designers’ rights.



‘Typography and type design’, AII Massachusetts Communications College, Boston, Massachusetts, July 2001.
A general primer for AII students.


‘The Swedenization of branding’, Marknadsföreningen i Stockholm (Stockholm Marketing Association), June 25, 2002.
One of the most highly rated guest spots for MIS, attended by Accenture, The Financial Times, TV4, Saab Avionics and other leading organizations.


‘Confucianism and branding’, Chief Brand Officers’ Association, Medinge conference on branding, Medinge, Sweden, June 2002.
My first presentation at Medinge, which would lead to a decades-long association.


‘The Swedenization of branding: one year on’, Marknadsföreningen i Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden, September 1, 2003.
I update the audience at MIS on branding in 2003 and the moves toward incorporating ethics and social responsibility. Attendees represented American Express, Ogilvy, Kodak, Canon, Nordea Bank, Banco, 3M and others.


‘Trends in fashion branding’, Fashion Lab, L’Oréal New Zealand Fashion Week, Auckland, New Zealand, October 23, 2003.
Covered nationally, I talk about socially responsible trends in fashion, long before this was a mainstream topic.


‘The craft and business of typography’, Australian Graphic Design Association forum, BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, August 3, 2004.
Followed up with a longer session for TAFE SA in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, August 5, 2004.


‘The business of branding’, Australian Graphic Design Association, Victoria chapter, CUB Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, November 16, 2004.
On the cyclical nature of branding trends and what tools can be used for helping the planet.


‘That vision thing’, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise–Dunedin Fashion Incubator address for Vodafone ID Dunedin Fashion Week, Dunedin, New Zealand, March 7, 2007.
Back to Dunedin for an address on vision, the New Zealand nation brand, creating a business and marketing to media.


‘Going global’, Bananas New Zealand Going Global conference, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, August 19, 2007.
What will mainstream culture look like and what is the impact of the Chinese race on it? I explore this as the closing address for the third Bananas two-day conference.


‘Katherine Mansfield: New Zealand’s first fashionista’, celebration for the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society at the Museum Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand, April 10, 2008.
How the New Zealand fashion sensibility already existed in Katherine Mansfield’s day. A humorous address that was very popular on the night.


‘Strategy, trends and the marketing man’, Global MDP, Proton Business School, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, December 26, 2008.
What marketing trends are driving us right now? And, with the financial world being in turmoil, what lessons does branding have for us?


‘Increasing marketing through social media’, The National Bank Seminar Series, Wellington, New Zealand, July 23, 2009.
Brands connect organization to audience, and Twitter and Facebook are media through which they can be communicated.


‘Fashion, branding and the media in 2009’, FINZ: the Future of Fashion II, CPIT, Christchurch, New Zealand, August 7, 2009.
The fashion industry needs to look at new techniques to get itself known in tougher times. I talk about consumer engagement and allude to the need to band together to create a national brand for the industry.


‘Branding trends and Sweden’, Marknadsföreningen i Malmö, Malmö, Sweden, and Marknadsföreningen i Nord Ost Skåne, Kristianstad, Sweden, January 21–2, 2010.
Discussing the democratization of branding and how the world is moving toward a Swedish model.


‘Marketing and social media; democracy in action’, Unplugged Speeches, Stockholm, Sweden, January 26, 2010.
The first in Stefan Engeseth’s interactive, Powerpoint-free Unplugged Speeches series, where I talk about some of the marketing trends facing us in the 2010s.


Second round-table at la Sorbonne’s CELSA campus, Levallois, Paris, January 29, 2010.
With my colleagues at the Medinge Group, delivering to an advanced marketing class on branding thought, led by my fellow director Pierre d’Huy and Medinge CEO Stanley Moss.


‘Typography and branding’, Swinburne University, August 2011.
A wide-ranging talk on branding, personal branding, destination branding, and typographic technology in the 2010s.


‘Social media and branding’, University of Melbourne, August 2011.

On consumer democratization, corporate citizenship, and what brands should aim for in social media.


‘An introduction to typography’, Adobe Creative Camp, Wellington, November 2011.
The evolution of digital type technologies since the 1980s.


‘Understanding social media’, MTA conference, Auckland, November 2011.
Presented to the Motor Trade Association with examples of successful social media usage.


‘Adding the rupee’, Knowledge Globalization Conference, FLAME University, Pune, January 2012. Acknowledging the growth of the Indian economy, why JY&A Fonts elected to add the new rupee symbol to all of its fonts, the first foundry in the world to do so.


‘New Zealand, typography and branding’, Symbiosis Media School, Pune, January 2012.
Discussing New Zealand, perceptions of India, typography, and consumer democratization.


‘Components of digital branding’, UffindellWest, London, March 2015.
How digital and social media tie in with the existing brand equity model.


A legacy page with some old speech notes can be found here.



  • Commentator on Hong Kong and Chinese politics, One News, Television New Zealand, 2014, 2022–3; Radio New Zealand National, 2020.
  • Panellist, The Panel, Radio New Zealand National, 2020–.
  • Intellectual property commentator, The Paul Henry Show, TV3, New Zealand, 2015. Hollywood takes on a small-town takeaway.


    For Down to the Wire in 2010, looking back at the early days of the World Wide Web.


    For Down to the Wire in 2010, on the power of online publishing in 1993.


  • Social media commentator, Sunrise, TV3, New Zealand, 2009. Interviewed as a publishing and social media expert on TV3’s morning news show.
  • Contributor, Listening Post, al-Jazeera English, Qatar, 2007–8. Invited to contribute to al-Jazeera English’s Listening Post programme by one of its UK production contractors, discussing international politics.
  • Regular presenter, Good Morning, TV One, New Zealand, 2006–7. Weekly presenter for ‘You’ve Got Male’ segment on live morning television.