Rough Guides, Lonely Planet, Trade and Travel Handbook – the last name on that list may sound incongruous to many people, but it includes the longest running guidebook in the English language. The first guidebook was commissioned in 1921 by the Federation of British Industries for British businessmen in South America. In 1924, it became the South American Guidebook and has been published by Trade and Travel ever since.
The company is re- launching itself under the new banner of Footprint Handbooks in a bid to take up what it sees as its rightful position as challenger to Rough Guides and Lonely Planet.
Newell and Sorrell director John Simmons, who is in charge of the project, says the consultancy was asked to look at the whole Trade and Travel offer and develop a new brand. ‘We came up with Footprint Handbooks and it works on various levels,’ says Simmons.
As well as leading to a visual expression of the brand, Footprint also signifies its individual characteristics. ‘It was important to James Dawson, managing director at Footprint, that the established history and authority of the series was not lost. Unlike Rough Guides or Lonely Planet, the Footprint guides are written by named individuals and it was important to convey this,’ says Simmons.
The consultancy also redesigned book covers as a major part of the project.
Footprint will be expanding its range by 14 titles next spring, but the present redesigned series will start appearing in September.