Edward Stokes and Victor Cheong examine the jacket of Hong Kong As It Was.


Minimalist design, without adornment or flourishes, was the core aim in creating the Foundation’s publishing brand.

The reason for the Foundation’s minimalist design was simple. If one aims to publish photographs that themselves have powerful impact – and if they don’t, why publish them? – the photos should speak for themselves. Empty space has visual significance. In creating our layout concepts, time and patience was essential to adjust the page and photo frame sizes. Even a few millimeters affect the overall feel of pages. The Foundation’s chosen publishing typeface Garamond, the enduring serif typeface created by Claude Garamond in the sixteenth century, matched our heritage aims – and so became our house typeface.

Colour choices were crucial in establishing the Foundation’s brand, both on book jackets and their pages: ‘The sum must be greater than the parts’, Victor always stressed. Trial and error were bedrock during this development and experimentation. Ultimately, press-proofing ensured that our personal visual impressions – that hard to define mixture of expertise and intuition – were right. A colophon was designed, the identity ‘logo’ for the Foundation. It appears on the banner above.