Monographs: More Than Pretty Pictures

Publishing a monograph is proud rite of passage for any architecture firm. But the book is more than a documentation of built work. It can be part of a studio’s creative process, enabling them to take stock and move forward. It can also be a powerful marketing tool, a vehicle for broadening your professional reach.

When planning your monograph, consider how it can support your firm’s goals. Do you want to initiate strategic partnerships and build new relationships with potential clients, organizations, and key influencers? Do you want to strengthen your firm’s reputation—as designers, planners, sustainability experts—or somehow reshape that perception? Do you want to promote your firm culture? Answers to these questions will shed light on a key element of publishing the book: readership.

With press runs typically no more than 1,500 copies, it may not be feasible to send the monograph to everyone in your database, so you’ll need to refine your target audience. The initial edit of your list can be easy; staff, colleagues, clients, potential clients, and of course members of the media should receive a copy. But who else should you reach? Think strategically about your future: what kind of work you want to do, where do you want to do it, and who you want to work with? For example, if you want to better connect with academia, add deans and professors from prominent architecture schools to the list. Then consider including influencers—specific individuals such as real estate developers, business professionals, and industry experts who are persuasive, admired, opinionated, and have their finger on the pulse. Even if you have little or no existing relationships with these people, sending them a copy of your monograph [accompanied by a hand-written note] is a good first step to connecting or engaging with them further.