Books-A-Million Real Estate

Books-A-Million, Inc.
Birmingham, AL


Creative Direction/Photography


  • Jay Turner, VP of Real Estate
  • Darryl Napolitano, Real Estate Asset Manager
  • Steven Lyons, Creative Director, Photography
  • McGinty Co, Art Direction, Production

The Real Estate group at Books-A-Million had been struggling to change developers’ perception of stores as a clearance destination. Clearly pigeonholed for Class C developments, they weren’t able to promote the new, more refined store designs with developers of A & B centers to compete with Barnes & Noble and Borders on a more level playing field.

The group needed a completely new tool to give developers to communicate Books-A-Million’s brand focus and new store design styles. But, it also had to be flexible enough to tailor the presentation to individual developers—sometimes minutes before meetings. I developed an adaptable binder presentation that began with a permanent introduction booklet detailing company history and store design philosophy. The rest of the binder was made up of 4-page folded inserts detailing the design of individual stores within the chain. We developed and shot 25 different stores as inserts, giving the team plenty of different store types to match to individual development projects.

The group targeted developers and sent out binders prior to that year’s ISCS show, garnering meetings with 100% of the recipients for the first time and securing 5 new store developments. Each developer credited the new binder with shattering their preconceptions of the brand and its potential fit in their developments.

To maximize cost and flexibility for an ever-changing portfolio presentation, I chose a custom printed binder as the container. This allowed the team to update the presentation at minimal cost and more easily change the contents for individual developers. Using a shade of the primary blue from the new brand standards, gave the binder a pop of color while framing the brochure.

The permanent introduction booklet touched on the company’s new focus, its history, new store designs, and more high-end interiors. To match the size of the accompanying store folios and increase durability, I had the saddle-stitched booklet laminated to a larger, 3-hole punched, printed cardstock.

A selection of the individual store folios, these were printed on a thick coated cardstock, with the trim allowing for fold-out within the binder. These folios focused on photography of the stores along with development details and a custom illustrated map of the placement within the center.