In 2003, GE asked Melcher Media to create a product that would help communicate its new campaign and slogan—“Imagination at Work”—to an elite audience of leaders in the business and civic sectors, executives within the diversified company, and key figures in technology and research industries. We realized that our challenge would be to capture the spirit of imagination that is integral to GE’s identity. In order to reflect the practically limitless potential and extremely diverse activities of the company, we took inspiration from the heart of GE’s research and development organization: the Global Research Center near Albany, New York. In our meetings with GE engineers, we soon found a common denominator in every lab at the Research Center: the lab notebook.

The GE Imagination Notebook is a working notebook, a blank slate ready for its user’s thoughts, drawings, and imaginings of any kind. By way of inspiration, the GE Imagination Notebook features sketches from the journals of famous innovators—from designer Ray Eames’s bent plywood chairs to Frank Gehry’s Bilbao structure to Galileo’s drawings of the phases of the moon. Melcher Media also commissioned original drawings of ongoing projects at GE. Notebook took on a whole new dimension when we suggested that its covers be whiteboards and that each copy come with a dry-erase marker and a felt bookmark (which doubled as an eraser). This was an unprecedented form of packaging that transformed the book into a tangible symbol of GE’s brand message. Because it was practical, interactive, and inspirational, the GE Imagination Notebook was able to communicate immediately the true meaning of the “Imagination at Work” slogan.


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