Ben Barry, a former designer at Facebook, has published a series of scans from the company’s “little red book”, which he created during his time at the company.
The images give our first peek inside an interesting book which hasn’t been available on the internet before today.
The book is full of tiny propaganda quotes about Facebook’s history and culture. It only began being placed on each new employee’s desk after the company hit 1 billion users in late 2012.
Barry and Everett Katigbak co-founded Facebook’s Analog Research Lab , a print studio that is near Facebook’s original Menlo Park building. In his time at Facebook, Barry was famous for his focus on the company’s brand, even to the point that he was dubbed the company’s “propaganda minister” internally.
According to Fast Company, anyone could use the print lab’s equipment if they wished to create something of their own and the lab was often used to teach other employees about physical print.
In a post on his site, Ben Barry’s office, the designer explains that the book came about because Facebook experienced challenges “explaining [the] company’s mission, history, and culture to new employees” and that “a lot of formative company discussions and debates had happened in Facebook Groups, over email, or in person.
Those who had been present at the time had context, but for new employees that information was difficult to find, even if you knew what you were looking for.”
The original “little red book” was by Mao Zedong, the founder of Chinese Communist Party, and contained speeches, quotes and writings by him.
While it’s unlikely that Facebook was attempting to invoke Chairman Mao with its version, the text is filled with similarly selective quotations.
Facebook’s version is an interesting read that provides a look into its internal culture, even if we can only see small snippets of it.
Barry has only uploaded a few pages. He says the only way to see the entire text is to get a job at Facebook.
➤ Facebook’s Little Red Book [Office of Ben Barry]
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Image credits: Office of Ben Barry