A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
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Thursday, February 1, 2018
How Does The Book Publishing Industry Use Logos To Sell Itself?
How does the book publishing industry represent itself by logos, especially book publishers,
libraries and bookstores?
The world of logos is
very interesting. Some could be left to
interpretation but most intentionally represent something specific. Some will even be confusing or incomprehensible to
others. Some logos are images that catch
on because of the level of significance of the organization the logo
represents. The five rings of the
Olympics, the bitten apple for Apple, and the golden arches to McDonald’s
became iconic not because the images are so stunning but because the Olympics,
Apple and McDonald’s became huge enterprises that impact society in a popular and lasting way.
Logos tend to follow
certain paths. Some will:
an image, such as the bull’s eye for Target.
state a company’s name: Disney, Facebook,
a few letters, such as HBO, 3M, FIFA.
a name and an image, like Pepsi, AT&T, Adidas
Many will rely on
strong colors, fonts, typefaces, and catchy images, including ones of things
from the past, things that aren’t real, animals, buildings, or merely some
unidentified design element.
Let’s take a look at
how the book industry utilizes logos:
Logos for book
publishers seek to capture something powerful, special, and timeless about the
appeal of books, especially of the specific genres or level of content sold by a
specific publishing house, university press, or independent press. Let’s take a look:
Oxford’s logo is of
an adult reading a book with stars around the person’s head and the caption
beneath saying “Oneworld” as one word. Not many publisher logos have a motto.
Many publishers use
animals. Penguin, now part of Penguin
Random House, has a black and while penguin to represent itself. Al Rahelah Publishing uses a camel. Particular Books uses a bunny rabbit. Jelly Fish Publishing has a jellyfish and
Walker Books uses a bear. Black Ox Press
has an ox.
Some logos just spell
out the name of the publisher, such as the case with Yale University Press.
uniquely uses its name and an image of fire and water. Chronicle Books uses its name and the image
of glasses. Josephine Publishing
accompanies its same with the old-fashioned writing instrument, an ink-dipped
feather pen. Archway Publishing depicts an archway, as if seeing into the distance with a depth of dimensions. South End Press shows a head with a light
bulb in it.
Some logos of publishers
reveal mythical images. Mercia Books
showcases a dragon. Pink Unicorn
Publishing uses a pink unicorn.
A fair number of
publishers depict book imagery in their logos.
Open Book Publishers predictably shows an open book next to its
name. Chelsea House Publishers also
shows a book, as does Victory Publishing, which turns the open book into a
v-shape to emphasize the first letter of its name. Algonquin Books, place a capital A on top of
Others show random
images not associated with publishing.
Hot Gates Press depicts a Roman warrior. Orphan Press shows the
child-like face of presumably an orphan.
Seal Press shows two seals.
A certain number of
publishers don’t use an image for their logo but they will use a distinctive
typeface and font to present their name, such as Rizzoli Publishers or Steidl.
incorporate water imagery into their logos such as a sailboat for Bateau Press.
Atlantic Books and Orca Book Publishers play up to the water connection as
Most book publishing
logos are fairly simple and tend to include the publisher’s name. Often the image perfectly supports the name,
such as seals for Seal Press but often the name of the publisher doesn’t
clearly indicate what makes the publisher unique and the logo doesn’t
explain or indicate what type of books are produced by a publisher.
When you take a look
at logos for libraries, a good number incorporate the visual of
books. Some try to give a feeling of
movement to a book’s pages. Others
utilize many colors to indicate excitement for books. Some will show trees or nature, indicating
the tree of knowledge and the growth of the mind.
A good number of logos
include a library’s name and the generic image of a library. Jacksonville Public Library does this. So do Charlotte Library, Medfield Public
Library, and White Plains Public Library.
Some logos represent
the areas and locations of the libraries.
Portsmouth Public Library forgoes imagery of books or young readers for
a sailing boat. Storm Lake Public
Library shows a lighthouse.
Some library logos
are understated for their size. Brooklyn Public Library just states its name in
black and white.
These logos tend to be
of a certain variety. Typical of many is
the one for Vroman’s Bookstore which shows its name, a drawing of a book and a
statement saying “Since 1894” to indicate strong roots in the community.
Another kind is the
one for New York City’s Strand, which states its name, location, Est. 1927, and
includes a tag line: “Where Books are
Loved.” The biggest book dealers, Amazon, just uses its
standard logo of name and arrow, not indicating books specifically in its
Barnes & Noble,
the largest physical book retailer, just prints its name in white on a green
background. No book images are utilized and the
word books is not even used.
The logos used by
those involved in the book world will come and go but they all have one thing
in common. They seek to express
enthusiasm for some aspects of the book – stores to sell it, libraries to loan it, writers to market it, literary organizations to read it, educators to teach
with it, and book publishers to promote it.