Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bookpeople Logo


So, here's the rundown: There's a bookstore here in Moscow called Bookpeople.  To say this bookstore is beloved would be an understatement.  Along with being a great place to find absolutely any kind of book, it's also a community focal point and a local fixture.  Recently, a new set of stewards took over and decided to redesign things.  As part of that effort, I was asked to create a new logo for the store.

On top of being glad to contribute, I also felt a decent amount of pressure with this request.  Any establishment that's local, well-liked, and has a legacy like that of Bookpeople is going to present a tricky design problem.  Distilling the essence of a business or organization into a few simple graphics is always a complex endeavor, but to do this for a business with which people already have an established emotional connection is all the more complicated.  Luckily, having lived in Moscow for 12 years now, I am one of those people who feels an attachment to the store.

So I started like I always do: by thinking of the business, what it looks like, what it provides (in every sense), and what it means to people.  One of the thoughts that came to me was that the front door of Bookpeople, which was going to stay the same, is aesthetically unique and has a decent amount of emotional resonance.  I think it exudes a kind of warmth, not only because of the way it looks but also because of what it represents to people.  I walked down to the store and took a few photos of the front entrance.

Including the front door as a graphic element in the logo seemed like a great starting point.  It's familiar to people, it's unique both in its color and because of the handle, and the door itself opens onto a whole host of things, both literally and metaphorically.

Here's the first set of designs:

The circular format was by client request, and I think it's a great way to have a versatile, self-contained and clean logo.  I tried several different colors (including the one that made the most sense to me, which was the actual color of the front door), using the beige color of the bricks as a background.  I also tried multiple fonts.  I was looking for a font that had a classic look and feel to it without being too much of a parody or pastiche.  These were the results.

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