Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Independent ideas

What do the words independent bookseller mean to you? It's a difficult question, because there is no right answer. Some independent bookshops are run with flair and imagination by passionate bibliophiles; others exude an air of decay and misanthropy that will make you rush to the nearest chain. An independent bookshop is as good as its owner.

I really can't see the point of having an Independent Booksellers Week. If independent booksellers are any good, then surely we should be supporting them all year round. If they're not, then good riddance. It's pointless to try and create a 'brand' for a disparate group of people.

Worst of all is the logo.

According to a spokesman from the Booksellers Association:

“Our aim in commissioning a new logo was to create something unusual and eye-catching, a memorable design that would stand out amongst the many brands on the high street, just as independent booksellers do. We are very grateful to Damian Horner for giving us his time and expertise in coming up with this logo. It is fresh and funky yet timeless, and it will stand as the logo of Independent Booksellers Week for the foreseeable future.”

Oh dear. The F word. If you can explain how the image above is 'funky' then I'd be very grateful. All I can see is a rather embarrassing, low budget logo that was created in Photoshop. It's trying to be fun, but just reminds me of my Sunday school teacher's attempts to get 'down wiv da kids'.

Damian Horner, the former head of Mustoes advertising agency says:

"I would be stunned (and worried) if the many hundreds of booksellers who are involved in Independent Booksellers Week unconditionally love this logo at first sight. It is not bland in any way which means it modest budget.(?) This is a great logo. One of the very few that you will see today and remember tomorrow. It is because of this I am convinced that it will not be long before booksellers and consumers alike, embrace its distinctiveness and fall for its charms".

Perhaps I'm missing something, but what charms? We have a crude image of an open book superimposed onto a pair of running legs.

If I am wrong, please tell me. I will defer to the wisdom of my peers, particularly those who do it for a living, like Grey Area.


The Poet Laura-eate said...

On the contrary Steerforth, if it is is supposed to denote a desperate independent bookseller running away from the trade as fast as his legs will carry him, perhaps it is a success!

I agree with what you say - that anyone with some photoshop skills could have achieved it, but think it is by no means the worst logo I've seen and is definitely memorable, but maybe for reasons other than those intended.

Roll on National Continence week, eh?

JRSM said...

Oh dear. That's a bad one. That looks as though it took about 5 minutes to knock together. Love the pixilation!

JonathanM said...

Isn't that your maverick cub-scout group shoplifting badge?

Steerforth said...

Yes, it does look like a logo for a book thieves' union.

depesando said...

I need to have a lie down and recover from this image before I comment....was it inspired by the little devils made from composite creatures that populate the darker corners of Bosch paintings???

depesando said...

I think he belongs here...


John Self said...

Well. I'm going to be generous like Laura and say it could be worse (though like JRSM, I wonder why they couldn't find - or take - a higher resolution image of a book, ferchrissakes).

What is bad is yer man Horner coming across like a self-published author who thinks his book was 'too edgy' for the mainstream publishers. A suppose a pre-emptive claim that that's why they hate it, rather than because of its inherent feebleness, will save his pride if nothing else.

Jonathan, I presume you will be working up a window-size mural of it? Look forward to the twitpic.