Waterstone’s and Barnes & Noble Tilt Toward the Screen May 19, 2010 – Tags: , , ,

“In the clash between the conventions of the book and the protocols of the screen, the screen will prevail” -Kevin Kelly, Scan This Book!, and duly noted in David Shields Reality Manifesto (76)

Waterstone’s, the UK’s largest bookseller, has just completed an extreme brand makeover. The centerpiece is a complete reworking of their logo; out with the caps and serifs, in with lowercase and sans.

The slogan for the campaign announcing the visual shift is ‘feel every word.’  

While, clearly a cooler, hipper look I would agree with Mark Sinclair’s assessment over at the Creative Review blog:

“While these inventive takes on the logo are certainly more dynamic, it still feels that the identity itself lacks the confidence, even austerity, of the old one. It may still be a large corporate behemoth of a chain, but at least it looked like it remembered what bookshops used to be about”

Sinclair goes on to note that though the logo would fit well on waterstones.com it might not do justice when displayed on the marquee of some of their premier locations.

Our “large corporate behemoth of a chain,” Barnes & Noble, announced in March that William Lynch, the head of bn.com will be the company’s new CEO. Lynch, was the driving force behind the revamped and much improved  website and the launch of the nook.

These moves indicate a significant change of direction for two of the largest booksellers on the planet and show that, at least for the time being, the trend is toward the screen.

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