One of the most exciting outcomes of the inaugural Baskerville Wayzgoose earlier this year was the sense of community. People from different backgrounds united over a shared enthusiasm for The Story of Books project. Together, we have an interesting mix of expertise, and it is great to be bringing people together to create a place where stories are told and books are made.
A first step in taking things forward has been the logo design for The Story of Books. We want every part of the wider project to reflect the collaborative and democratic nature of books, and this includes the design identity.
A personal highlight of the Wayzgoose weekend was a spontaneous lunch in Pottery Cottage garden with an eclectic mix of people feeding in ideas about for the branding of The Story of Books. Alan Kitching (typographic designer and printmaker), John Walters (editor, Eye magazine), Eckehart Schumacher (printer, collector and founder of the Werkstattmuseum für Druckkunst), Emma Gregg (travel journalist), Andrea Clarke (Manuscripts department, British Library) were part of this conversation.
Esther Feltham, who had travelled from Colchester for the Wayzgoose weekend at Baskerville Hall, generously offered her graphic design expertise to help develop the identity design for The Story of Books. To realise her concept, she brought on board Justin and Cecilia Knopp of Typoretum, who were also part of the inaugural Wayzgoose weekend, and have supported the museum project from the beginning. Esther’s idea was to print metal and wood type shanks (the body of type from shoulder to foot) to create a digital logo mark that looked like book spines.
Emma Balch trying out printing test sheets with Matt Leach at Typoretum
We have used two typefaces for the word mark, chosen in part for their links to the HQ of The Story of Books:
Gills Sans is a nod to the local area. Baskerville Hall has stunning views of the Black Mountains, just across the Wye Valley. From August 1924 to October 1928, Eric Gill and his followers lived in these hills, in the former monastery at Capel-y-Fin. It was here that he designed Gill Sans.
The blue is a Pantone match to The Folio Society’s ‘Folio Collectables’ edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles. We are very grateful to The Folio Society’s support from the early stages of The Story of Books. The Folio Society was started in 1947 by Charles Ede to publish beautiful books that would be affordable to everyman. The ‘Folio Collectables’ series is a return to their roots, with special softbound editions priced at £20.
So, the creating of the identity design for The Story of Books has been a collaborative effort, and will continue to be so as it is expressed in different forms at the project grows. Thanks for everyone who has been involved so far, and particular thanks to Esther Feltham.
This final version of the logo design that will be rolled out in the coming months in different forms, including limited edition letterpress printed material, digitally printed and hand-painted signage, and custom-made work wear.
We are producing two limited edition cards, one with yellow edge painting, the other with silver edge painting. Watch this space.