From a design standpoint, Kindle books aren’t radically different than their print counterparts. Letters are rendered in pixels rather than ink, and are somewhat adjustable. But otherwise, a digital a book is the same as an book. So whether it’s a platform like Kindle or a more traditional publisher like Penguin, these brands tend to stick with traditional, typography-based wordmarks.
Visual Editions has teamed up Google Creative Lab Sydney to reimagine what the ebook can be from the ground up in a project called Editions at Play. While they still don’t know what that will actually look like (hopefully not the Newsstand magazines of yesteryear), they did approach Universal Everything–multimedia designers known for everything from Coldplay concerts to projection mapping the Sydney Opera House–to brand the endeavor.
What results is a logo that can only exist on a screen, but gives a nod to the lineage of print. As Universal Everything’s founder Matt Pyke explains, the glyphs inside “Editions at Play” were paired down to just their vertical parts. These remain static, and sit on the page almost like binary code, or a line of books on a shelf. But then, the logo is rebuilt with “human expression”–a series of 22 animations commissioned by the studio that turn the vertical lines back into full letters.
Where things get more interesting, however, is that the potential animations are endless. Pyke suggests that into the future, animations could be created that were author or work-specific. (I imagine how Warner Bros will sometimes play with the look of their shield before the first frames of a movie, but scaled to authors who write mysteries, romance, or horror.) At that point, the brand of the publisher would marry the brand of the writer.
Whether this is inherently good or bad is debatable, but it’s more evidence that branding in the digital age is morphing into a less static concept capable of shifting itself around the specific context of a single sub-brand or project. From logos built from code, to Oreo cookies supporting marriage equality, brands of tomorrow will be in constant motion, reacting to the changing world around them.