A Kids Book About™ Branding
A Design Case Study
The A Kids Book About branding project involved coming up with a direction that was both simple and iconic, that would resonate with a broad parental audience, and yet still feel fun and playful for children. The concept came from an early A Kids Book About Racism cover that Jelani Memory had explored. We developed the idea of having the colored spine of the physical book be mirrored in the brand mark. This also plays into the book covers themselves, which all play with a spine color brand, and stacked a kids book about type that introduces each title.
As I developed the brand primitives, I realized that there would be limited contexts where the brand might require single-color variants. For this I created two alternate lockups. The first has a book-shaped container with no spine band. The second is a pure stacked wordmark. Both of these variants work in single-color contexts or in places where more subtlety is required.
After creating the A Kids Book About™ marks, we had 3 colors: magma, pure black, and pure white. As I started to explore the way our brand could be represented visually (book covers, marketing, social media) it became clear that we would need some fun, soft colors to represent the playfulness and diversity of the brand and its book offerings. Fog (neutral gray) was a necessity for subtler use on our website. Tangerine (orange), lilac (purple), moss (green), and mist (blue) rounded out our palette nicely, and offered a diversity of ways that the brand could continue to develop without feeling stale or forced.
For the typography I wanted some strong and neutral, but that could also feel bold and even playful. The Galano Family by René Bieder fit the bill perfectly. When used lowercase in its Heavy variant, it proved to be the optimal voice for our primary brand mark and book cover titles. Extra Bold fit nicely for marketing copy, and the versatility of the family worked well across the various contexts of the brand.
The brand evolution was a matter of simply allowing the expressions of color, our mark, and the typography to work out in different forms.
Here are some tangible examples of how the brand began to evolve with the use of color, photography, and type all working in concert:
This branded graphic was created as a 2019 note to our customers, supporters, investors, and those who had been with us on the journey since day one. It demonstrates the versatility of the various brand elements even further divorced from the original context and signifiers. Also, it feels like an appropriate way to end this brand study.