The New Look: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future
by John R. Webster
If you hadn’t already noticed the new look and feel of branding designs developed recently for IBPA, you probably did notice them on the cover of this issue, and you can see them reflected in the interior pages too. The Independent, IBPA’s renowned monthly publication, now features a fresh new look that is part of an extensive array of new designs we at Abacus Graphics have been working on for a number of years.
It was years ago that the seeds for the new IBPA branding designs were planted. The group—long known as PMA, the Publishers Marketing Association—was approaching its 25th anniversary. The incredible Jan Nathan, founding executive director, and the board of directors decided that it was time for a name change.
They believed that “Publishers Marketing Association” was too limiting and no longer accurately reflected the group’s true nature. And they decided that “Independent Book Publishers Association” would better convey the breadth of its activities and position it properly in the marketplace. The association helps independent publishers with much more than marketing, they reasoned.
For a while, the group was known as PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. Then, in 2008, the board decided to replace PMA with IBPA.
It is challenging to change the name of an association that has been around for 25 years. The wealth of credibility established over those years has to be respectfully honored while the exciting hope the future holds is enthusiastically embraced.
Today, with Terry Nathan as executive director, the design elements of the transition are coming to fruition. The design process involved members of the IBPA staff, the president and members of the IBPA board of directors, and other members of IBPA. Many thanks are in order to all those who participated and contributed valuable input.
The fruits of the process include:
the new IBPA logo
a new corporate stationery package
a corporate design standards manual
new corporate color scheme and extended color palettes
the use of a select group of fonts
consistently branded marketing designs
We designed the new logo to include a uniquely styled i that echoes the open-book graphic associated with the original PMA logo, carrying forward a valuable and strong element from the past. The i also represents the independent publisher who is at the heart and soul of the association. And the i is being used in many ways as a distinct branding element.
The lowercase letterforms that make up the rest of the new IBPA logo are designed to present a powerful association built on a solid foundation that is prepared to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the future with youthful enthusiasm.
The new logo design was created to reproduce with integrity across a full spectrum of uses, maintaining high quality and readability even very small or very large. The logo design needed to be flexible enough to look great in black and white or in full color with special effects, and in all manner of print and digital applications, including on the Internet.
A logo becomes the foundation upon which everything else evolves. We designed a new corporate stationery package incorporating the new logo along with a new, contemporary color scheme. And we established extended color palettes and font families to apply to a broad range of cohesively designed marketing materials for Publishing University, the Benjamin Franklin Awards, the Independent Publishers Resource Directory, the new IBPA membership drive, and a host of other materials, including online and email banners, trade show collaterals, advertisements, and more.
Key goals throughout this entire creative process were positioning IBPA as a leader in the industry and strengthening the IBPA brand by providing a consistent, fresh, dynamic professional look and feel, all while honoring the past and embracing the future.
John R. Webster, creative director of Abacus Graphics, runs the company with his wife, Francesca Droll, designer and production manager.
We request your help in completing the transition to the new name and look for IBPA. Please take the time to ensure that all your references using the old PMA name and logo are updated to use the new name and logo.
The full and correct new name is: IBPA, Independent Book Publishers Association. If you need a copy of the new logo for use on the Internet, in your email, or on your printed materials, you may download it at abacusgraphics.com/ibpa.
If you have any comments or questions, you can contact John R. Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org.