The company has reinstated its former Baskerville serif font with a capital W, which was used prior to Venture Three’s May 2010 rebrand. It has also dropped the apostrophe from its original title.
A statement from Venture Three says, ‘Since James Daunt became managing director [of Waterstones] in July last year, we’ve been working closely with a new management team and a new vision for the business.
‘Digital is revolutionising the bookselling business. But there’s no plan to become a fully digital company. With the rise of Amazon and decline of local libraries, Waterstones is proud to be a physical space where you can discover, pick up and read new books. The serif font is a reminder of this offline presence. And a nod to the era of the traditional bookshop.
‘At the same time, Waterstones are fully on board with digital. In fact, dropping the apostrophe was in part chosen to make the name easier to type, while being a more accurate match with its URL and other online expressions.
‘And there is a bigger thought here. The change liberates the brand from the proprietary world of one man, and takes it into a new space. One that embodies the combined efforts of hundreds of booksellers, the management team, and millions of customers. With the deftest of strokes, the Waterstones brand has been released to the nation.
‘As the business strategy has been transformed, so the brand has changed. This first element certainly references the past, but looks to the future. And there is more gorgeous brand work to appear that will take this idea further.’
Daunt says, ‘Waterstones is an iconic brand deserving a capital W, and a font that reflects authority and confidence – Baskerville does just that.’
‘Waterstones without an apostrophe is, in a digital world of URLs and email addresses, a more versatile and practical spelling. It also reflects an altogether truer picture of our business today which, while created by one, is now built on the continued contribution of thousands of individual booksellers.’
The new logo will gradually be implemented across all touchpoints including written communication, display material, online and shop fits and refurbishments.