For quite some time now, fans of the Open E-book format, OEB, or ePub, have been begging to see some serious branding and marketing of the format in public and commercial circles. It is the feeling of many that pushing the brand out there will get more people in-line with ePub, which is already on the way to becoming an international e-book format standard.
However, no branding, promotion or logos have been forthcoming from the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
, creators of ePub. This has left many of us OEB fans seeking ways of contributing to the effort of branding ePub, and being the design-minded person that I am, I have been toying with a brand logo for the OEB format for a while now. My work has finally resulted in a logo which I will start using on SteveJordanBooks.com
, wherever the ePub format is offered.
The two main elements are the clearly iconic book pages, and the circle which partially encloses the book. The circle also happens to emulate an "O", for "open," the first word in the official format name of Open E-book, or OEB. However, the circle also iconically (albeit abstractly) represents a portal or container, enclosing or encapsulating what is inside... the electronic "container" for the book. The book page clearly extends itself from the container, suggesting availability and readability from the container. And finally, the container itself is "open" at the top, suggesting an open and unencumbered container which holds the book.
This logo is designed to have a truly international scope by avoiding letters or words common to any particular language... it is iconic, designed to be recognizable to anyone from any culture. Although some may wish to see the acronym "ePub" somewhere in the logo, it is not an absolute necessity for a logo's purposes... in addition, the phrase "ePub" does not directly translate into a recognizable series of words in a language other than English, so it should not be used in an international application.
The design is intentionally timeless, neither presenting a futuristic or "electronic" look, nor an ancient look harkening back to leatherbound tomes. It could as easily have been designed a decade from now, or redesigned from a century-old logo. This also leaves the design open to reinterpretation in the future, while still maintaining its essential elements and form.
This logo is identifiable in its rendered two colors, or in a black silouhette, making it easily transferable to iconic use on solid surfaces (such as stamping), and it is clear at any size, making it useful for major or background branding applications. It can even be reproduced in a rough fashion, even quickly hand-drawn, and still be recognizable to others. All of this makes the logo easy to use in any medium, in any application, in any culture or language.
This logo is intended either to be the prototype of the OEB logo, or a device used to inspire others to create a logo. The intention is a final logo that will be acceptable to the public, commercial and business entities, the bookselling industry, and the IDPF. If, by that definition, the logo I have presented here is considered successful and desirable, I would grant its use as a worldwide symbol, abandoning all demands to rights or restrictions to the design. If, however, it is superceded by a logo of some other person's design, which is in turn acceptable to all parties, I would retain the rights to this logo, to use as I see fit elsewhere. I invite comment (in this thread or directly to me), debate, recommendation or endorsement of this logo by any and all interested parties.