The New Face of the Texas Book Festival

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TXBF_RGB_ColorSound the trumpets! Unfurl the flags! We’re very excited to unveil our brand new Texas Book Festival brand identity and family of logos! We’ve been working closely with the Austin office of Pentagram, one of the world’s largest independent design consultancies, to create an identity that captures everything the Texas Book Festival is and does.

Piece of cake, right?

It took two years.

Creating a new identity involves a lot more than simply designing a snazzy new logo. Our staff, board, and partners at Pentagram thought hard about what our organization stands for and how we define ourselves. We considered our mission statement: “The Texas Book Festival connects authors and readers through experiences that celebrate the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.” We considered our vision statement: “To inspire Texans of all ages to love reading.” We thought about all of the iconic images associated with Texas; branding irons, armadillos, cowboy hats. And, of course, the form of the book presents a variety of options on its own; open books, fluttering pages, stacked books, bookshelves.

We also took into consideration a challenge we face every day, which is how to communicate the full breadth of what the Texas Book Festival, as an organization, does. Given that our name is what it is, people often identify us only as the two day Festival Weekend. While that big event is a large part of what we do with our effort and energy each year, we also execute and oversee several other large-scale literacy initiatives: Reading Rock Stars, Texas Library Grants, our Fresh Ink Fiction Contest, and the Texas Teen Book Festival. The task we presented to Pentagram was not a small one: come up with a family of logos that represents all of our programs in a unified, but distinct, way.

We love the result.

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“The contours of Texas’s physical boundaries have given the state a distinctive silhouette that is instantly recognizable,” says DJ Stout, Pentagram designer. “You could say it has become ‘our’ logo. So it was only natural to think about using that unique footprint as the basis for developing a new identity for the Texas Book Festival. The new logo’s graphic “bookshelf” running across the state from El Paso to Texarkana symbolizes the breadth and diversity of the Texas Book Festival’s offerings and emphasizes its commitment to the entire state of Texas.”

This final logo is one of more than two dozen design concepts Pentagram presented to us over the course of this two year project. In the end, it was our vision statement that guided the process and our ultimate decision.

“We wanted the Texas Book Festival’s visual identity to reflect our vision to inspire Texans of all ages to love reading,” Lois Kim, Executive Director of the Texas Book Festival, explains. “The image of books stretching all across Texas represents our highest hopes for all Texans to have access to books and meaningful literary experiences.”

We’re thrilled to finally share the product of this hard work with all of you. Enormous thanks to Pentagram for their expert guidance, advice and design. Thanks, also, to our Board of Directors and to the committee that met week after week, month after month to offer feedback and think in depth about how we wanted this longstanding organization to be represented.

And now, it is with fond hearts and many happy memories that we hereby officially retire what we lovingly refer to as our old friend, “The Taco Hat.”

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