Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Mission eMpossible

Reviewed Jun. 21, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Technology Tags /

ePub Logo, New

If you enjoy the freedom of reading books on the road without the hassle of carrying said actual books, you are the beneficiary of files with the up-and-coming extension .epub. EPUB (also commonly written as ePub) stands for Electronic Publication and it is “an XML format for reflowable digital books and publications” that “allows publishers to produce and send a single digital publication file through distribution and offers consumers interoperability between software/hardware for unencrypted reflowable digital books and other publications.” In more popular terms, and to use a recent example, Apple’s iBooks which fuels the iPad’s iBookstore supports the EPUB format through which all books are re-rendered for your reading pleasure. EPUB is quickly becoming the industry standard for eBooks — despite Amazon’s Kindle not supporting it natively — and it’s the job of The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) to maintain its standards and promote its adoption. Earlier this year IDPF conducted a contest to design the official logo of EPUB.

ePub Logo, New

The winning entry was designed by Ralph Burkhardt from Stuttgart, Germany beating a little over 200 other entries from 18 different countries. Beyond the fact the that this was done as a contest, there are many things wrong with this logo. The first is that it places heavy emphasis on the “E” part of EPUB by having an enormous Enron-tilted “e” as the icon, so this could be used for anything in the world that attaches an “e” at the beginning of a name to indicate Electronic-something. This could be overlooked if the “e” icon somehow integrated a visual metaphor or indicator that this is about books and publications, but it doesn’t. The counterspace of the “e” is also so strong that my brain wants to see something there, perhaps a “p” but there is nothing there. Then there is the typography which is simple to the point of boredom. Finally there is the color combination: green and brown. Neither of which makes me think of electronics or publication, much less the combination of electronics and publication.

Whether a better solution could have been achieved by hiring a designer or design firm to do this without a contest is hard to prove, but this just adds fuel to the fire that contests rarely lead to good results.

Thanks to Jason Pokines for the tip.



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