November 7, 2023
We had the privilege of working with Sarah Mackenzie back in 2020 on the book-focused homeschool company Read-Aloud Revival. So when she approached us with her novel idea (cough cough) of launching a sister publishing company, we were thrilled. Having worked so closely to create the look and feel of Read-Aloud, she knew we were the folks to develop a complementary sister-brand in Waxwing Books, a brand that worked alongside Read-Aloud but stood on its own in the publishing space.
Here’s the thing with books, though. There are so many of them! And dozens and dozens of big box publishers with way more capacity to churn out titles than a small boutique company like Sarah’s. Having connected with hundreds of families through her work at Read-Aloud Revival, Sarah knew that finding beautiful, worthwhile books that appealed to a wide range of ages and told the kinds of stories that led to connection was no easy task. She found her families walking into the library and getting stumped. How to choose?!
And that’s where Waxwing was born! This would be a small but mighty publishing company. Producing only a few titles a year, Waxwing would be a trusted resource for parents desiring to connect with their children over stories. These books would help foster a love for the cadence and ritual of storytime, helping create strong, warm memories of family and childhood. Parents committed to raising kids who are curious and empathetic would find stories of fortitude, kindness, and bravery. And the best part? These would be stories that were particularly beautiful to read aloud. Every book-loving Mama’s dream!
Now, to bring it to life. 🙂 Playing off of the clean but cozy aesthetic of Read-Aloud, Sarah wanted Waxwing to be smart, gorgeous, delightful, family-centered, and relatable. Our job? To create a brand that was as beautiful as the books they would publish! Not so easy!
We used a bright color palette to reflect the joy of childhood and learning, with pops of coral as a nod to the namesake Waxwing bird. The palette also worked seamlessly with the existing color range of Read-Aloud so that as people hopped between the two there was visual cohesion. While the typography needed to be clean and easily readable (hello sans serif!), we mixed in elements of handwritten script to add a touch of literary whimsy. Simple repeated patterns nod to some of the illustrations in the books while nature motifs play on the theming. And no branding would be complete without an extensive icon library–in this case, full of cozy and whimsy–that could be utilized across the brand in multiple ways.
We are delighted by how this joyful brand turned out. It’s clean but not stark, cozy and down to earth. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up with a cup of tea?! Do you have a brand that needs a refresh? We would LOVE to hear from you!