The Paper Kind

Creative living.

Branding A Science-Fiction Bookshop

I love the creative process and today I’m going to share the development stages I went through while designing the logo for a science-fiction bookshop. Think Forbidden Planet or something similar. If you haven’t seen the first part of this post go here. Where I explain how I started working on this brand identity by creating a recognisable shape to act as a logo.


branded bags for science-fiction bookshop

Along with creating the logo for my science-fiction bookshop. I had to show how it would be displayed on various marketing materials. So I used graphicburger to place the logo on various sign and bag mockups. But I also wanted to design items that you would specifically find in a bookshop.


science-fiction bookshop loyalty card

So I started off by making a little stamp card. This is very much based off the little stamp cards you get at Waterstones. I went with a basic design with the logo and name of the shop along with a little explanation of how the card works. If I had wanted to get really detailed I could have included a link to a terms and conditions page on their website (something I didn’t design but now I think about it I could have).

I love this little card, I think it goes really well with the branding for my science-fiction bookshop. The only problem is I printed this off onto card stock using my inkjet printer at home, and it was almost like I used so much black ink it wouldn’t dry. It’s the only time I’ve ever had this problem but the black rubbed off whenever I touched it. Though we have a very cheap printer so that may be why.

Another thing I wanted to make was a poster. A thing I learned while doing research is that places like Waterstones don’t advertise specific books. If you see an advert for a book it’s not going to be from a bookshop, the publisher will sort all that marketing stuff. So actually creating an advert for a bookshop is tricky, you’re not selling a specific book, it’s more the idea of reading. So I decided to go with book quotes again and found a Carl Sagan one which I thought would work well with a sci-fi/ fantasy bookshop.


I really wanted to try and give this poster a handmade feel, and the thing I’ve learned about that is it’s basically impossible to do in the computer using pre-made fonts. So I tried to make it in the computer and failed spectacularly (and had a massive falling out with Illustrator in the process) and decided to hand draw the poster instead.

I ended up doing 4 versions of this poster before getting it the way I wanted. I actually found that tracing previous versions helped so much with this, I was able to keep the parts of the drawing I liked and could move others around so the text would fit in nice. But no matter how many different ways I tried I couldn’t get the ‘voyage’ and ‘through’ to fit nice together.


hand lettered typographic poster design

I wasn’t massively happy with this poster. I really like doing typographic things like this, I just think I haven’t had enough practice with them yet. Maybe now that I’m thinking about it the hand drawn style didn’t really fit in with the overall feel of the shop, but I’m really not all that bothered about it now.

I also decided to design a series of bookmarks. I thought this would fit in really well with the other branded items for my science-fiction bookshop. My first idea was to illustrate some lines from sci-fi books in a style similar to what I did my logo in. I actually really liked these illustrations. I don’t know how well they would have worked on a bookmark but they made me happy.

My other idea was to do a typographic poster with quotes from sci-fi books. I had originally wanted to do 9 bookmarks, one for each planet in the solar system . All would have a quote that had something to do with the planet. But the only quotes I knew about were for Mars and the Moon

I would have had to do quite a lot of research to find something for the other planets. I’m sure I would have got something from Morning Star for the outer gas giants but time was becoming a real problem by this point so I decided to stick with the 2 planets and the sun. Then I decided to do a bookmark with the quote from Hitchhikers as well (mostly because it makes me laugh).


typographic bookmark designs

I was really pleased with how they turned out in the end. Especially considering I designed them in the space of an hour. I thought the Martian and Hitchhikers turned out really well. I think the quote just isn’t long enough for Seveneves and the Fahrenheit one really isn’t that great. Of course I also made a back for the bookmark with the shops branding.


science-fiction bookmarks

I also turned my bookmark designs into real bookmarks. Partly because I had to put them into my sketchbook. But mostly because I really liked them and wanted to use them.

I really enjoyed this science-fiction bookshop project. I went into it wanting to know if a bookshop really had to have a book in their logo. And I’m still not sure. I think it really depends on how well known the brand name is. But it was fun designing something that was still relevant without being like every other bookshop out there.

14 responses to “Branding A Science-Fiction Bookshop”

  1. Thanks for bringing us through the process. Being on the receiving end of a new logo design, one thing that is important is how well the logo can be used in normsl daily routine things. Our old logo used a font that was never brought into digital format, and was a shape that didn’t scale well to things like a website header, Facebook and Twitter. Our new one has some similar issues, but it’s better. I likd that you are considering things like font weight, and trying thd logo in lots of real places.


    • Thanks for reading! You really need to see the logo placed on different things. You usually wouldn’t see it on it’s own. If you see some sort of branding it’s going to be on a business card or website or a bag. So that part is actually really important.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so envious of what you are learning to do. Amazing. I love the bookmarks, especially the red “burn” one. I don’t even use bookmarks anymore because everything I read us digital, but I would buy your bookmarks. They’re just that good. Too fad about the copyright problem 😦


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I’m Emma. I am a designer, calligrapher, and content creator, sharing my love for paper goods. Expect pens, pencils, and some really fancy paper!


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