Branding and book design

Branding and book design

2012 • Newtown Literary

I developed a visual identity and style guide for this startup New York literary journal and produced their inaugural issue and cover design.

Newtown was one the small towns east of Manhattan that was annexed by the city to form the borough of Queens, where this journal is based. For the journal’s flag, the editor wanted something simple and classic that would be durable enough to not become stale or dated quickly and flexible enough to anchor a comprehensive branding effort for the journal and its parent organization, the Newtown Literary Alliance.

front and back covers

I worked on some logo designs that reinforced Newtown’s local roots – a trickier task than it sounds like, because it had to evoke New York without making you think of Manhattan, which, of course, is what everyone thinks of when they think of New York. The final design invokes the Queensboro Bridge, a New York landmark with a distinctly Queens identity. It was so successful that we used it as a cover design instead of just a flag.

alternate logo designs

I sketched and proposed a wide variety of ideas, riffing on different aspects of New York City history, geography and iconic landmarks. None of them quite nailed the tone we were looking for like the bridge design – historic, even a little kitschy, but demanding to be taken seriously.