A wave we did see coming…
A new wave for Ona
Ona is a well-known bookstore that was established in Barcelona in 1962. Offering access to a wide range of Catalan books and collections, this bookstore has become an important resource to the safeguarding of the culture’s heritage.
In 2019, the new board of directors decided to lift up the brand and open a new bookstore to house more than 30,000 books. Not only did they want to accomplish this material goal, but they also wanted to accomplish the goal of moving the brand into a clear direction. They wanted to create a strong bond between the Ona of the past century, and their vision for it today as a center for the promotion and dissemination of Catalan literature and culture.
Culture is movement
Once we understood Ona’s team vision for the new bookstore, we started building a strong philosophy for the brand. On one side, there was a need to preserve a bold memory: This was the only bookstore that bet on the empowerment of Catalan Language since its founding.
On the other side was the need to embrace the idea that culture is movement. Indeed, a culture in movement is a living culture. This dichotomy began to make sense to us once we unearthed the meaning of Ona in Catalan – which is ‘a wave’. And so, a wave is movement. At this point, it all felt connected and ready to be translated into a visual world.
Shaping a brand in movement
We worked to create a visual system rooted in small optical illusions that would bring to life balanced shapes. The logotype remained the same, with a couple of tweaks to ensure compatibility with the new identity.
We selected a colour palette that we thought would highlight an intentional duality. We chose black and white as the primary palette to contrast the diverse range of colours found in the library of the new book store itself. Additionally, we chose SangBleu as the main typeface because of its ability to connote a literary background.
Working with Mucho’s team in the new image of Ona, was a totally pleasure. It is indeed a design project that preserves the essence of a brand with a strong heritage. And yet it also highlights modern features as much as projects a clear future.
Team-work was completely necessary to come up with this new brand. Debate, analysis, creativity, honesty and ilusion were the main ingredients to build up this project with passion. Congratulations.
Projects Coordinator at Mediapro
Alongside the books comes…
The new identity needed to perform as a holistic system. To ensure this, it can be found on every piece of communication, featured at every event and prominently on the website, as well as on environmental graphics and signage. To meet this expectation, we worked on different combinations of shapes that could work out between them – complementing each other and giving a boost to the awareness of the brand.
In the process of selecting the most accurate graphs, we also took into account the customer experience and the products sold in the store. The street-facing windows of the bookstore are the “runaway” of the Ona’s stationary material. We took advantage of that by capturing the essence of movement and translating that to the graphics on their shopping bags and shipping boxes.
A new space for a new library
The new library is a space where literature becomes a shared experience. It is a place to worship books, culture and language. Each room of the library conveys the brand’s character and showcases the new signage system. A bold typographic wayfinding system was set up throughout the library to create a balanced environment without an overloaded visual impact.
When it comes to the launching campaign, we decided to give the brand a face. But not any face: one that represented freedom, freshness, encouragement and empowerment. That is how we collaborated with Didi Maquiavelli.
A photo shoot was carried out by Diaz Wichmann and we blended this material with all the graphics previously worked for the brand. At the end, a coherent set of pieces that stand out from a conventional bookstore.