Watson-Guptill Unveils New Colophon Created by House Industries
Storied Art and Design Imprint Celebrates 80th Anniversary
May 15, 2017 — (New York, NY) The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, is pleased to announce a new colophon design for its Watson-Guptill imprint, which publishes instructional and influential illustrated art books for both amateur and professional artists around the world. The new logo, which will debut on books published this summer, is a reimagining of Watson-Guptill’s classic horse icon, and was created by the renowned font design studio House Industries.
Founded in 1937, and part of Ten Speed Press since 2013, Watson-Guptill is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017. The imprint publishes respected experts who instruct and inspire artists in a wide range of traditional and fine arts, including drawing, painting, craft, and printmaking, with standout authors like Juliette Aristides of the Atelier series, and Art Students League of New York instructors Greg Kreutz and James L. McElhinney. They also publish modern books focused on artistic pursuits such as comics, cartooning, and manga, written by such authorities as Mark Crilley, Stan Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Camilla d’Errico, and Chris Hart.
The first books to feature the new Watson-Guptill logo are the elevated craft book, The Fine Art of Paper Flowers by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner (August 22, 2017), and two new titles in the legendary “Draw 50” series, Draw 50 Outer Space and Draw 50 Sea Creatures (both July 25, 2017).
When asked about the decision to work with House Industries on the new logo, Ten Speed’s Creative Director Emma Campion explained: “Our in-house team wanted to realign the visual branding of the imprint, and when we became publishing collaborators with House Industries for their new Collection book series with us, they spoke with such reverence for the heritage of Watson-Guptill that they were the obvious choice for the redesign. We asked them to create a logo that felt bold and modern, but that retained the integrity of the brand’s history. We want the mark to communicate that we can stand astride the two worlds of traditional and more cutting-edge art instruction and design.”
Known throughout the world for its eclectic font collections and far-reaching creative exploits, House Industries has been a standard-bearer for American graphic design for twenty-five years. House has worked with a diverse list of collaborators, including Jimmy Kimmel, the New Yorker, and the Estate of Charles and Ray Eames. House’s work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and will be the subject of a major exhibition at The Henry Ford Museum this summer.
Their new book, House Industries: The Process Is the Inspiration, an illustrative and entertaining journey through the studio’s creative process, will be published by Watson-Guptill on May 30, 2017. The book marks the launch of the House Industries Collection, a new collaboration with the Crown Publishing Group. House Industries is represented by Katherine Cowles of the Cowles Agency.
When asked about the challenge of creating the design, Andy Cruz, who art-directed the project, and Ken Barber, who handled the design, illustration, and typography, said: “The biggest challenge in developing the new identity for Watson-Guptill was creating a mark that would stand as a convincing extension of the publisher’s legacy, while maintaining a decidedly modern feel. The original logo, drawn by Norman Kent, was based on a pencil drawing by the imprint’s co-founder, Ernest Watson. Considering the brand’s heritage, as well as the publishing house’s long-standing commitment to both tradition and innovation in art instruction, we want the mark to represent a sense of history, while speaking to Watson-Guptill’s future.”