If rebranding Waterstone’s was pointless, then debranding the rebrand is even more pointless

There is an old saying in the design community that changing a logo if you change nothing else is as useful as rearranging the chairs on the deck of a sinking ship. I wrote about this in 2010 when Waterstone’s unveiled their less than radical new logo. I was slightly less thann complementary about the work itself and the reasons behind the change. You can read that here.

But it would appear that they have now made things even worse by going back to the old logo, without the apostrophe.

waterstones.com logo

Now i’m not going to get as pathetic as the Daily Mail with their typically over the top three headlines about it;

Move sparked outrage among customers – Really. That is utter crap. Who cares that much? Perhaps if some of the people who are so outraged by the lack of an apostrophe went into Waterstone’s and bought a book or two from them, they wouldn’t be in this much trouble.
Punctuation experts say it’s ‘grammatically incorrect’ – Yes, it’s a logo, a name of a business, not a piece of work being peer reviewed by academics. Advertising generally has always played a little fast and loose with punctuation. the ‘comma and’ or starting sentences with an ‘And’ debate came from the creative industry.
Twitter users warn the change is another step towards the ‘extinction’ of the apostrophe – Who cares? There are bigger things to worry about.

But the fundamental point is that Waterstone’s still haven’t changed their business and this sadly will do absolutely nothing to halt their slide. I am a very big book fan and consume books by the metre but I buy very little from Waterstone’s. Waterstones or even waterstones.com.

Unless they can engage us again, all the rebrands and debrands in the world will do nothing to stop this lovely old tug boat from sinking.

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