back to article Waterstone's whips out its pendulous dugs

Bookseller Waterstone's has decided that its brand frontage paradigm needed a bit of a 21st-century makeover, and has managed to come up with a happening, mamtastic alternative to its dusty old logo. The Waterstone's logo, before and after Yes indeedy, after paying an unspecified amount of hard cash to whalesong and joss- …


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  1. Jamie Kitson

    First Thought

    For some reason my first thought was a pair of droopy balls.

  2. Christopher W
    Paris Hilton

    At least they're reducing, reusing, recycling

    That W looks familiar...

    Paris, because she's good at recognising things upside down

    1. Thorsten
      Thumb Up

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Nice catch!

    2. Matt D

      Waterstone's aka HMV

      Now that Waterstone's are part of HMV, it was probably an easy-win marketing exercise to click "Layer > Rotate > 180" and be done.

  3. Thomas 4

    What the hell was wrong with the old logo?

    It was classy, dignified and despite just being a single letter, was instantly recognisable. When the revolution comes, assuming it doesn't end in a hung revolution, I suggest Venture Three is first against the wall and we auction off places on the firing squad.

  4. Slappy

    Title would go here

    Big fat Fail!

  5. Raumkraut

    The rise of W

    Perhaps the old logo was getting overshadowed by Wikipedia's use of a serifed "W"?

    Durn whipper-snappers.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    ...does everyone have to go lower case? Surely it won't be long before this starts to look incredibly dated. Then the logo-changers will have to wring more money out of their clients for the next fashion. I wonder what it'll be... all capitals perhaps? A punctuation fetish? Dicks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ... proposal to the effect that lower case / sans serif are "modern" date back almost a hundred years. Actually, so do a load of other "modern" things like steel & glass buildings, minimalism, etc. As typified by e.g. Bauhaus and all that lot.

    2. Secretgeek


      I strongly suspect sir that you've answered your own question.

  7. Richie Hindle
    Thumb Down

    In the name of progress

    The old logo was no good because it used the style of font you used to see in... what were they called...? Oh yes, "books".

    1. Bumpy Cat

      Yeah ....

      The next step is to switch all corporate logos to Comics Sans ...

  8. TeeCee Gold badge

    I'll tell you what it says to me.

    Dumbing down. In spades.

    You have the move from a serifed, upper case "W" (with its attendant feelings of quality and stateliness) to a sans-serif lower case version (which says "footballer's jersey"* to me). Likewise the move from the name to the url loses the capitalisation of the proper name and the apostrophe (horrors).

    Still, it makes sense. It's an accurate reflection of the continuing drive toward the mass market at the expense of quality at the once brilliant Waterstone's. Very sad.

    *Anyone know why international football teams have gone for all lower-case names on the back? It looks completely crap IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not that I'm a fan...

      but "dumbing down"? No. An attempt a promoting a less austere and elitist facade is what I imagine the motivation behind this effor to be. Bad design decision? YES!!! Awful 'design'. Truly woeful. Still, it could have been worse. They could have used the hackneyed sketch font that is doing the web 2.0 rounds at the moment. What is wrong with Helvetica? Or if you want to be different, but still use an old face, Akzidenz Grotesk? Or the much more modern Meta? All are clean, simple and, like the old logo, timeless. This effort look out of date next week. Venture 3 do have a penchant for rounded faces and families--see their work for HMV. I understand that they want to get rid of Nipper!

    2. Doc Spock

      Re: footballers names

      I believe it has something to do with the brain being able to parse lower-case words more quickly than upper-case words (i.e. helps the ref/commentators/etc). It is for this reason that all UK road signs were changed from all upper-case to leading-capital only way back in the 60s (search for "Transport Font").

      Of course, this could be pure coincidence.

      Back on topic: Old W is better, but besmirched by Wikipedia. New w is crap, and will provide much fodder for ne'er-do-wells to draw nipples on.

    3. blackworx

      @ TeeCee Re: Your Comment

      In the literary words of Margaret Atwood's Snowman - or equally the dumbed down vocabulary of Bill S. Preston Esquire - quintessentially interpretable by statesman and footballer alike:


    4. Rattus Rattus

      I kinda like lower-case...

      mainly because it reminds me of shell commands.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what on God's Green Earth was wrong with the old logo

    There's a new face making his/her "outstanding, nay revolutionary, contribution to the business"*, nothing more, nothing less.

    * Substitute your own vacuous superlatives according to taste.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Alternative spelling of jugs?

    1. lawndart

      It's a title already

      From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

      dug (n.)

      "animal nipple," or, contemptuously, "the human female breast," 1530, origin obscure, related to Swed. dagga, Dan. dægge "to suckle."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a title already

        Okay. Learnt a new word today. Thanks.

        1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


          ...I learned that people have way too much time to search for obscure meanings in online dictionarys!

  11. caffeine addict

    What have they actually changed...?

    Is this a new logo for the whole company, or just the internet brand?

    I ask because their blogs, marketplace and store finder all use the old Serif logo and refer to "waterstone's". The only place they are reliably using the saggy tits and "" is for their web presence.

    In which case, the new logo makes much more sense - differentiating the stores from the (presumably cheaper) web store...

  12. SuperTim

    You missed...

    The subtle addition of .com to make them trendy!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change for change's sake

    Maybe Waterstone's just had too much money lying around that they wanted to get rid of? I certainly can't think how they stand to benefit from such a pointless effort in re-branding.

  14. Angus Ireland

    Font face

    Just how much have they charged for a lowercase 'w' in the Ubuntu Titling font? I'd have done it for a fiver.

    1. Anonymous John

      Redundant title.

      No self-respecting trendy design company would have charged anything south of £200,000. And don't forget the cost of reprinting all the stationery. Ker-ching!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one...

    who is going to point out that this new logo looks NOTHING like the purported "pair of pendulous dugs"?

    There's something seriously wrong with you lot..

    1. scottboy

      You're not the only one

      I'm not too sure how many of the blokes here have enough real-life experience to recognise real dugs when they see them.

      I won't be logging back on for a month, so don't bother.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Dead Vulture

      Re: Looks nothing like

      I, for one, sir, applaud and commend you for avoiding any and all attempts for the more matronly ladies in your aquaintance to ever be exposed to you, either by accident or intent. Saving your sight and mind for the younger (yet still legal), buxomer generation is a goal of us all.

      This looks like a pair o' granny melons so much I still expect her to shout at me to close the door...

      RIP to Grannies' perkiness everywhere.

  16. shay mclachlan


    Urgh. Early contender for most pointless rebrand of the year, especially if they redo all their shopfronts and instore promo stuff . Its not as if its hard to spot their store on a high street or in an airport or wherever, its the one with books in the windows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      most pointless rebrand

      Is there any other kind?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    two fingers

    Is what I thought, though not stuck up in front of the shareholders to say "look what we can do instead of increased dividends"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A book seller using lower case for the first letter of their name. Sick, sad world.

  19. Steven Hunter

    Well done all

    Clearly the new logo worked since here you all are talking about it, the company, and after all it got El Reg to do an entire article about it.

    Seems like those marketing people know what they're doing...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite a Ratners' moment

      People are talking about it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the brand.

  20. M 6

    @Christopher W

    it's making use of HMV's letter 'm' because they own waterstones....should have been a very cheap makeover! still pointless in my opionion, it was fine before.

  21. Schultz

    I like...

    the red arrow. Nice color. Should be part of the Logo.

  22. Linker3000

    Go on Waterstones..

    Go on, tell us how MUCH you paid for THAT.

    Why didn't the Execs just pop down to the Business & Marketing section and grab a copy of "Pointless & Expensive Rebranding for Dummies"?.

    At least you didn't change your name to something like BookVendia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ooooh classy

      'BookVendia' - I like it - it's got a streetwise camel case that'll look great on a carrier bag. I hope you've trademarked it for six months time when Waterstone's need yet another rebrand to try and ignore the fact they're a really shite bookstore.

  23. Chad H.

    Clearly we're all in the wrong business

    If you can get paid millions to simply change a font...

    Dear Mr Waterstone, I have an amazing offer for you, its quite literally the outfit of the millennium, noone will ever where anything like it. Of course, it can only be seen by those with a great level of intelligence, but I'm sure that won't be a problem for you....

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps they just ordered too many 'M's for HMV and needed to get rid of them.

    Economical, practical, mammarical.

  25. Hugoagogo
    Thumb Down

    Next up

    Books published in Comic Sans.

  26. Ancient Mariner

    Terry Pratchett would be proud

    In addition to selling his books, they are advertising one of his newest - Unseen Academicals. The new symbol is on their strips.

  27. Graham Lockley

    you want a title? you got one

    Waterstones = Books

    Books = serif typeface

    Logo = Playmobile

    I'm sure readers more intelligent than me can resolve that equation.

  28. iamapizza


    Would this be the same company that designed the 2012 Olympics logo?

  29. Adrian Esdaile

    You want that job. Seriously.

    The doe-eyed black-wearing Nathan Barley with shades just like Bono's just earned more that you ever will in your entire life by doing that re-branding.

    Think about it.

    It's about time we had a REVOLUTION!

    I just can't work out who should be first against the wall; but corporate re-branders can have VIP tickets!

  30. Anonymous Coward

    All I'm saying is

    you lot, the whole lot of you, need to get out more, story author and all commentards.

    Where is a moderatrix when you need one?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's fairly obvious...

    If people are considering the resembelence between the logo and a pair of breasts, then it's obvious why the change had to be made. The earlier logo clearly belonged to Madonna.

  32. pctechxp

    Tim Waterstone must be pissed

    Last bit of the company he founderd effectively gone.

  33. Chris Hunt

    What I think

    That new logo is the dog's bollocks.


  34. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Sorry, but no...

    Nothing will ever trump the "bumpy road" sign, the one every self-respecting teenager has drawn nipples on!

  35. Mike Somers

    Has anyone else noticed .....

    Don't know how many of you take notice in a drinking establishment such as Wetherspoons but their new uniform looks amazingly like Waterstones 'old' W - when I first saw it I thought I had wandered into the wrong place - that was before some busty wench gave me a generous amount of god's juice

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Waterstones should have read "Unseen Academicals"...

    ... in which a character bravely points out the visual connotations of a shirt bearing an Unseen University logo comprising a large pair of "U"s to a curmudgeonly group of senior wizards but neophyte footballers...

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