Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016: Dedicated Issue: Abrams Rebranding

Abrams The Art of Books

Editors' Note

ABRAMS: New Changes for the Growing, Pre-eminent Publisher of Illustrated Books

With the support of the publisher, Shelf Awareness helps unveil ABRAMS' newly designed look, a striking statement about the publisher's past—and future.


Bookselling News

Rebranding ABRAMS: Another Step in the Evolution of the Company

ABRAMS, the pre-eminent publisher of illustrated books in America since 1949, is unveiling newly designed logos, a mobile friendly website, and prominent category campaigns, all with bold color design elements that truly reflect what ABRAMS does best: creating and distributing brilliantly designed books. Although ABRAMS' mission and profile have broadened beyond the conventional definition of art, art still remains in their DNA and informs how they approach publishing, and especially the company's identity.  

As John Gall, creative director, adult art & design, said: "It came down to art and books. We created a straightforward logo featuring an A, with the slightly separated right-hand stroke representing the spine of a leaning book. It can be adaptable across the variety of categories and imprints, including children's books and more that we publish. Each title we publish has its own design and personality and the logo will adhere to that," Gall explained. "The logo also works well in new media formats, Gall emphasized, where it appears in small size, such as on smart phones.

As with any change, president and CEO Michael Jacobs said, "It's tricky to stay true to the tradition and ethos of the mark and yet continue to modernize it and make it more contemporary. But John did that very well." He called the rebranding "another step in the evolution of the whole company."

The children's imprints are also being modified. Chad W. Beckerman, creative director for Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Readers, and Abrams ComicArts, added that the rebranding works well with the kids' books because "we share the ABRAMS culture of well designed, thoughtfully edited books that are enjoyed by children and young adults."

A key part of the new logo is also a continuation of the company's tagline: The Art of Books, which relates back to its origins. The company plans to launch several campaigns that riff off this motto such as The Art of Food & Drink, The Art of Craft and The Art of Style. This sentiment carries over to the company's social media channels that feature book interiors, recipes, cover reveals, and author takeovers. Follow along @ABRAMSbooks.

For a wonderful video introduction to the logo, click here.

Stewart, Tabori & Chang Integrating into Abrams

Michael Jacobs

In a change that helped bring about the opportunity to rebrand and unify ABRAMS, the company is retiring the Stewart, Tabori & Chang imprint name beginning with the fall 2016 list. Bought in 2000, STC has been the company's lifestyle brand focusing on cooking, craft and interior design. From the beginning though, STC overlapped with Abrams in various areas, including interior design, art, lifestyle and sports.

The imprint was "never fully integrated into ABRAMS," said president and CEO Michael Jacobs. "And over time the imprint made less sense as Abrams became stronger. We are excited to be unifying the two imprints under ABRAMS, and therefore pooling together our immense talent and resources."

Michael Sand, vice president and publisher of adult trade, noted that for STC, "the lines began to blur" as the company began to publish more titles that crossed over between Abrams and STC, such as books about food that contained elements of design or interior design books that had strong craft sections. "Distinctions between design and craft and pop culture matter less in the world we live in," he commented. "A lot of amazing publishing done under STC in craft, cooking and other categories now gets to be part of the larger story here at Abrams."

As a result, starting with the fall 2016 list, all adult books will carry Abrams, Abrams Image or Abrams ComicArts names, and the gift and stationery line continues as Abrams Noterie. In-print STC books remain available.

For the company, the decision to retire STC served as an impetus for the rebranding. "Since I've been here, I've been interested in making communication consistent across all imprints," John Gall, creative director, adult art & design, said. "The decision to bring STC under Abrams created a real opportunity to do this."

Books & Authors

The Art of Publishing: Fall Highlights from ABRAMS

Here are some highlights from the ABRAMS 2016 fall catalogue:

Slim Aarons: Women by Laura Hawk with photographs by Slim Aarons and Getty Images ($85, 9781419722424, Sept. 13) contains more than 200 images, most previously unpublished, by photographer Slim Aarons (1916-2006), whose work appeared in numerous magazines, including LIFE and Town & Country. Women captures a central subject of Aarons's career: high society ladies from the worlds of art, fashion and Hollywood, like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Diana Vreeland and Marilyn Monroe, all of whom are featured in this book.

The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style by Stephanie Mark, photographs by Jake Rosenberg ($35, 9781419721991, Oct. 18). From the co-founders of, one of the web's most popular fashion sites, comes an intimate look at the clothes, closets and fashion inspirations of 45 celebrities and industry insiders, like Tommy Hilfiger, Bobbi Brown, Jessica Alba and many more. has 800,000 unique visitors each month and nearly as many Instagram followers.

Stoppers: Photographs from My Life at Vogue by Phyllis Posnick, with a foreword by Anna Wintour ($75, 9781419722448, Nov. 1), is a collection of the photo editorials Posnick has run with Beauty and Health articles in Vogue, where she has been the executive fashion editor since 1987. The book brings together work from many legendary photographers, behind-the-scenes looks at the production process and reminiscences from Posnick's long career.

Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, edited by Brandon Alinger, Wade Lageose and David Mandel, with a foreword by George Lucas ($250, 9781419717932, Sept. 27), is a two-volume, 800-page collection of more than 1,500 illustrations by the concept artist behind the Star Wars visual aesthetic. Ralph McQuarrie designed some of the most famous characters in pop culture, from Darth Vader to C-3PO and R2-D2, matte paintings, costumes--even Lucasfilm's holiday cards. Star Wars Art honors his legacy in a collection curated by Brandon Alinger, author of Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy; Wade Lageose, an artist and graphic designer in the entertainment industry; and David Mandel, a writer for SNL, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen by David Hockney and Martin Gayford ($45, 9781419722752; Oct. 18), explores "one of humanity's oldest impulses," the desire to turn a blank space into an image. Painter David Hockney, author of the bestselling Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters (2001), and author Martin Gayford (Rendez-vous with Art, co-written with former Metropolitan Museum of Art director Philippe de Montebello) trace visual expression back to the Stone Age in a book that features reproductions of everything from movie stills to cave paintings.

The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson by Spoke Art Gallery, preface by Ken Harman, introduction by Matt Zoller Seitz, with a foreword by Wes Anderson ($29.95, 9781419720475, Aug. 9) brings together highlights from five years of the annual "Bad Dads" exhibition at San Francisco's Spoke Art Gallery, run by Ken Harman. The show has featured more than 400 artists, all inspired by the works of Wes Anderson. Matt Zoller Seitz is editor-in-chief for and author of The Wes Anderson Collection, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel and Mad Men Carousel.

Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking by Jessica Koslow ($40, 9781419722318, Oct. 4) shares more than 100 recipes from the chef/owner of Sqirl, which, since opening five years ago, has become one of Los Angeles's hottest restaurants. Koslow's recipes mix farm-to-table locavore veganism with meaty options and worldly spices into what Bon Appetit called "healthy-meets-to-hell-with-it." Koslow was named Best Chef of the Year by Eater LA in 2014.

The Forest Feast Gatherings: Simple Vegetarian Menus for Hosting Friends & Family by Erin Gleeson ($35, 9781419722455, Sept. 27). The author of the New York Times bestseller The Forest Feast offers elegant vegetarian options for any social occasion. Gleeson serves up more than 100 recipes for various gatherings--like summer dinner parties, brunches and holiday parties--plus décor and cocktail recommendations. Gleeson's photography and watercolor illustrations accompany her healthy recipes.

A House by the Sea by Bunny Williams, with contributions by Schafer Gil, Christian Brechneff, Angus Wilkie, Page Dickey, Jane Garmey and Roxana Robinson ($60, 9781419720819, Sept. 13), explores the lush tropical paradise of a Caribbean retreat owned by author and famous interior designer Bunny Williams. 140 photographs by Francesco Lagnese showcase all aspects of the estate in detail, from the gardens to the pool and the luxury interiors. Contributors lend their experiences in the home, like cooking, taking a weekend stay or admiring its architecture.

Kaffe Fassett's Bold Blooms: Quilts and Other Works Celebrating Flowers by Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy, photographs by Debbie Paterson ($35, 9781419722363, Sept. 13), is a first-time, behind-the-scenes look at renowned textile artist Kaffe Fassett's creative process. This book (his other 20-plus titles have sold more than a million copies total) focuses on a particularly important source of inspiration for Fassett: flowers. These 18 quilts and seven needlepoints are accessible to crafters of all skill levels.

For Kids:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney ($13.95, 9781419723445, Nov. 1) is the 11th entry in the hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which has 165 million copies in print. The previous Wimpy Kid book, Old School, debuted at the top of many bestsellers lists. Double Down promises the same sort of success.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts ($17.95, 9781419721373, Sept. 6), from the team behind the New York Times bestselling Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect, is a "celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion." In this picture book, budding scientist Ada Twist, inspired by real-life woman scientists like Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, pursues her curiosity with problem-solving skills to understand the world through the lens of science.

The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell ($13.95, 9781419721854, Jan 10, 2017) is book three of the Terrible Two series by real-life best friends Mac Barnett (a Caldecott Honor winner) and Jory John, both prolific children's authors. The titular two are Miles and Niles, accomplished pranksters, best friends and founders of the International Order of Disorder. In Go Wild, the duo must spend their summer at Camp Good Times, where peaceful nature feels entirely unnatural for Miles and Niles.

Frank Einstein and the EvoBlaster Belt: Book Four by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Brian Biggs ($13.95, 9781419718878, Sept. 6), is the fourth chapter book in the bestselling Frank Einstein series from Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man, among many other children's titles, and Brian Biggs, who has worked with Garth Nix, Cynthia Rylant and Katherine Applegate. Frank Einstein is a child genius/inventor whose wacky household gadgets bring both humor and real science to young readers.

Abrams: The Art of Cooking

Abrams: The Art of Kids Books

Abrams: The Art of Photography Abrams: The Art of Pop Culture Abrams: The Art of Funny
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