From the archives: Bibliotheque’s identity for Moving Brands


Last week a tweet alerted us to Bibliotheque’s poster clean-out, so we swooped down the road to nab some of their beautiful work. Amongst the Dieter Rams prints and AGI brochures, we also came back to the studio with an armful of the MB identity posters. Although we use the brand day in and out, the A0 posters are a reminder of Bibliotheque’s incredible work on the MB identity system, still going strong almost ten years after launch (although we’re getting less use out of the tape format labels and cases these days – bit of a shame really).

We are often asked why we didn’t design our own brand – and we’re a little surprised as to the interest this fact generates. Unfortunately there’s no great mystery, as founder James Bull explains below:

“There were a few factors (and all pretty simple and practical).

1. We were far too busy – and therefore attempts at designing our own brand always got pushed back for paying client work

2. We felt that it was going to be very hard to contain our own thinking, and as such believed that an external ‘voice’ would help us in doing that.

3. Bibliotheque were our friends (and still are) and were just starting out, so the work was a good project for them – we paid them of course!

4. If we expect our clients to willingly go through a branding process with an outsider (i.e. Moving Brands) then we should be prepared to do it ourselves.

5. No agency that has designed its own logo has created something as good as the work they do for clients (for precisely the reasons listed above).

Oh and yes we ran with their process – didn’t challenge it or try to make them do it our way – it was a really great thing to go through, a very freeing process.”

MB co-founder and chairman Ben Wolstenholme added his thoughts, building on Jim’s fourth point of the importance of working with someone who can bring objectivity to the process.

“For me the most important part is the outside perspective. It’s hard to define or redefine yourself from first point perspective.”

He also added that who you choose to work with is vital; “We already had a long term friendship and working relationship with all three of the founders of Bibliotheque from their days at North and Farrow, both studios with which we had collaborated with on multiple projects. We knew each other inside out AND they’re extremely talented – which is very rare in my view.”

Any other happy tales of collaboration you’d like to share? Or opinions on whether an agency should employ a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach?