Giant box stores like Barnes & Noble, while convenient, do not capture much of the sense of wonder and community small local bookstore stores usually poses. Rather than try to compete with the box stores Borders should find the middle ground, becoming more than just a bookstore by adding a community space for families and individuals of all ages. Books can create a wonderful environment to connect with other like-minded individuals and adding gathering and meeting spaces would help to build community ties. Borders could capitalize on these two ideas, literature and meeting space to increase their community appeal. Stores would carry a slightly smaller more focused stock of books and employ local restaurants in a larger common space. They could host community events to draw in people with a variety of interests, and have local artists share poetry and music. These events turn Borders into a community gathering destination rather than just a shopping trip. Patrons are likely to browse the bookstore before and after events and while waiting for friends.
The new identity for Borders moves away from the capitalized sans serif font with red and white to something that feels more welcoming. The gentler more inviting font and lower case letters illicit images of a welcoming place one would go to spend free time, not just purchase books.
Interior Mood Board
As the rebrand for Borders moves away from the big box bookstore, the interiors also change to feel more welcoming and homey. This fosters the feeling of a "third place", the first being home and second being work. A third place can be a central shared place and an anchor for the community, a home away from home. A variety of table sizes encourages groups to use the space to meet and also leaves room for strangers to interact as they share community tables.
Community events are key to the rebranded Borders experience. For each event there would be posters inside the stores as well as informational bookmarks to be passed out to customers. Each poster will have a unique flavor depending on the event and design elements can be repeated in the posters to highlight the Borders brand. The bookmarks contain event information as well as text taken from local writers, musicians, and poets.
The bags for Borders focus on simple elements and a clean aesthetic. When the bags lay flat you only see the Borders logo, but once the bag is open the type pattern is visible, mirroring the experience of opening a book.
The vision for rebranding Borders focuses on the value of creating a local space. This reimagined Borders would not just sell books as a product, but also create a community. The stores would be a place where books are seamlessly integrated into the experience of gathering and interacting with other people and the greater community.