Cats Of Booktopia

Booktopia sounds like a pretty great place! It’s also the name of the literature festival for young people put on by the West Vancouver Memorial Library each spring.

The festival began over a decade ago and has been using the same brand since the start. Marie-Louise Gay (Governor-General’s award-winning illustrator) donated the flying cat illustration that has faithfully represented the festival for many years.

Purple banner with "Booktopia" in a slab serif on the left and a white etched illustration of a cat flying in a book on the left

I was told from the first meeting that this was a complete reset of the brand, no cats necessary, nothing needed to be built upon or carried forward. But I saw the cat logo as a great opportunity. They wanted something alive and vibrant, and what better way to do that than have a mascot? And why choose a random mascot when you’ve had a perfectly great one for over 10 years? I presented them with a new cat mascot.

Icon of a cat reading a red book

They also were looking for a brand that was inclusive. That’s awful difficult to do with just one icon, so why not add more cats!?

9 icons of cats reading books while wearing different hats or holding props such as paintbrushes, wands, spyglasses, space helmets, kings crowns, lion costumes, and microphones

Photo of a Booktopia poster featuring all 10 cat icons on the wall in the West Van Library Youth section.

The cats represent different book genres and the journeys that reading books can take you on. They can also be used to represent the events that the festival holds each year such as speakers and illustration workshops.

Two example posters that represent two festival events, a Puppet show and a speaker.

A large pop up banner featuring the cat logos outside theatre doors.

The main cat for this inaugural year of the new brand is the simple reading cat, but the brand was designed to be flexible and last them years to come. Each of the cats can be used as the “feature cat” for the year, allowing the festival to easily have a fresh look every year but remain consistent. The logo would change colours to go with each feature cat.

Example of colour re-scheming they could do in subsequent years to freshen up the brand.