Repositioning a long-standing brand in the market

by | Jul 18, 2018

Well established publishers worldwide and in the New Zealand marketplace, David Bateman Ltd, took on the challenge of repositioning themselves from a family business by changing their name. They are now known as Bateman Books.

Sublime’s approach

There had been some hesitation from long-term managers around dropping the founder’s name from the business. When a business has been so synonymous with the name and the person, this is understandable, both for sentimental reasons and the long-standing reputation.

The publishing business has seen great changes over the last decade with technology advancing at a fast rate, more and more authors self-publishing, and the invention of hand-held e-book readers. Embracing these changes as a publishing company takes courage and vision. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, says: “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” 

The client

David Bateman Ltd has been an independent New Zealand-owned company for over thirty years, providing publishing, sales, promotion and distribution services to the New Zealand market. They have been committed to ensuring both local and international book publishers reach their full potential in New Zealand.

The logo

The existing logo, pictured below, had remained largely unchanged. It was safe, dependable, ultra conservative and dated. The new logo needed to be contemporary, solid, have global appeal, and not be too whacky.

The new logo, pictured below the old one, is smart, elegant and visually clever. It looks solid and dependable yet no longer ultra conservative. The brand inspires confidence and reliability.










How did Sublime do this?


The combination of the burgundy and grey of the existing logo is very 1980s. Moving away from that, the challenge was to use a palette appealing to both genders, that felt both grounded and modern. The result was a deep teal blue paired with dark grey.


The existing typeface was a classic bold serif in sentence case. Now we have the opposite; a simple, angular sans serif font utilising two different weights of the font, giving each clarity, and aiding readability.

The use of capital letters gives the wording a solid feel stacked on top of each other, ranged right of the symbol, visually creating the bookend of the first ‘B’.


An open book turned sideways creates two ‘Bs’ which make up the icon of the logo.

The first ‘B’ is the ‘book’ and the negative space between the lettering and the ‘book’ form the shape of the second ‘B’. For Bateman Books.


The brand is to be used primarily on book covers and needed to be adaptable across all media: emails, signage and stationery.

Developing and implementing the new brand has been a smooth transition and has been well received in the industry.

Bateman Books website

Bateman Books brand

View a selection of Sublime Design’s logos here