Coming from an advertising background, the first thing I wanted to do when I started working in publishing two years ago was to change the brand image, and website. Fortunately, I immediately got involved in every aspect of publishing and found out that I had a lot to learn first about the industry. I say fortunately not because branding is not important, but because even though I thought I knew what our brand stood for and where it should go, I know so much more now, and I’m glad it took its due time.
Searching for a name for the publishing house 16 years ago was not an easy task for Taghreed Najjar the founder, but when the idea of “Al Salwa” came up, it seemed to hit all the right notes.
“Al Salwa” is the name of a bird, a great symbol for a publishing house since many established houses are well known for their bird logos like Puffin, Penguin … to name a few. “Al Salwa” bird is a kind of quail that has some very unique characteristics like a feather on the top of its’ head, and a distinct mark around its’ eye. It lives in the Arab peninsula where our roots are, which emphasized the message about the importance of original Arabic content for children.
The word “ Salwa” in Arabic also means solace, and books entertain, educate and give us solace.
On a personal note, Salwa, is also the name of Taghreed’s mother (my Grandmother) who died before her time, and was an aspiring writer herself. She was very much interested in early childhood development and psychology, and was an inspiration to her youngest daughter, Taghreed, who didn’t know she would grow up to be a children book writer, let alone establish her own publishing house. And last but not least, Salwa is my name, the Founder’s eldest daughter who never thought she was going to get into publishing either, but 14 years later found herself a publisher and loving it!
The old logo of “Al Salwa” bird was designed by Iraqi artist Lamia Abdul Saheb. At that time, it gave the publishing house the seriousness it needed for its difficult mission.
It was important for us to keep the bird in our logo, but the old bird was a very stoic serious bird who, framed in a square box, seemed to be stuck in a cage somehow. It did not fit the new spirit of our Publishing House. We wanted to set “Al Salwa” bird free, and to re-establish that we are a publishing house whose main focus is to publish children content, in all formats and not just physical books.
Inspired by a child’s view of a bird, we simplified “Al Salwa” bird and rounded its’ edges so as to give it that childish look and feel. The pixel-shaped colored pattern on the bird’s wing, reveal the Publishing House’s digital outlook. And when it came to the name under the logo, it was important for us to incorporate English. This is where the similarities in the Arabic and English spelling of the name came about. We embraced it as the creative twist in our logo, reflecting our own.
Although our image is changing, our promise to our readers, children across the globe, remains the same. We will continue to work hard to make reading a fun and joyful activity, by continuously publishing innovative original content, across all platforms, and delivering it in a fun way that motivates children to read. We strongly believe that the enjoyment of books is the basis for cultivating a lifelong love of reading. Our promise is also strengthened as we venture more into the digital world, for technology allows us to present our books in new and fun ways, and to give children the option of deciding in which format they want to read the book.
We look forward to publishing more original content in the future, and to engage more with our readers, so stay in touch and let us know your feedback, we’d love to hear from you.