McGill University

Le James Bookstore - Branding

June 2016


The challenge was to reimagine the brand image and name of McGill University’s bookstore and breathe new life into this institution.

Located outside the campus perimeter at two separate addresses, the bookstore is unique insofar as its two Anglophone points of sale are located in a bilingual environment and that they offer a community service rather than being a traditional business. All these parameters had to be taken into account as we developed this project.


Bob opted to rejuvenate the bookstore’s brand so that it could become a true destination that’s enjoyable to visit and whose identity is in line with McGill’s values and identity.

We used the university’s brand DNA as a source of inspiration to develop a new name and logo.

“James” is the given name of the university’s founder, James McGill, and is a direct shout out to McGill’s historical roots. It’s also a “cool” first name that brings to mind that ideal friend, the one who’s always there when you need a helping hand. For its part, the red and white logo ties the location to the university within an eclectic urban environment.

Taken together, the name and the logo link modern design with the prestige of the name in order to appeal to current students as well as alumni, professors and the community at large.