Classics rebrand for OUP

<p>Oxford University Press will be rebranding its entire Oxford World Classics (OWC) series with a &quot;fresh, clean and inviting&quot; look to appeal to general readers, in the first revamp of the list&#39;s design in 10 years.</p><p>Focus groups had told OUP that the familiar block red front covers, often illustrated with an Old Master painting, had seemed &quot;old fashioned, serious and tricky&quot;. The new look will feature a single image or close-up detail of a painting, with title and author information on a single white block. The spines will retain a similar red and white look to the previous design. </p><p>The 700-plus titles on the list will be revamped in scheduled batches of 80 per year, beginning in April. Titles will also be rebranded as they go into reprint. OUP is to focus on the top 250 selling titles, which account for about 75% of the revenue for the series.</p><p>The content, including apparatus, notes and introductions, will remain the same and OUP says it will not raise prices. ISBNs will change for the new editions.</p><p>Judith Luna, OWC senior commissioning editor, said that OUP was responding to the increased activity in the classics market. She added: &quot;But it is really to get people to look at familiar books again in a new way and get people to realise how rich these books are. The old look had perhaps more of an academic feel to it. We want to keep the introductions and apparatus that make them good for academics, but also want to appeal to general readers who just want to read Pride and Prejudice.&quot;</p><p>The launch is being backed with a campaign named &quot;More Than Words&quot;. Titles are being released in six batches: Desire, Dream, Escape, Believe, Discover and Thrill. The first release is in April under the Desire and Dream categories. Desire has nine titles, including Herman Melville&#39;s <em>Moby Dick</em>, Austen&#39;s <em>Sense and Sensibilty</em> and Shakespeare&#39;s <em>Romeo and Juliet</em>. Ten titles are grouped under Dream, including Austen&#39;s <em>Emma</em>, J M&nbsp; Barrie&#39;s <em>Peter Pan and Other Plays</em> and Plato&#39;s <em>The Republic</em>.</p><p>Luna said: &quot;The idea is simply to get people discussing the books, such as why Moby Dick is under Desire.&quot;</p><p>Escape titles are available from June, Believe and Discover in August and Thrill in September. Bookmarks, posters and counterpacks with More Than Words branding are available from OUP. </p><p>The series rebrand has an official launch at the London Book Fair in April. OUP&#39;s media campaign will include trade and consumer advertising, print and radio coverage, microsites for the More Than Words categories and sponsored events at a number of book festivals.</p>