Dave arranged for Gareth Strange, a notable designer, to come in and work with us for a day. In groups we randomly selected a brief for a fictional company to update and re-brand. Our group, consisting of myself, Laura Fieldhouse, Angharad Wallace and Tom Collins, selected a Bristol based barbers shop called ‘Craft & Kin’.
The brief outlined a number of considerations and aims for the company’s brand identity. The company consisted of two members. They wanted to emphasize the close and personal nature of the company’s services and the wide range of treatments on offer. They also wanted to move away from the now, ironically, mainstream hipster barber look, while maintaining the gentleman’s barber atmosphere.
This was a deceptively complex brief in the end. Owing to the fact that all the barbers shops any of us could think of, find online or imagine were exactly the hipster stereotype that we were specifically asked to avoid. The concept of establishments aimed at ‘gentlemen’ is a very classic and vintage notion i.e hipster.
We decided to start from the bare basics. Starting with the etymology of the words ‘Craft’ & ‘Kin’.
An activity involving skill in making things by hand.
“the craft of cobbling”
One’s family and relations.
“many elderly people have no kin to turn to for assistance”
These words have imply a personal, friendly experience, tailored to the individual customer’s preferences. We decided to compile these and the keywords from the brief into a kind of mood board.
Here were some of my initial sketches with the thought process noted besides them. We did a large quantity of research on Bristol: it’s history, culture and major events. Unfortunately Bristol is a very fashionable city, which, unfairly, means hipsters. I asked our local bristolian, Dan Butler for his ideas on the topic. Besides cider and hipsters we couldn’t come up with much else.
After some more digging, Laura discovered that Bristol is the worlds largest manufacturer of hot air balloons and hosts the annual International Balloon Fiesta.
On its own, this would not be enough for a logo as the company was hoping to expand and grow. Should they open locations outside of Bristol, the relevance of this would be lost. We decided to explore the idea of combining a balloon with the traditional Barber’s pole. I set about creating a number of sketches.
These images were what we based our pattern and colour scheme on. We also needed examples of balloons to work from. There were two primary designs we wanted to explore.
My preferred design was the perfectly spherical model. However after exploring the two designs in colour, we decided they featured too much similarity to to logos such as Colgate, with the blue, white and red colour scheme. And too much like Google Earth in form.
We decided to change the form and colour scheme to something less aesthetically clean and more hand drawn in order to avoid the likeness to the existing logos, as well as conform to the artisan feel the brand was expected to achieve.
After some adjustments of the number of stripes across the balloon. We decided to digitize the logo and begin mocking up ephemera and a shop front.
Here are my shop front mock ups. I can’t say I’m overwhelmingly impressed with the outcome. We had some level of creative disagreement throughout the design process which left us very short of time to produce a final piece to present. But we made the best of what we had.
Here are our mock-ups of:
- Pricing list
- Appointment Cards
- Interior Wallpaper
- And Business Cards
The feedback we received was generally positive. There were some concerns that the logo looked, at first glance, like a light bulb. This was a worry I had prior to our presentation, however we were happy to receive any and all feedback to help us improve. We have already agreed to refine and perfect this idea in our own time as a group, to create something worthy of displaying in our portfolios.
As I said previously. This assignment was deceptively difficult as we were asked to create a non hipster brand in a very hipster location and in an overwhelmingly hipster industry. We had a lot on our plates and very little time and the internal disagreements we suffered reduced our effective team to three. We did have another concept to display, but I haven’t had access to any of the relevant files and had little to do with that project in any case.
Given time I would be eager to have a crack at some of the other re-branding tasks set in the session and see if I could make something of them. I am happy to go off and do independent work, but not the best and making up a brief for myself. So these mock tasks are ideal for me to improve my work and fill out my portfolio.