I realize it’s a little late in the month to just begin “crackin’.” All I can say is that I’m working hard and slowly catching up from the major lag that the winter brought with it. I’m having to clump smaller posts into larger ones, as I’ve been well on my way for some time, recording the process hasn’t been as easy as beginning the process itself. But, If I’m making visuals that keep me stimulated and produce decent work, than Monthly Brand is still working. I do have a few ideas to get this train back on its rails in the weeks to come however—two, and sometimes three brands a month (not including my day job), begin to really stretch your attachment to your work, and the investment that this design process requires is one of my favorite parts, so I’m eager to get back to one project at a time.
All that said, on to the work. This month’s brand is Reinhardt, a radio electronics company that wishes to have an innovative, yet classic look to promote a rebirth from its original conception back in 1934. The client has an enthusiastic focus on raising the quality of the brand by raising the quality of the product, mainly limited run vintage style radios made of more model materials like wood and steel. The decorative styles of the 30s inspired the client’s father and original owner of the business, and so there is an impetus to have that style be the fulcrum for the look. But there is also a bend for novelty and modern technology that should be considered.
Art Deco stormed the world’s style during the 1920s and into the 1930s in a post-war response to the whimsy and asymmetry of Art Nouveau. At its core it reflected a forward and bold movement towards future ideals, the strength in industry, and an embracement of glamor. It favored rectilinear forms, symmetrical composition, overbalanced and streamlined weight, and a high contrast in stroke. Its style not only harkens to the time when the Reinhardt brand was conceived, but epitomizes even the goals of the company today.
But there is something nostalgic that Reinhardt must evoke. They are, after all, aiming to sell radios to people in an age of mobile technology and instant access to music and broadcasts. Though those technologies are fully compatible with their products, Reinhardt wants to be a beacon of a bygone era, and reveal to the populace that tangible and heavy things are comforts that should not be forgotten, but embraced. At the same time, of course, they wish to balance that with fulfilling their customers’ needs for high quality sound and application of their music collections, worldwide streamed radio, and compliance with their devices.
In beginning the process of designing their logo, the imagery I’ve collected astounds me. The inspiration board alone cannot capture some of the stunning works of design that this era produced. Art Deco was not merely a style, it was a way of living, and its tendencies did not only apply to art, or to architecture, or to music or to ballet…it permeated all aspects of the time. It was seen in jewelry, film titles, street signs, train design, and culminated, as it were, with the construction of the Chrysler Building in 1930. I’ve collected a few more visuals to add to the mix since there are stacks of beauty that I could not fit in a single collage (that Cocktail Book cover is all aces). This imagery will act as the springboard for what I hope to be a solid, sleek and sentimental journey.