Back from vacation. I have to say, it was a bit more vacation and less work-on-vacation than I had hoped. Certainly my life and family aren’t distractions, per se, but it can sure be difficult to concentrate with the beauty of west coast gales on your face, and great company with which to share a cup.
Anyway, despite my also disappointing struggle with developing a brand entirely with the use of my shiny new iPad, I’ve already learned a lot about the process of new technology and continued forward with only the pieces that I could fully control. The iPad, which I have affectionately named Gutenberg, helped in some respects with the design and development process, but I wouldn’t say I got very far. Field research was also important while I was in California, and to that end I felt like I came away with a giant bulk of inspiration and fodder for my new client. I had a pretty good idea I wanted this month’s fictional client to be inspired by the culture of the beach, specifically the southern Californian beach culture, but I wasn’t set yet on what exactly I wanted to brand. Then, I went into a few surf shops.
“Let’s Go Trippin”
A surf shop is a unique thing for me. They sell tools for surfing, but they also gear their realms to reflect and attract the culture. That culture is what I started looking closer at. Surf is no new fashion, it’s been around for awhile. In fact, I’m finding the mode interesting that it keeps recycling itself, from all the way back in the 60s. Surfing seems like such a leisure sport, and with the advent of skateboarding, snowboarding, stunt biking and the like, “X Games” draw on a culture derived from the original freedom and spirit of the original surf nation of yesteryear. Inspirations were keyed by polka dots, Dick Dale, vibrant colors, the Twist, Hawaii, fast cars and bikinis. That fun in the sun imagery has constantly been put through the mill and altered into a new but familiar vision of surf culture today.
Beach Fossils “Vacation”
Even in the music that rides alongside the culture and the sport latches on and reimagines it in today’s manifestation. I couldn’t help but notice a surf shop I dropped into at Huntington Beach last week was playing Beach Fossils in the store, and there were still ghost sounds of The Pixies and even The Beach Boys haunting the docks and picnics by the water as you linger around.
Dwelling on and absorbing these themes, these times and this soaked old fashion I met my imaginary client. Surfers from the coast who know how to make boards, teach surfing and live to the fullest. After traveling almost all their lives, mostly dwelling and navigating South America and the Pacific Southwest, this collection of friends are tired enough to land on their favorite beaches and bring what they know to business.
The business is supposed to be founded on the notion of free and agreeable life and love. The owners say “it’s not a question of whether they’re surfing today, it’s a question of when.” That impetus, that understanding of inevitability and the optimism of living through it as a journey is the morsel they’re looking for, and they’d love it to breathe and live as a mark, or even many marks, that brand their boards. It’s the big wave, it’s the life of relaxation and taking things as they come. It’s walking, not running. Quando is the name they gave their company. Portuguese for “when.”
The Ventures “Walk Don’t Run”
Quando is a company that is rooted in the beginnings of surfing in America. They took a long adventure around the world, leaving behind the hula hoops and Pontiac woodies to mature in their own fashion, eventually entering the business of crafting wooden and fiberglass surf boards in southern California. They need graphics for their boards of course, and although they’ve got plenty of ideas themselves, they’re looking for a fresh eye. Quando isn’t looking for the absolute newest, too cool for school attitude however. They’ve voiced repeatedly that they dig the essence of the origins, but totally understand that freshness is important. They need to sell boards, but it seems more important that they hold to their roots; that they’re not just excited to hit the beach, but they take with them all their history and memories. They want to know when, and they remember when. A throwback, with the future in mind.
Here are some words that help describe the qualities of Quando:
Yeah, this client is a bit more abstract. They’re a bit more relaxed, and that makes sense, they’re retired surfers. Lots of research already gathered, just got to get it into the blog, so stay tuned.