I know I have to stay on target, but what’s the rush here? I’ve been sketching, I’ve been developing, but then those sketches lead to more ideas, and some of those ideas require more research, more image digging, more understanding of the brand.
Quando is about many things. It’s about fun and laughter yes, but it’s also a little bit about the nostalgia of culture and lifestyle of a different time. Quando isn’t talking about tomorrow, it’s satisfied with today, and often loves to tell stories about yesterday. But when is yesterday? Well, to the client, yesterday is the 60s. It’s a time when the children of the second great war had a choice to be free and open and begin to live a completely different lives than their parents. This post isn’t about American history, but it’s important to understand that fashions like stripes and polka dots meant a totally different thing before the war. Surf culture took those fashions, brightened them, soaked them in the sun and freedom and all things relaxed and put them on things like polyester disco dresses and canvas board shorts instead of silk handkerchiefs and satin linings. They were yellow and red and green instead of black and violet and mauve. My girlfriend said something very insightful to me at lunch today about it: they took the old fashion outdoors.
In my sketches I want to ensure that fashion’s language speaks through the brand. I’m not attempting to recreate the wheel, quite the contrary. But history in a brand is important. One might say it’s the most important root to an identity. I can draw a logo with the letter Q, I can make something pretty that looks like a surf shop. But what’s important about the surf shop you’re designing for? What qualities does it have that others don’t? Perhaps I keep lingering on vintage trends, what with Reinhardt’s nostalgic focus, but Quando is completely different. They do not want a blend of the past and future, they just want the brand to feel good in the same way that a fond memory does. Their best memories happen to be by the beach, campfires and hula hoop competitions. I don’t know if any one brand mark is going to encapsulate everything they ever wanted to dwell in there, but hopefully, by making it in the spirit of their goals, we can get close to capturing it. Maybe that’s a little like playing Mozart to an unborn child and hoping it grows up to be a genius, but if it’s worth experimenting anywhere, Monthly Brand is the place.
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So, in terms of throwback imagery, I’ve been gravitating towards design in the 60s, as I mentioned. Some of those notable influences were obviously those featured here before: bright stripes, polka dots, Hawaiian foliage patterns. Designers and other imagery though I’m lightboxing here for more exploration into Quando’s throwbackness. James Miho, Herb Lubalin, Milton Glaser, Saul Bass, ads for Olivetti products, the almighty curly cue, cut paper, brown, orange, magenta, lime green, Bodoni infusion, major thick-thin streamlined contrast, two and three color processes, and a penchant for simplicity.
I’m ingesting all of this. Taking it all in, going back and forth, drying off on the sand, refueling. Then I’m going back out there, see if there’s a wave or two more left before I hopefully hang it. (or wipeout).