I’m not sure what this book is about, entirely, but the cover (and this launch event invitation passed along to me by a friend—incidentally because she knows I’ve got my surf culture goggles on) got me digging and thinking. The polka dots. The polka dots! I just can’t think of anything more typifying of the flavor for this fictitious brand I’m developing, Quando. It’s old and new. It’s delightful, it’s young, it’s playful, it’s colorful, it’s sun and smiling. The only thing it might have to contend with are stripes. Stripes. Wow. I mean, who figured out stripes?? How many fashions have leaned on stripes? How many variations are there? How many color combinations and thicknesses, how many insinuations, intimations, and iterations are there? You could be a mime or Robert Smith to use stripes. You could be a clown or IBM. They were of course also a whimsical popular beach motif, suitable for surfers I should say.
The digging I was doing brought me to this fellow: Shawn Stussy. This is, of course, the man behind Stüssy, the brand so inspired by the surfwear trends of the 80s and 90s out of the OC, Calif. The link is his blog. Some of it is perfect for Quando, some of it less so. Regardless, it’s energized me a bit to see great photography of beach culture, surf influence, and a brilliant and tasteful blend of coastal fashion and hip hop lifestyle. This all spawned many years ago I realize. I don’t consider myself entirely on top of all trends, especially in the fashion world, but that’s partly why I’m doing Monthly Brand. I’m not sure I would have explored Stüssy without investing so much thought and time into what it means to be surf. Hopefully there’s something on this blog that you’ve not heard of either. Either way, it’s mostly meant to inspire and come away with meaningful graphics, even if they are fictional.
In addition to my current love affair with polka dots and stripes, there is the Hawaiian floral. It baffles me that this trend isn’t a trend at all in America, it’s an undying staple. This is not to say that the Hawaiian can’t be attractive, I just don’t find it to be something I would expect to be so ubiquitous. Anyway, I have it from practitioners of the sport and livers-of-the-dream (using these wonderful traits to be surf board salespeople in surf shops by the beach) say that the Hawaiian is back. It’s always back and will always be back. It’s on board shorts, shirts, surf boards, signage, sunglasses, sandals, suits, and anything else you can sell in a beach store. I suppose it just makes people feel good. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but seriously just thinking about it does make me grin a little. If you can’t cast yourself away to a tropical island you might not have a soul (and therefore might not be the best designer).
How do these trends affect Quando? They’re all so spot on. They’re all what I’m after for the brand, but aren’t they hackneyed? At the risk of being trendy myself, I may give some sketches over to these ideas. They’re certainly worth exploring. I mean, that’s what I’m here for, right?
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- Client 1: Hot Stuff
- Client 2: Zenith
- Client 3: Pine Boy Puppet House
- Client 4: The New England Nor'easters
- Client 5: Satyr
- Client 6: Reinhardt
- Client 7: Lindsey Warford
- Client 8: Ambrosia
- Client 9: Quando
- Client 10: Grass Fire Vineyards
- Client 11: Conflict Comics
- Client 12: The Ephraim Baird Entomological Society
- Client 13: Haiku Den
- Client 14: History
- Client 15: Clyve
- Client 16: A House in Oregon
Current Client: Fuse
Fuse is the name of an infused vodka project where exotic ingredients are combined and patiently brewed and are enjoyed at a later date. These vodkas are a homemade pet hobby of my own, but here on the blog I'm set out to give the product a graphic character to help bring it to life. Fuse has a lot going for it in taste, but in terms of identity, these five words were built to help guide the way: