It’s hard to remember when I began to recognize that brands existed. I understand I was subjected to brands since before my very first breath, but when was a I cognizant of what they were? Was it hearing my mother call a tissue a “Kleenex”? Was it my curiosity when my father put “A1” on his burger?
I think I know when it was. Remember the Road Runner? Man I loved the Road Runner. He owned that coyote. Poor Wile E. He really thought if he could just enlist the help of some top of the line products, like bombs, traps, or anvils, he’d finally catch that bird. Enter the fictional corporation ACME, provisioners of such absolutely flawed products. I distinctly remember thinking as a child, with my child-sized brain, that ACME was real. After all, the silly products you could order in the back of Boy’s Life magazine were just about as absurd. ACME always failed, and Wile E. kept going back to them. What a sucker.
ACME was fictional of course. Come to the think of it, ACME was the first Monthly Brand. I wouldn’t say the artists put too much thought into the ACME logo, but their packaging and products were amazing. Regardless, they were a brand, and although the brand was a gag, it wouldn’t have been a gag unless it was consistent. We needed to recognize the same brand every single time Wile E. Coyote failed in his pursuit of a Road Runner dinner. This was the first time I think I realized, through understanding that ACME was indeed fake, that there was such a thing as branding. After all, the terrible quality of the ever-failing products being given a name synonymous with those of superior high-quality products was the humor. Not only was it the first time I realized there was such a thing as branding, it was communicated to me through irony.
This month I’m doing an homage to ACME. The company is called Curio, and though it isn’t as tragically broken as ACME (quite the contrary actually) they do design products of unusual quality. Curio makes gadgets and gizmos, puzzles and toys, gifts and gear. All of these products are met with the highest quality of uniqueness and design. The owner is a Danish-American former clock maker whose industrial design enterprise also resales in small shops in few big cities around the world. Fascinated with trinkets and whatnots since he was a kid, the final destination for him was in a company that coupled his skill of innovation and his love for objects of utility. Though Curio was born less than a year ago, they’ve still not settled on a unique look and feel for their bauble of a company, and that’s where we’ll begin the process of helping them stand out and capture some imaginations.
Some items that Curio might design are things like device docks, cable fasteners, unique clocks, kumiki puzzles and other thingamajigs. They’re looking to retain a bright and fanciful look to their brand, hoping to bring a moment of fascination when someone first encounters one of their products. They’ve offered these words that typify their novelties:
Curio gets a shorter term for design, inevitably to spill over into August as I take a vacation this month, visiting a little old cabin in the woods in the great state of Oregon. Speaking of which, though I’m full steam ahead to another brand, I’m definitely looking to wrap things up for the previous identities as their issues slowly get ironed out. For Curio though, I look forward to crushing something out with vivacity and brevity for such an interesting little company.