I usually do a post titled like this to explore the inspiration behind the current project. Sometimes I just throw out words, associated companies or logos, imagery, art, music, films, products, or even just abstract ideas, all with the intent of drawing on the spirit of the brand. Often this manifests as an “inspiration board,” or a collection of imagery on a single page that helps grasp the universe of the brand. For Curio, the identity falls in the world of product design, color and intrigue. Some inspirations are the Rubik’s Cube, the Penrose Triangle, Wired Magazine, M.C. Escher, or even this font which is an homage to Escher. A good example of Curio’s product might be something like a modern day Slinky. They may not design toys exclusively, but it’s a decent frame of mind for their process and products. Here’s a visual inspiration board that ropes a lot of this stuff together.
Nesting, linking, gears, chains, puzzles, games, illusions, thingamajigs…all of these concepts are in the soul of Curio. At this point it’s a matter of diving a little deeper into an exploration for this company and finding what makes its products and identity unique from others. Does Curio focus more on toys, or utility machines, or kitchen utensils, or grown-up gags? Or do they just have a boutique of fabrications they build for the sake of invention? I think the later is probably closer to their reality, and although they’re completely fictional, it suits the Monthly Brand much more to put a stamp on their history and get right into what they look like on paper.
Curio is less building blocks and more like LEGOs. They take a clean concept one step further, but not so far as to complicate an object’s purpose. Many of their objects’ purpose is to elate and mystify. They’re often even humorous, since the design of something can reach out even further than simply its utility. This extension to their products means that they eventually establish a style, and a style can be recognized by the customer. Part of this style is humor, but part of this style is more an air of vibrance and positivity. It’s less like an ironic speech bubble from a teenager and more like a swarm of soap bubbles from a toddler. Curio incites excitement. Curio reminds you how some things are beautiful little objects. It’s the jiggle in Jell-O, it’s the what? in a magic card trick, it’s the perfection of color in a kaleidoscope.