Clyve is a company founded by an engineer turned chef targeting “budding chefs” and home cooks with a desire for quality, safety and precision in their kitchen tools. The brand had a long journey of development, from the research of classic cutlery companies to conglomerates that wholesale knives and plug them on food television series. There was a resolution that cooking is often romanticized, but knives are made by companies that have a long and dated history, and their branding shows. There was an opportunity to bring something more appropriate to the look for a cutlery brand, and so representation became key.
At the end of the exploration phase, that representation manifested as a deliberate alteration of the typography; literally, the type was sliced. It became clear, however, that slicing the type in any fashion at all could send the wrong signals. Precision in chopping is important for cooks, and so an even distribution of portions (read: letters), as well as a consistent angle to the cropping became critical. After digesting these qualities, and measuring them up to a bank of typographic choices, I decided that hand drawing the typography was best, and so I set out to type design. Taking the logotype further, I designed a few more letters for a sub-line, reading “cutlery”, which drove home the concept and dressed the style in a slightly deco form, encouraging a positive fashion to the art of cooking, while simultaneously supporting the hewn letterforms with full-featured letterforms, and thereby granting a foundation of legibility.
Designing typography is no easy endeavor. I was careful to choose a set of letters that repeated themselves for ease of comparison and reiteration. Still, with the eight total letterforms to be designed, it took quite the calendar to complete to the detail I was comfortable with. Clyve now presents itself with style and meaning simultaneously, and while it lays nicely on the surface of brushed steel, I imagine it has legs enough to extend to further branding materials. Alas, the side dishes of such materials will have to exist in my mind as another month quickly approaches, and Clyve was long overdue for a final garnish.