Here's a little project I'm working on currently in my Corporate Imagery class here at MSU.
Corporate Imagery, taught by Rebecca Tegtmeyer, has mostly been about branding and kinetic systems. Our last project was creating a kinetic system for an inaugural exhibit for the new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum. If you would like to check out the process of that whole project, check out my pre-website WordPress blog: Sofi Dutcher's WordPress.
This next project had us create a socially-aware initiative to base a brand around. Our group came up with a store in East Lansing devoted to promoting local consumerism. Our store provides the college community of MSU information as to where the nearest farmer's markets are as well as where food co-ops, natural clothing, or homemade good stores are located. Our store would also hold workshops led by people in the community for certain things, such as natural soaps, ways to grow herbs and vegetables in dorms or apartments, etc. Our store would also promote events and multiple forms of awareness through creative and guerilla advertising. We'd also make natural clothing to sell in our store, as well as provide the community with a place to sell their own homemade goods. I decided to name it Handsome! Handmades.
So that's the main story.
Our first step was to create a mood board, pictured above. What does my store have that others don't?
I looked at competing stores around the East Lansing area such as natural clothing store La Bodega and health foods co-op Foods For Living. One thing they had in common was a Bohemian, peaceful hippie nature flair, something that is often seen in health/organic goods stores. But my store isn't neccessarily ONLY about feeling at peace and being calm with nature. My store promotes an activist mindset. Getting out there and doing something. Taking a stand. Shouting what you believe and enjoying what you're doing.
I needed to create a brand that incited that enthusiasm and spark. So I looked to different ways to be heard and settled on one way that happened to be very familiar on campus: graffiti. I'm not neccessarily condoning vandalism, but there is a certain aesthetic to the artists' who DO condone it (and who knows? Maybe there's an opportunity for guerilla advertising in the future).
Now, to the mood board.
I was inspired by graffiti artists such as Shepard Fairey and Banksy who are very popular in the college community. The typeface is especially indicative of Shepard Fairey's style. I was also inspired by the urban community of East Lansing, where nature meshes with concrete.
The imagery of the hands, of course, goes back to the handmade aesthetic of the store, but I wanted the imagery of the hands to promote the assertive and powerful ideals the store will hold, thus the fist of power. Power is a big word in our creative brief for Handsome! Handmades, and the hands are arguably the most powerful part of the body. I also included a picture showing the intermingling of site-specific graffiti and nature in the lower right hand corner of the mood board (the face and the shrubbery).
The color palette was a series of colors found in nature, but tweaked to be construed as urban. Graffiti of the city tends to be bright and colorful to stand out from the concrete buildings. Green is a common color found in nature, blue is representative of the open sky, orange is indicative of the sun and light, and the cream color is representative of crops, such as wheat or hay.
I'm really excited to do more in this project, especially since I'm so passionate about this topic. I kind of wish this wasn't a make believe initiative. Perhaps one day it won't be.