13U IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT
When we decided to launch the blog for Thirteen, the initial objective was to improve the SEO (search engine optimization) and generate more visits to the website. But what the heck were we going to write about?! We simply just wanted more words on the website in hopes to attract more friends.
Our custom projects are HUGE to the company but we haven’t had much of a platform to really display the work we do. There is a “CUSTOM” page on the website but to be honest, it’s pretty bland and certainly does NOT give you a feel for all the design fun we have behind our designs/tees. This has been plaguing me for a while because I want to show off all of our projects and collabs!
Then the lightbulb went off. What a better way to talk about our creative work than to do a running blog of past, present and future projects?! HELLO, THIRTEEN UNDERGROUND.
So because now this idea has grown into something that weighs a little heavier than just a blog, we wanted to make it a big to-do! Branding, logo, launch, apparel, the whole sha-bang.
First thing’s first: branding and a new logo… something that represents the blog as an independent platform but still connected to Thirteen brand.
Underground: buzz words like graffiti, subway, street art, gritty, dark were coming to mind. I wanted a vibe that was little more rebellious and dirty than the clean, minimalism of Thirteen Fit Apparel’s designs.
For me, creating mood boards is how I get my mind organized to design for whatever project it is that I'm working on. It's easy to skip this part of the design process because of deadlines but I've learned over the last few months that this portion is absolutely crucial for me in order to come up with a successful design. Why? When I sit down to work on a project, I need direction ESPECIALLY when I don't have a client who has a clear vision of what they'd like. Design is so much about feeeeeelings and the mood board is where you put those feelings into an organized visual.
BECAUSE I'M A FONT SNOB...
As previously mentioned, in launching the blog I wanted it to have its own identity, independent from our apparel BUT it still needed to sit with the brand because they are under the same umbrella. To me, this means carrying over certain design elements that the brand already has but then adding to that. Above, you see I pulled the fonts from our logo and Strong Like Rhino design. These two fonts are heavily used throughout our branding but for 13U, I wanted to manipulate them while keeping their integrity and connection to the apparel line.
MAKE IT DIRTY
And here's just the tail end of the development phase (I went through MANY combos before narrowing it down to these few). The challenge was to find a balance between the clean lines and minimalism I like to keep consistent with the apparel but then introduce the "gritty" part.
Up Next: 13U APPAREL DESIGN DEVELOPMENT! Legit FIRED UP to share this part with you... concepts + design + apparel *heart eye emoji*