We recently introduced our newest sister company and very first physical product – modern magnetic letters by The Type Set Company. Idea generation is totally our jam– but product-based branding and packing design — that’s the sweetest part of our jam. No doubt about it.
We’ll be honest, doing design work for ourself is hard! We had to painstakenly force ourselves to go through the same branding journey that we ask our clients to travel. If you’ve been down that road with us – you know it’s no easy feat. And, we were taking this journey for a side hustle while keeping all-things-Braizen in order.
When things go busy – we remembered, as we do with every project we work on, to stay true to our primary design goal – Keep It Simple!
Now that The Type Set Company has officially launched – and we survived AmericasMart we want to take a moment to highlight the thought and design process behind the creation of our new baby!
So, let’s take it from the top – We actually didn’t start with the brand. We started with the product design. This is so important – product first, brand second.
A product-based brand identity shouldn’t exist without an actual product. –tweet this
We started designing fonts before we’d even landed on a company name. I knew we wanted to have classic, simple font designs (more on this later) so that pretty much ruled out a classic, simple logo because we felt like the logo would blend in with our product. We needed something to complement our product and add some pop!
In other words, we needed a logo that would stand out from our product and attract our ideal client – the design-conscious grown-up with a penchant for prose and a nerdy, nostalgic disposition. A simple, monoline script immediately jumped out at us. It just made good design sense, and it looked great!
Like so many of our designs, this project started out on paper. As you can see below, it was pretty rough, but as it came together, the whole thing started to feel right. More often than not, we’ve learned, designing is a lot of feelings and instinct.
Our color palette was mostly born out of economic reasons. We’ve been doing branding and packaging for small businesses for over 14 years now, and we’ve learned a thing or two about keeping costs down while also creating beautiful, impactful design. We knew a limited palette would make things easier for us on many fronts.
Black is a color that says luxury and class. According to color guru Fiona Humberstone, it evokes a sense of sophistication. It’s contrast is white, which suggests “clean and simple.” By adding a touch of kraft goodness, we brought in some much-needed warmth and nostalgia to the brand. It’s reminiscent of bag lunches and school art projects. These colors combined, create a story of simple luxury and sentimentality.
Our secondary fonts were tricky to choose since our product is type-based. We needed to choose fonts that were in-line with our brand, but didn’t distract from our actual product. We love the combination of a friendly slab serif, the elegance of an italic, and the drama of a bold, condensed sans serif.
Words & Pictures
The other essential elements of this brand were some excellent copy, which evokes just the right feels, and clean, modern photography that has just a touch of eclecticism. We hired the talented Shay Cochrane to shoot a handful of gorgeous flatlay and lifestyle interiors. Then, we supplemented with some simpler, standard product shots on white.
The magnetic letters are packaged in a sturdy telescoping kraft paper tube, which creates a unique shelf presence, an upscale design aesthetic, and a perfect long-term storage solution. We saved money by utilizing one package design and creating stickers to indicate font style and color.
Choosing one packaging type is not only cost effective, but it also speaks to our constant theme that a brand is never just one thing. Instead, it’s the harmony of many things working together to communicate an identity. The whole is only as strong as its parts, and each individual part must be carefully considered.