WYLDE was born in the woods. It all started with the unpacking of a stove and some locally-roasted speciality coffee. Jamie and Warren, the brand’s founders, started to brew a few cups under the shelter of the trees. A week later, they did the same thing in the sand dunes and nature reserves of Wirral’s West Kirby Beach. WYLDE grew from the lifestyle led by its founders, and the desire to share it with like-minded individuals. Advocating a slower way of life, WYLDE encourages its customers to live with their eyes wide open and to reconnect with the environment.
The company’s founders enlisted our help to reposition the business from a purveyor of speciality coffee to an all-encompassing lifestyle brand. The new visual identity now looks to the brand’s future: a bricks-and-mortar space in Liverpool, a new line of apparel and outdoor equipment, as well as a jam-packed calendar of events and experiences in the great outdoors.
The previous visual identity consisted of just one logo. Without a colour palette and typography selection, the owners were stuck with this one asset that was blown-up to fill space on the backs of info cards and coffee bags, or reduced in size to fit social media avatars and invoices.
To get started, we conducted in-depth research into the two industries that WYLDE straddles. We analysed a selection of businesses, from adventure-hungry lifestyle brands to speciality coffee roasteries and shops. The trend for ultra bold italics and chunky serifs in the former didn’t speak to all components of the WYLDE brand, but we did love the idea of having a visual symbol so strong that it, in and of itself, could be the sole identifying mark of the brand. Our research into speciality coffee roasteries and shops taught us restraint, and demonstrated to us that striking the balance between simplicity and character was key.
The primary logo has two components: a logomark and a logotype. The latter is a stripped back sans serif, which is strong enough to stand in isolation, but not overpowering. The slanted axis on each character and even weighting of each letter initially drew us to the typeface. We paired it with a logomark, derived from the bespoke brand pattern, which can be set in all of the brand colours. There’s a filled-in option too, which we envisage to be the hallmark of WYLDE.
WYLDE speaks to the land. Rather than experimenting with literal icons, such as mountains, campfires and trees, we decided to look at maps. We began surveying the places that grow their coffee—Peru, Ethiopia and Colombia. When stripped of their technical graphics, the smooth, undulating contour lines appeared as a pattern to us. We looked closer to home, surveying the continuous lines of the Cairngorms, Brecon Beacons and Lake District.
We created a bespoke pattern, by hand, which speaks to no specific land mass. It can be used as a full-bleed pattern or contained within a circle to form the logomark. It’s distinct, memorable and one-of-a-kind.
As designers, we’re drawn to good photographic curation and placement. For WYLDE, the intention was always to create a visual identity that relies on real world imagery. The idea of positioning WYLDE as a photographically-strong brand is twofold: clear guidelines are set with which future assets can be created, and the brand’s story is instantly communicated with its current and prospective customers.
A recent study titled “Impact of Colour on Marketing” concluded that up to 90% of quick judgements made about a brand is based on colour alone. Selecting an appropriate colour palette for WYLDE took some time as we were mindful of the messaging patterns created by our perception of colour. Did the palette fit what is being offered and sold? Did the colours represent WYLDE’s personality, as we envisaged it?
The subsequent colour palette of mustards, reds, teals and khakis ensures WYLDE’s differentiation from entrenched competitors, and it becomes the vehicle through which the brand stands out as a new, aspirational lifestyle brand for explorers.
The palette sings when applied across various collateral. We designed a series of labels for the coffee bags, which sit in all of the brand colours. The packaging labels also showcase our typographic selection, which is balanced and simple.
The website hasn’t yet been redesigned, but the above illustrates how it could look with the new visual identity. Photographs are at the fore (a key conveyor of the brand’s story), and are supported by a number of graphic elements, like the brand pattern becoming the website’s footer.
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