Letters to the Future

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My good friend Bia Catbagan just premiered her labor of love, a short film called Letters to the Future. It’s a compilations of interviews with all sorts of twenty-somethings from Manila, ranging from blue collar service workers to young people working government.

It just premiered this week and I’m happy that a badge I designed for it is appearing in the promotional material. Bia wanted a look that was really millennial so I used Trend Sans, this friendly sans-serif font that totally encapsulates the millennial look.

Then these were the designs that didn’t make the cut:

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Check out the badge on these amazing posters by Mano Gonzales & Jan Pineda, Fly Art, and Rob Cham.

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There are still screenings this August 2, August 5, and August 9 at 8 pm at U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street at 8PM. For ticket reservations, text Apa at 0998-977-2027.

Alien Disco

I am a big, big fan of fun house parties and designing posters for them.

Your Label Part II

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Dado and Pia liked elements from all the studies. To start off our next round of revisions, we took away three things that they liked — the two bar icon from study 1, the use of Helvetica from study 2, and the awesome shade of blue from study 3.

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Between the two color palettes that made the final cut, the navy blue won out for how crisp, reliable, and strong it looked.

Only it doesn’t end there. Your Label wanted to make the bars look more distinct and liked what we did with the study 2 icon (where there was a pair of scissors embedded inside). We would’ve gone with the study 2 icon but the cousins thought the scissors was too specific of a key visual for a mother brand. We decided to keep it for another use.

The challenge was to figure out something neutral that we can embed in the same way within the two bars.

We opted to go with a monogram and insert a “Y” and an “L” in. The effect made it look like threads woven in together, which reinforced the value of client and supplier coming together and working together, not to mention the thread also symbolizes Your Label as a supplier for the garment industry.

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From there we started cascading the logo to other materials. Spot their sub brands Your Fabric, Your Laundry, and Your ID featured in their sales kit!

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See the scissors from the original study 2? We ended up using it for Your Fabric and we had to think of other icons for Your Laundry (a laundromat) and Your ID (a supplier for corporate materials). Because Dado and Pia pay special care to detail, we also had to make sure that the icons for the sub brands follow the two bars AND form the same “Y” from the mother logo.

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Here is the Your Laundry logo in action for a discount tag.

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I also created graphics for Your Laundry’s laundry guidelines.

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Your Label Part I

Cousins Dado and Pia approached us to create a new brand for their family business. They own a corporate apparel company which designs, produces, and delivers the uniforms of some of the most recognizable brands in the country (Maybank, HSBC, Philippine Airlines, to name a few).

It was exciting to work with a company of this scale, and it’s one that happens to be a supplier so they speak with a similar vocabulary like us. What’s even more exciting is the fact that Dado and Pia are our age and it’s always interesting to see young blood take a family-owned business into a different direction.

Prior to this move, the company has been known as APL Corporate Garments. They still go by that as their official name but both cousins knew that as one of the newer players in the industry, they would have to employ moves that would pull them ahead of the competition.

They already had the right idea about professionalizing their sewers, account executives, down to their workshop. They’re also the first garment supplier to employ a tracking system similar to a courier service so clients can monitor the deliveries. Now the only thing missing is to have an identity system that would encapsulate it.

For this project, I pulled my sister Ana in to help us come up with a strategy for our design approach. We presented an 81-slide presentation, which included talk points such as this:

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Dado and Pia already had an idea for the direction of APL and decided to give it the new name of Your Label. “Your Label” summons the idea of being able to customize things and be able to make it your own. The previous APL name didn’t have such a story (the name came from the initials of Dado’s sisters).

From there they intend to expand the business into other offerings using the new “Your” name. It makes for good recall.

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Because they want to pioneer the business of being a garment supplier, they’re big with communicating the idea of clients being partners. They want to be able to walk the client through the process of conceptualizing uniform designs, start to finish — they envision themselves as brand aids, as another channel to showcase a company’s culture. We couldn’t agree more.

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For my first study, I focused on the idea of suppliers and clients partnering together — about coming together as equals, as opposed to the standard relationship of employer to employee. Your Label wanted to create a culture of balanced partnership so I experimented with the equal symbol. I slanted it as well to make it seem like it’s moving fast, to show dynamism and quick turnarounds.image

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Then I showed it with a simple, clean san serif to highlight the icon. I’m also got into the habit of showing marks in black and white first so that the client can focus on the design and not select a study based on color.

With that in mind, I proposed owning vermilion as a color scheme for them. I thought orange was too friendly. I wanted friendly, but not too friendly, so a touch of red into the mix made it feel more alert and official. I made the “your” and “label” two different shades of gray to emphasize “your.” Instead of using the usual black, I opted for grays because it looked cleaner and more harmonious.

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With all the studies, I also showed how the logo can work as a system with the rest of their sub brands. I wanted the palettes to be bright and distinctive.

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Now we were originally just suppose to show two studies, but another idea came about while I was doing study 1. As a new option, I incorporated another icon within the bar icon. My sister and I decided to feature an icon that would make your think of garment making.

I thought of a scissors and I rendered it in such a way that you think of a “Y” in the first bar and then an “L” in the next.

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For my type selection, I chose Helvetica Neue. I don’t use Helvetica a lot but I’m no hater. The reason why I don’t use it often is the same one as to why it would work so well for Your Label: ubiquity.

If you are a brand that wants to be synonymous to being everywhere and being part of the collective consciousness, then Helvetica is your best bet. It’s the font of super brands and there’s no denying its clear, strong readability.

For color, I remembered Pia mentioning that “pool water blue” is her favorite color. I decided to give it a shot since it made the icon look really fresh and new, which goes perfectly with Your Label’s personality as the new kid on the block.

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My last study is all about using a button as my key visual (the cue coming from the idea of garment materials). The button imagery is rich in meaning because not only does it make use of a circle (unity, wholeness, oneness) but the holes in it provide a subtle narrative of keeping things together and embodying teamwork.

The holes form a “Y” to reinforce the “Your” brand.

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Then I experimented with combining two different weights for the Futura I used. Then if the circle cue wasn’t obvious now, I tossed more of it into the logo. I figured it would make for an interesting key visual for merch.

As for colors, I honed into blue being known as a trustworthy color. Blue summons up feeling of security and reliability (that’s why a lot of banks, schools, and hospitals use it) and it would be great for enhancing Your Label’s professionalism.

I used this really attractive shade of navy blue and then complemented it with pops of jewel tones just so that it doesn’t look so stuffy.

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Then finally, I placed the three logos together so Pia and Dado wouldn’t have to go back and forth.

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Which one do you like?

Carlo & Steph’s Wedding

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My friends got married last January! The bride Steph is a good friend of one of my best friends and her husband Carlo is a family friend. They’re a very straightforward couple who really knew what they wanted.

Pinterest wasn’t very popular yet when I got married so when I asked Steph what kind of wedding invitation she had in mind, I was directed to one of her Pinterest boards to gauge her taste. She and Carlo wanted something very hip(ster), modern, and fun! It’s a far cry from my own wedding invitation but it was great to be able to try out a style that’s really popular right now.

What was really cool about this couple is that they really wanted their friends to take an active role in their wedding — which was all too easy because they have such creative friends and a creative network to boot (Carlo is one of the guys behind ZeroThreeTwo, the website that “shows the cool in Cebu”)

Not only did I have a Pinterest board to take inspiration from, Carlo and Steph also had a wedding logo made by Blue Cuevas, another one of their friends and a talented logo designer. I had my tools and parameters and buckled down to work.

My challenge is to incorporate Blue’s logo and to make use of their color palette, peach/pink and gray.

They were such a breeze to work with — no bridezilla moments here at all. There were no drastic revisions and everything was smooth sailing for the most part.

This is the wedding invitation:

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The Save-the-Date card:

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Envelope lining options (I showed them all the possible color combinations):

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I marveled so much at the work Carlo and Steph put into their wedding and at the fact that so much has changed since I got married. I didn’t have Instagram (not even a smart phone) in 2011 and only got savvy with wedding hashtags when I worked on their invitations.

Even better with this couple is the fact that they have a website detailing all the behind the scenes work they did.

Where I talk about my design process: Prints & Design: Marla Darwin

Blue’s Interview: The Logo Master: Blue Cuevas

Twenty O Four (the printer)’s Interview: Invitations by Twenty O Four

Oceanchild’s Interview (the web developer who took her cues from my design): The Oceanchild Behind Our Dot Com: Ria Redulla