The Branding of KOOSHOO
KOOSHOO was founded with a list of key objectives that today act as the soul of the brand. They are:
- Charitable. To give back to our communities in a direct way, one in which customers can feel true ownership for their actions.
- Sustainable. To develop products using natural and organically grown textiles.
- Local. To source, manufacture and distribute all in as tight a geographic region as possible.
- Ethical. To create long lasting partnerships with our suppliers and customers, ensuring that everyone is treated with the utmost respect, kindness and compassion.
- Brand. To create a fun and engaging brand that our friends and family are proud to share.
Each of the above deserves its own story though this entry is dedicated to the last point: branding.
To us, branding is crucial. It’s the vehicle for communication that takes all the other work we do (see charity, sustainability, etc above) and shares it with the world. It's what makes all the other benefits possible. It’s also our most direct form of communication with our end customers, allowing us a rare opportunity to connect in a tangible manner.
Once we'd come up with the initial product concept of yoga headbands and accessories for KOOSHOO, branding became our top priority.
For the task we turned to two of the most talented designers (and friends) we know: Grace Partridge and Ross Milne. Grace and Ross were peers of Rachel’s at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now, Emily Carr University of Art & Design) in the Communication Design program and have since gone on to found their own graphic design firm, Working Format. Today Working Format is enjoying great success/acclaim and Ross and Grace are even taking time to teach at their former alma matter, Emily Carr.
We began the design process roughly a year before launch. What began as ideation meetings soon evolved into detailed analysis of what the brand would stand for and how we wanted it to communicate to the world. Once the core messaging was established we moved to the development of our wordmark. A tremendous amount of back and forth, proposals and visual concepts were exchanged before we eventually came to our beloved dotted wordmark of today.
Wordmark set, our attention then shifted to the development of packaging. Eventually the mediums were chosen and Grace and Ross did an incredible job of finding a local printer right here in Vancouver and sustainable materials (100% FSC Certified recycled paper and soy based ink) that lived up to our values.
The development of our KOOSHOO brand was an eye-opening and, often, humbling experience and we couldn't recommend the process higher to any aspiring entrepreneur. The inquisitive questions from Working Format and the constant exchange of information demanded a depth of knowledge for our brand that we had no idea existed. In essence, KOOSHOO not only became tangible through this process but all the intangibles - the feeling, the story, the values - came clear at the same time.
Deep gratitude to Grace, Ross, Marcella and all those that made KOOSHOO possible (another post to come on the amazing artwork of Tracy Walker). Thank you for launching us on this journey of discovery.
Below are a few of our favorite shots from our packaging documentation. Photos are grace of Grace. Enjoy :)