Schober Design’s new communication campaign for Kusch+Co’s Sóley chair is a continuation of the gradual renovation of the contract seating company’s brand. The Sóley chair, named after an Icelandic flower, is a re-release of a Valdimar Harðarson 1981 design. The updated version was released at the 2012 Orgatec exhibition held in Cologne, Germany and took centre stage at Kusch+Co’s stand. The identity project for the range included a logo, an advert, a brochure, package design and a flyer.
The challenge for the creative team at Schober Design, under the management of Creative Director Damian Schober, was to find a fresh way to interpret the design of the chair whilst still creating an homage to the original. Starting with the logo the team used a mix of old and modern typefaces, Baskerville and ITC Avant Garde, as a tribute to the mix of old and new found in the product.
An additional benefit of using ITC Avant Garde, is its perfectly round letter “o” which reflects the circular nature of the chair. The team also felt that words such as “classic” or “vintage” had been overused in the advertising world and would not help to differentiate the product from the myriad of re-releases in the market place. Therefore, they drew their inspiration from the one aspect of life that everybody can relate to and reminisce about: past loves. They needed a tag line for the advert that underlined the fact that this was a retro design for today’s market. Bearing these elements in mind, they took their inspiration from a Hollywood film and struck upon “a chair to remember”. They felt this tagline avoided clichéd text and played upon rekindling love and devotion for the original product.
The simplicity of the chair’s aesthetic meant that it was particularly adept at being used for illustrative purposes and once the tagline had been settled, using the chairs illustrated in a heart shape became the perfect accompaniment for the print advertisement.
The Sóley project follows on from the success of the communication campaign that Schober Design created for Kusch+Co’s Trilogy range of chairs. The Trilogy campaign was recently awarded a red dot award:communication design 2012.
When contemplating the solution for this brief, there were three main influences that the designers took into account. The wood and production methods used in the manufacture of this range which was so inherent to the personality of the chairs. The Scandinavian roots of the product designers and lastly the fact that the range was made up of three distinctive yet complimentary chairs. These were the elements that the creative team felt were core to the branding strategy in this case. Starting with the logo, the team played with the negative space and used a cut out letter “o” similar to the equivalent letter found in Scandinavian languages, this alluded to the origins of the chair whilst also helping to give the logo a woodcut appearance which was used to full effect on the cover of the accompanying brochure. In addition, the letter “g” was replaced by the number “3” in the logo to subtly provide extra emphasis on the triality of the range.
As mentioned, the cover of the brochure was designed to look like a piece of wood. In keeping with this, the team used uncoated paper on the inside pages. This was done so that the reader would benefit from a texture and smell similar to wood rather than finished paper, giving the audience a more holistic experience. In addition, blocks of wood were carved with the product identification numbers at the Kusch+Co factory and then photographed. These photographs were used as the product introduction pages, done in this way rather than using Photoshop added a greater gravitas and texture to the brochure than a manipulated photo. The natural choice for the location of the photo shoot for the brochure of course was in Scandinavia, an old watermill in Sweden located in the forest – a fitting backdrop. The creative team purposely chose a studio with decor, metal and glass, that was in direct contrast to the aesthetic of the products. This allowed the chairs to stand out and not be lost amongst a wooden background, a far more interesting juxtaposition. The location of the studio was not only appropriate but coupled with the glass walls, gives an extended vista – an eloquent and natural production line – source material to finished product in a gentle and eco sensitive manner.
Schober Design has worked closely over the last few years with Kusch+Co not only in designing individual identities for their range of products but also collaborating with them to give the company a more innovative and modern face. This opportunity has given the design studio the chance to work on varying projects and in different mediums as well as honing their brand strategy skills. Projects have included designing the wayfinding and distinctive signage for the factory in Hallenberg, Germany. Designing their exhibition graphics for the various shows that they attend each year as well as packaging design for their products. Schober Design has also produced and directed a recent image film for the company entitled “Past, Present, Future” which showcased the firm and its products, it can be seen on their YouTube channel at – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_A1YS0YC14
Schober Design is a London based design agency, founded in 2008. Their expertise lie in creating brands and developing communication solutions in the form of corporate identities, corporate literature, print advertising, book design, exhibition design as well as image films and animation.