Coal is a fashion brand that uses African wax prints as the foundation of each collection. The clothing is sold in very upmarket tourist shops - such as the boutiques at The Lost City - and the task was to create an overall look that would appeal to the adventurous, sophisticated, traveller... people who want to take a little bit of Africa home, but in a form that they are comfortable adding to their urban, New York, Tokyo or London wardrobes.
We began knowing that we wanted to create an identity that would always allow the fabric to be the hero. We needed to consider how the logo would work with the brightly coloured clothing that we would shoot for advertising. Also what the implications would be for each new collection - these are always wax print but vary widely in terms of colour and design. The designer also asked us to consider the addition of a sub-brand aimed at a younger audience.
Our solution was to create a highly flexible logo - one version in black, that could off-set the strong fabric. And one as an outline, which could be 'filled' with fabric. For this to work it was crucial that the actual typeface was simplicity itself and (after much testing) we finally chose 'Noir' from Danish Type foundry, PlayType. Once that was resolved, the system, with the addition of top class finishes continued through every tiny detail, wrote itself.
The end result? A wonderful flexible brand identity which is equally at home on advertising, website, instore communication, packaging and promotion AND had the desired effect of always showcasing the fabric.
Integral to the ID, we designed and printed a QR code fabric. Scanning the fabric takes the viewer to this season's lookbook.
The sub-brand "Coal Flower" is younger and brighter, but remains integral to the parent brand.
We were inspired by Paul Jung's photography style and bought one of his shots from Offset Image Bank, others were created in the same style.
Creative Director and Art Director: Richard James Myburgh
Executive Creative Director and Copywriter: Tricia Snowball
Agency Producer and Account Manager: Dominique Ander
Photographer: Sven Kristian / Paul Jung
Strategist: Jason Ray