The Pacific Northwest is a unique place full of natural beauty. The people that are fortunate enough to live here can tell you there is no end to the infinite places to explore. Those visiting often come back, or even stay. Someone could spend their whole life adventuring in the PNW, and it would not be a wasted life. Own the experience with EXPNW.
The EXPNW brand was developed for McKenzie SewOn as a clothing and lifestyle brand. The initial opportunity came through the relationship with the Albertsons Safeway grocery store chain. They had an opportunity to expand into the Seattle Washington market area. We developed the brand as a way to connect with clients and express the companies and it's employees love of the Pacific Northwest. Initially the concept was to call the line "Simply PNW" and have a large variety of styles and designs on apparel. As we worked on the story and discussed what we really wanted out of the brand we decided we wanted to focus in and do something unique. I developed the style idea one night when I was eating out with my wife and daughter. I saw a poster that utilized half tones and immediately had an idea for a style that I wanted to try out. The next morning I mocked up some of the ideas and it felt right to everyone.
There are a lot of lifestyle brands, and in the PNW there are a ton of apparel designs centered around the natural wonders of the PNW. We needed to develop a way to pay homage to those elements but still maintain a unique style that would become recognizable.
I developed a set of six icons. The icons are used as the main elements within all of the EXPNW designs. We also took the fire element and adopted it as the main logo and focal point of the brand. We introduced the use of half tone patterns for secondary elements to give the design a dynamic touch and break up larger distracting elements.
The process to develop the brand, icons, and distinct design style took a couple months. I worked with McKenzie SewOn's director of sales in developing the idea behind the brand, the sale pitch, the style, and the designs. It was a great collaborative effort, that I truly enjoyed. We struggled with the style in the beginning but once we had the breakthrough with the icons and half tone pattern styles things really took off. Once we had the design and product under development we worked together to develop a Point of Sale display to make it super easy for retailers to see what exactly they where getting, the cost and potential ROI. Once pitched someone simply had to tell us they wanted a display and we would get the product produced and shipped. As of now over 60 displays have been ordered.