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Branding, Packaging & Opinion

Reviews, news & opinion from designer Richard Baird on the latest brand identity and packaging design work from around the world.




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Roc Noir designed by 400

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Logo designed by 400 for Roc Noir, a UK boutique retailer of high quality Ski equipment

Roc Noir is a UK ’boutique’ retailer of high quality Ski equipment, that mixes knowledge, service and hand selected products for sport enthusiasts. Their identity, designed by London based brand and design consultancy 400, takes its cues from rock carved letter-forms and marries this with bold geometric forms to resolve and emphasise the personal service, quality and utilitarian nature of the brand.

“400 have been working with Roc Noir from the start, creating a full range of sophisticated brand materials from identity, literature and stationery to packaging and advertising. Drawing inspiration from stone-carved lettering and modern skiing iconography we crafted a bespoke, timeless marque that combined a heritage look and contemporary feel to capture the firm’s values and niche positioning.”

- 400

The union of stark and geometric mountainous forms and loosely rendered typography really draw my attention to this identity project. There is a distinctive and almost high fashion sensibility to the logo-mark that immediately stands it apart from the frenetic and ‘cool’ identities that saturate this market. The static and solid construction of the container gives it a very durable aesthetic neatly reflecting the very foundation of the sport while the loosely rendered characters of the logo-type softens this with an almost human quality creating a very strong, man vs nature analogy. The stencilled aesthetic carries the usual utilitarian and functional undertones that neatly characterise the products and the straightforward informative nature of the service while also managing to reflect the forms of ski equipment in their subtle curves and cutting diagonals. The black and white photography, heavy white borders and accompanying sans serif all work together across the collaterals to reinforce the idea of fashion, functionality and high quality.

UPDATE

It has been pointed out very kindly by Anthony Lane that the double diamond form has associations with advanced Skiing courses, a detail that I missed but really adds to the overall depth and quality of this piece.

Logo and print designed by 400 for Roc Noir, a UK boutique retailer of high quality Ski equipment

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Logo and print designed by 400 for Roc Noir, a UK boutique retailer of high quality Ski equipment

Logo and print designed by 400 for Roc Noir, a UK boutique retailer of high quality Ski equipment

Print designed by 400 for Roc Noir, a UK boutique retailer of high quality Ski equipment

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  • http://www.iamheinrich.co.uk Heinrich

    Nice work but the N looks far too similar too Pete Lacey’s Danzk project: http://www.chopeh.com/work/danzk/

    • http://bpando.wordpress.com Richard Baird

      Hi Heinrich thanks for adding your opinion. When I first saw this I was on the fence (mostly due to the execution of the type) but the more I wrote about it the smarter I thought it was. Yes the N is similar but there’s a lot more going on here.

      • http://www.iamheinrich.co.uk Heinrich

        I don’t disagree with you Richard, there is a lot more going on than just the N. The N just caught my attention! :)

        Good write up as always though.

        • http://bpando.wordpress.com Richard Baird

          Thanks, really glad you liked it!

  • http://gravatar.com/anthonlane Tony

    What I think is really cool about this mark is that it resembles two black diamonds or a “double black diamond”. The most difficult run on a mountain. Surprised this wasn’t pointed out.

    • http://bpando.wordpress.com Richard Baird

      Hi Tony, thanks for adding that, clearly an important detail I overlooked!

      I’m away for a couple of days but will update the article as soon as I get back.