Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 17 September 2013
Hoi Bo is the handmade luxury bag, clothing and accessories brand of Ontario based Sarra Tang that in the words of Blok, the design agency behind Hoi Bo’s recent rebranding, as possessing a “distinctive aesthetic that arises from the designer’s unique way of working”, a process that involves folding paper to create shapes that then inform the design direction of the garments and accessories.
Blok’s identity design solution, which began by “using the different shapes and forms [of Sarra’s process] as the identity’s foundation” and then by pushing the “extent of the printing technique to give it a true personality, while also mirroring Hoi Bo’s rigorous attention to craftsmanship and detail”, captures Sarra’s style, materials and processes through the distinctive use of die cuts and irregular folds throughout the print work.
These angular shapes are well-tempered by the soft tones of a peach, purple and cream colour palette, the tactile and crafted quality of a letterpress print finish and the embossed leather panels of the clothes hangers. The on-trend half-tone tinted photography and overprint approach feels appropriate for a contemporary fashion brand without appearing glossy or undermining the crafted aspect of the range. A stacked, all lowercase sans-serif logo-type with a consistent line weight and absent a title appears reductionist and modernistic, a simple choice that while elemental ha a functionality that underpins the very nature of clothing and bags.