Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 12 September 2014
Folk is a British contemporary menswear, womenswear and footwear brand, founded in 2001, with stores across London, one in Amsterdam and collections that are stocked internationally. Folk describes its pieces as simple everyday wear with subtle, innovative and playful detailing with a focus on custom fabrics and unique trims. These values are reflected throughout its brand identity, created by IYA Studio over the course of 7 years. The studio continues to be responsible for developing and managing Folk’s identity, including its brand strategy and art direction, campaigns, retail interiors, packaging and website design, and more recently a series of block foil collection launch invitations.
What is particularly interesting about IYA Studio’s solution is both its literal and more abstract interpretation of Folk’s brand values and the principles, aesthetic and detail behind its collections.
The use of plenty of unprinted space, a near-nuetral logotype built from a well-spaced sans-serif of basic shapes, absent contrast and flourish, and the consistent use of Aperçu across the website, clearly expresses a simplicity, restraint and a subtle sense of utility and functionality associated with the everyday. This is also emphasised by the use of unbleached board across the lookbook.
A variety of uncoated, bleached, unbleached and dyed papers, the string of the tags and the shine of a variety of coloured foil print finishes, layer this simplicity with a physical, material and process led detail, adds aesthetic interest, broadens the communicative value established by type and introduces a good level contrast without undermining the identity’s modest foundations.
Natural shape and hand painted illustration, informed by key garments from the collection, are used without appearing explicit in their inspiration or appearing repetitive, obvious or literal and that, in conjunction with material and print processes, introduce a strong crafted sensibility to the identity. Fashion photography and heavy white borders makes sure that there is a little convention in the mix with easily recognisable fashion and high quality values.
The visual identity has been well established across lookbooks, website, tags and bag, as well as retail space over the last 7 years, however new additions such as this years Autumn and Winter collection launch invitation, recently designed and published online by IYA Studio, works well to reinforce and build on a good communicative foundation.
Design: IYA Studio
Opinion: Richard Baird
Fonts Used: Aperçu