Lake Erie Knitting Mills part 1:
Re-branding of an old company, and branding of it’s modern incarnation
Long time friend and client, Randesign commissioned us to come up with a complete branding campaign for a new side venture – selling their inventory of vintage clothing left over from their historic Cleveland knitting mill in a series of weekend sales open to the public. As the client had sold the rights to the name of the original knitting mill, we had to create a new name and logo to represent the century old company, hence the above logo.
But, we also had to develop a new, modernized logo and brand that spoke to today’s Millennials.
The entire branding campaign included posters, postcards, print ads, Facebook ads, email campaign, store interior design/signage, website, social media development and trade show display. As it was such an extensive campaign, I’m breaking it up into two parts — this initial brand development and Part 2: Event advertising.
Below is the art for the main road sign measuring 12′ x 1′.
The website: Creating an “urban chic” feel from scratch
With our logo and colors established, the next step in our branding process was to design a website that incorporated our “urban chic” feel.
I actually created our first postcard and website homepage simultaneously, as the upper slides of the site were basically postcard fronts. I used stock images for the first few rounds, as our all-important photoshoot would come after.
A mobile-first approach
Obviously, I packed everything possible onto the homepage in such a way that would entice our target audience – who would be visiting our site mostly via mobile devices. So, I wanted everything important and engaging in a scrollable format, so our prospects wouldn’t have to sift through a cumbersome nav menu.
While I was tightening up this design, we were also working on the interior layout of our warehouse showroom.
Our clients, Gary and Debbie did an amazing job in acquiring clothes racks and organizing the clothes into appropriately priced groupings.
We needed posters for the warehouse ambiance. This required a photoshoot.
I created posters that would line the walls further creating our “urban chic” image. Again, I started out with stock photos at first, but things really fell into place at this point, so we organized our first of two photoshoots, and the results took us out of the “stock photo stage” and launched us into reality.
We picked downtown Willoughby, Ohio as our setting as has plenty of accessible quaint settings as well as brick, rod iron, wood, parking lots, fire escapes… all well-maintained and screaming “urban chic”. We were also blessed with amazing weather. But, late August in Northeast Ohio is pretty consistent in that regard. When we could capture the natural sunlight, it was a huge asset.
We also featured the photos in galleries on our website, our new direct mail campaigns, our print ads and our Facebook ads. They quickly became our highest trafficked Facebook ads and posts.
Trade show display
Our client had this 6′ x 6′ display on hand, so I made graphics to go with it. It became a great conversation piece as many family members and friends from the old knitting mill days stopped in to reminisce. The photos flanking the sides were originals from the knitting mill, while the center represented our new incarnation.
Direct mail: Targeting Cleveland area residents
Our photoshoots lent themselves to our direct marketing campaigns. We targeted wholesale buyers in the surrounding tri-state area, and (separately) 2000 area consumers. Click to enlarge.