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Brand development under way for Safonova

September 25, 2010

When long-time clothing retailers and owners of a new upscale women’s clothing boutique in Park City, Utah approached us about assisting with their new brand, we jumped at the chance despite many looming challenges.

Some of the tests the project faces include a tight turn time, a long-planned vacation out of the country by key team members scheduled to begin just days after the initial inquiry, and the retail space being in the process of being vacated by another clothing retailer with a long-established reputation in the location.

The clients’ goals are to:

  • Clearly differentiate themselves from the previous brand with a more fun-loving look and feel.
  • Establish a reputation for high-touch personal service and professionalism with modest doses of European elegance and no-nonsense fashion sense.

Personal touches include extensive personal shopping, custom tailoring, thank you notes and birthday cards, and first-name familiarity with most of the well-healed shoppers who call the premier resort city of Park City their home, or home away from home.

The first step of the brand development exercise was to work closely with the clients to extract what was needed to develop a unique brand persona. Coming out of this step we were ready to explore names that would help create instant association with the essence of the clients’ stated goals relating to elegance, and personal service.

After much discussion, we settled on the maiden name of principal owner, Safonova. In addition to having a strong personal tie to the owner and primary face of the boutique, being a great conversation starter for new customers to get to know the proprietor, and a rich European elocutionary feel, the name is just phonetically problematic enough to create a sense of exclusivity and intimacy once one learns the source and correct pronunciation (“S-fo-neva” with the cadence most Americans use when saying the word “harmonica”).

Seeking a connection with personal service and a reassuring signature, we played with several cursive and script typefaces, landing on a custom version somewhere between familiar brush script typefaces and the well-respected and elegant mark of famed Florentine shoe designer, Salvatore Farragamo.

We decided early on that to add levity and playfulness consistent with the owner’s personality and view of the shopping experience, we would include a silhouette or illustration of a female figure as a key component of the final lockup. After considering various options, we settled on an illustration of a race-neutral, fashion-conscious and care-free figure in mid stride sporting attire like that for which the boutique will be known. The colors represent the earthy if slightly muted hues of the overall brand pallet.

The brand is a work in progress and will eventually include a complete brand style manual to guide future design decisions including the store’s interior design, signage, packaging, labeling and business collateral, as well as the planned online shopping experience and  various advertising materials.

For now, we offer the initial low-res logo comp for your opinion and feedback. Our team worked long and hard with an incredibly accommodating client to overcome tricky schedules and glaring logistical challenges to get us here. Great job everyone!

We hope you enjoy the preview.

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