What’s in a Name?

How Red Antler shaped the brands of three break­through com­pa­nies

Fast Company - - Behind The Brand | Red Antler -

1. Crooked Me­dia

Prob­lem: The for­mer Obama staffers be­hind the ac­tivist pod­cast­ing col­lec­tive (Pod Save Amer­ica, Pod Save the Peo­ple) wanted to re­launch their web­site last fall with a bolder brand.

Strat­egy: “We told them to drop ‘Me­dia’ from their logo and just go with ‘Crooked,’” says Hey­ward. “What they’re do­ing is big­ger than me­dia.”

So­lu­tion: Red Antler de­vel­oped a re­fined logo, with a nod to the Amer­i­can flag in yel­low and white stripes, and col­or­ful icons (e.g., a White House flipped up­side down) that also stand out on Crooked’s “merch.”

2. Smilo

Prob­lem: Founder Joshua Wies­man had de­signed baby prod­ucts for other brands. He wanted his own to stand out for their sci­en­tific ad­van­tages.

Strat­egy: Ad­dress­ing new par­ents, Smilo needed to project both warmth and au­thor­ity, says Hey­ward. “We wanted to il­lus­trate the ben­e­fits with­out be­com­ing over­whelm­ing.”

So­lu­tion: On Smilo’s e-com­merce site, the Red Antler team paired so­phis­ti­cated pho­tog­ra­phy with a se­ries of sim­ple, line-drawn icons in­di­cat­ing when a prod­uct has, say, anti-colic qual­i­ties or is Bpa-free.

3. Bow­ery Farm­ing

Prob­lem: Be­fore the ver­ti­cal-farm startup could re­ally scale, it had to get press, chefs, and buy­ers ex­cited about its new way of grow­ing pro­duce.

Strat­egy: “This is high-tech pro­duce,” says Hey­ward, “but it has to feel palat­able and ap­peal­ing.”

So­lu­tion: The let­tuce-leaf logo and ty­pog­ra­phy Red Antler de­vel­oped has an or­ganic qual­ity, but is still clean and pre­cise, says Hey­ward. The web­site in­cludes a ro­bust sec­tion on the science of ver­ti­cal farm­ing—ac­com­pa­nied by hand-drawn, wa­ter­col­orstyle il­lus­tra­tions.

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