It brought us the Plastic Paper book and more recently a sustainable and renewable Biodegradable Bamboo Bag; now New York design studio Placeholder has unveiled its identity for a new kind of haircare brand.
Crown Affair is on a mission to make haircare a "daily ritual" and its founder, Dianna Cohen, approached Sho Shibuya at Placeholder to work collaboratively on its brand. The pair met in 2017 when they both worked at travel company, Away.
"That background allowed us to take full advantage of our deeply collaborative creative process and range of skills," says Sho. "Early on, we identified important influences on Dianna's vision for the brand, like the artwork of Constantin Brâncusi and Ed Ruscha, with interpretations of each making their way into the final identity. We delved into a deep competitive brand research phase, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of every company in the market, and identifying ways to make Crown Affair stand out from the pack."
Placeholder crafted strategy, established positioning, developed the graphic identity, and ultimately delivered an entire suite from website to packaging to launch campaign. "We helped take the company from a few sketches and product prototypes to a full-scale brand identity system," adds Sho.
There's bespoke paper packaging by Colophon Paper, a custom typeface created with Grilli Type, a teaser website made with Twomuch Studio, and in-house prototyping and iteration.
"The engagement culminated in an iconic, minimalist launch campaign that closed the loop with reference to that original fundamental idea, Take Your Time, with expressive photography, unorthodox angles, a focus on the sky, and a diverse range of talent," continues Sho.
Crown Affair celebrated its launch at the beginning of the year. Today, during the COVID-19 crisis, it's donating 10% of all purchases made to No Kid Hungry. "We couldn't be prouder that they're continuing to act on their values," says Sho.