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BRAND DEVELOPMENT // EKS ADVENTURES

January 24, 2017

My best friend and I live halfway across the country from one another so we make a point to take at least one big girl trip each year to do something exciting or visit somewhere new. Her husband also lives apart from his best friends and they do the same thing—a guy trip, and they do not mess around. Each year the fellas seem to up the ante and really take advantage of the time they spend together. Snowmobiling in Banff, touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, RV-ing through the desert and feasting on a whole hog roast... These men aren't playing when it comes to the "guy trip" and after several years of planning vacations that were exciting, different and insanely rewarding they realized there was something here they could share with others. Elevating the guy trip is something they excel at and they want to show other men how to think outside the box when it comes to traveling with their buddies so they created EKS adventures.

 

Now, EKS is not up and running as a functional business at the moment, but their idea was so inspiring I offered to brand it for them and they were ok with me sharing it with you all (thank you, fellas!). We started with a series of mood boards and they liked each of them so in the end we ended up with a brand that is a little mix of all three, but this was the final selection in terms of mood and color palette. Isn't it just so handsome?? The warm and cool tones paired together with the distinct masculine vibe is seriously cool. It's posh but rugged all at once and that is exactly what I was aiming for.

 

Because they were fond of each of the boards I presented a few logo variations that reflected the different styles. The range was pretty wide from sophisticated and clean to more rugged, earthy and lighthearted.

In the end, the final logo was selected with a switch in taglines. I love the simplicity of this one and it's actually designed to typically be integrated with imagery when used in the brand.

 

 

The final brand kit shows all of the alternate elements used including the stamp and vertical variation (which I love!!). The tagline gets a little love when used on it's own and the hierarchy of type styles are laid out for clarity. Stylized monoline icons are used to identify travel categories and additional elements are kept very geometric and clean.

 

After the final brand kit was in place I wanted to build out some elements for them to fully visualize how their brand could work. I am the first person to tell you I am not a web designer or developer, but I had such a clear vision that I put together this web concept mock-up so they could see how clean and crisp a site could be for them. I envisioned the welcome page as full width with a beautiful scenic image and their logo simple and in the middle. The vertical version works so well here and can integrate their tagline so the viewer gets an immediate sense of where they're at. Everything is crisp and clean and really sets the tone for what's to come as you scroll and interact with the page.

 

The entirety of the site was built as a single page scroll. Men think in terms of traveling directly from A to B and they don't get distracted along the way so I wanted the site to reflect that and be simple to navigate. I love that the palette is very minimal in color with soft grays that really make the rusty, burnt yellow tones stand out. Here you can also get a sense of the typography and how the headlines play with subheads and call-to-actions. The very structured grid system complements the logo itself with its geometric angles and edges. Keeping things linear also keeps that masculine feeling going. The flow walks you through what EKS is about and their history. The checklist of a successful guy trip is one of my favorite parts as it breaks down the key elements you need for a trip to work. Then you move down to a section where you can select your trip based on general travel categories such as "snow," "sea," "land," and "city" represented with those monoline icons. When one is chosen it offers up a gallery below of suggested vacations you can scroll through. Each of these provides the corresponding answers to the checklist items, best times of year to go and investment per man. The bottom of the page closes it all out with the latest blog post plus social and contact information.

In addition, I worked up some social templates that would complement their brand so they could see how the entire thing would come together. Here are four Instagram templates showing the style of quotes, promos and simple posts with icons for general topics.

 

And here is a Facebook page design including the profile picture, hero banner and another example of a suggested Instagram style in the feed.

Overall I am just obsessed with how this turned out. I like working on projects with a masculine tone to them and this one did not disappoint! It is just so handsome and I am thrilled that they are happy with it!!

 

 

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