Responses by Melanie Hong, art director, Vanderbrand
Background: Permission is Toronto’s first size-inclusive and body-positive destination for curated athletic fashion. Purveyors of performance activewear for mindful, active, and confident clientele, Permission has created a retail experience that is comfortable, empowering and real.
Reasoning: With inclusivity at the core of the Permission brand story, we set out to create a dynamic and flexible brand system and visual identity that captures the idea of motion through graphic expression. The logo is set confidently in a condensed typeface with wide alternate glyphs, and each application of the logo variant visualizes the countless evolutions that we experience as humans.
Challenges: The name Permission is very specific, yet can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. It was essential for us to imbue it with positive meaning that would empower the Permission clientele. We established the manifesto, “Own your permission,” as an integral part of Permission’s core values. When you own your permission, you are owning your body, beliefs and boundaries.
Favorite details: The sweeping curves of the architectural design used throughout the flagship store informed and amplified the typographic language with the evolution and extension of each letter’s form. The extension of the letter P in Permission is a primary part of the visual identity, highlighting the arched details in the retail store as well as the forms of physical movement.
Visual influences: We were influenced by bold European brands like Acne Studios and Jacquemus. These brands balance strong typography with bold colors, which are carried through their merchandise and photographic campaigns. We strove to deliver a visual solution that would be as impactful, dynamic and enduring.
Specific demands: The athletic fashion and streetwear industries are inherently more contemporary than typical retail destinations. This allowed us the opportunity to really explore the brand’s typographic presence over a multitude of applications, both print and digital. The flexible and dynamic typography has become a key identifier for the Permission brand.