Responses by Mike Reed, founder/creative director, Reed Words and Nicky Place, co-founder/business director, Studio.Build
Background: Public Rec is a menswear brand based in Chicago, creating clothes that are smart enough for the office, and comfortable enough to lounge around in. They’re made for busy men of any age from 25 and up. The founder, Zach Goldstein, asked us to help him build a comprehensive brand identity.
Reasoning: It all came down to simplicity with style. Public Rec apparel is deceptively easy-going—it’s really simple, clean and uncluttered. But it’s so well considered and put together with such care and attention, that it’s elevated above other leisurewear. Zach’s hugely fastidious, with an incredible eye for detail. We wanted to reflect all that, and build a brand that was as simple, stylish and effortless as the clothes themselves. Together, we build a tight set of strategic elements around the central purpose: “To simplify life, for the better.” That gave us the inspiration and the measure for everything else.
Challenges: The brief we set ourselves to be as simple and smart as the clothes. Visually, everything is really pared back and simplified. Why use 20 colors when you only need three? But, of course, if you’re going to make it that simple, you have to execute it perfectly. In terms of the language, we wanted to balance that simplicity with the authentic passion that Zach brings to his brand. The language couldn’t just be plain. It needed impact and meaning.
Favorite details: The way the whole identity works together. Both Studio.Build and Reed Words worked hard to get that sense of intelligent, considered craft into every corner of the branding. And importantly, we worked hard together. This was never going to work as a two-track process—you couldn’t create the visual and verbal sides separately and then bolt them together. In fact, it was a three-part collaboration. Zach was very much involved, and a really positive, inspiring contributor to the process.
Specific demands: Zach’s a demanding client in the best way: he really cares about his brand, and was never going to be happy with anything that wasn’t exactly right. That makes things harder in the sense you can’t get away with anything less than your best. But who wants to do that? So, it’s easier in the sense that the work itself is hard, but when everyone’s focused on the same goal, and collaborating openly, success is far more likely!