Responses by Shane Cranford and Ross Clodfelter, Device Creative Collaborative
Background: Younger Furniture had spent decades building a reputation for fashioning superbly crafted furniture for some of the world’s largest retail brands. But with the next generation of the Younger family stepping up to the helm, it was time to pivot the company into a consumer-facing brand that would continue to leverage Younger’s hand-built, craft-oriented approach while expanding its retail presence.
Reasoning: Younger approached us about developing the brand strategy, positioning and collateral needed to make the move into retail. Our strategy centered around the brand’s story of authentically, masterfully bench-made furniture crafted on-site using locally sourced materials. Every element of the identity tied back to this core narrative.
Challenges: Telling the brand’s story in a way that highlighted the people behind the brand, while elevating the brand’s emphasis on product quality and craftsmanship. We did this by evolving the company name from Younger Furniture to Younger + Co, underscoring the input of those involved. The brand’s uncompromising approach to craft was given a nod by deconstructing their furniture and using these in the resulting branded collateral.
Favorite details: Working with Younger + Co to develop an all-encompassing strategy that embraced the brand’s new vision while tapping into existing brand recognition. The name evolution retained the brand’s heritage, while the mix of graphic elements and furniture production materials spoke to the modern, fashion-forward expectations of the audience. Wherever possible, we allowed the brand’s own craftsmanship to speak for itself. Business cards were crafted from real maple; a high-performing fabric option was used to wrap the product binder; and supple leather and polished bronze were incorporated into product displays. The serif stenciled logotype treatment reflects Younger + Co’s position as contemporary yet handcrafted.
Visual influences: Younger + Co’s furniture. It has a broad, timeless appeal that can speak to broad groups of people. We wanted our design to reflect the same sensibility.
Time constraints: We had to use Younger + Co’s most recent photography, with the help of the Content Department, on a white background and integrated it into custom treatments.
Specific demands: To develop the brand strategy, we heard from a variety of people: retailers, customers, employees and owners. On top of that, the client had a number of specific design preferences. We were able to work around the multiplicity of voices involve by ensuring that it was the brand platform and its supporting strategy that would drive all decision-making.
Anything new: We always enjoy exploring an industry that isn’t familiar to us. It’s fun to learn about a specific category with its unique expectations and requirements, and then help to create a distinctive brand.