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Thesis II


Week 3:


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Week 2:

Met with Karen yesterday to share progress. My goal was to get a good idea of what the brand would be focused on. I am interested in both use my illustrations and patterns for a children's clothing line and also housewares.

The question now is to create one brand for all or one brand with two sub lines of products?

Since the two interests don't really go together, the solution seems to be creating a store rather than a line of products to be sold in other stores. Under one roof, I can offer products that fit the same concept rather than the same department. Karen suggested making the housewares products children's products so that they could fall under the same umbrella. I love this idea, but want to also maintain the intention to recreate the kitsch housewares products of the past. I think there's a happy medium in there though and certainly would be more streamlined if all the products fell under children's category.

This week I have researched a lot of trade show displays for these types of products, thinking ahead to the thesis exhibition. I also thought it would be extremely cool to do a lifestyle installation of the products at The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center for my exhibition rather than the gallery. Definitely at least for the photography of the viewbook.

Concept polishing.....

The concept is to create illustration and pattern surface designs inspired by PA Dutch folk art motifs and nature. Nature and the land are so extremely important in PA Dutch life, that I think it is important to keep them in mind while designing, especially the illustrations for the line. Main themes of florals, foods, nature, farming, gardening are at the forefront of my vision for the line. I want the style of the products to feel nostalgic and vintage. Modern patterns inspired by

I have been quite inspired by the genuine kids line by Osh Kosh. They use a lot of vintage cuts and styles with beautiful and unexpected darker color palettes in combination with lovely nature inspired patterns.

On to branding.....


We quickly agreed that nix nux is a wonderful and playful name for the children's clothing line. I also still love nixie. If I create a second line for the housewares, I think kich is a perfect name because it means kitchen in PA Dutch and it's also a play on my thesis about kitsch.

It seems that a storefront makes the most sense to have cohesion between the two lines. I think Deitscher, The Deitscher or The Deitsch Folk Haus are my favorites. Deitscher is a term to identify a PA Dutch person. Usually Deitscher is used for a first person identification.

For the logo, something very simple, just typographic and lovely since the products with me busy and colorful. I love the idea of a black type on a warm grey for the hang tags. Type should be readable for kids, but perhaps a simplified blackletter would be perfect to echo the Deitsch roots of the products.

Some ideas for type....

I think the type should be based on blackletter but hand lettered like traditional fraktur. Also for the logo Karen suggested two little Wassernixe (one boy and one girl) I thought that was a great idea. Love this so much, there could be a short little booklet or coloring book about the two characters that is available at the shop.

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Week 1:

Met with Karen yesterday to share my thesis paper and start planning my project. It was a very helpful meeting. We decided that I should start my project by pinpointing a concept and brand plan before doing any designing.

My project plan is to create a line of surface pattern designs based of authentic PA Dutch folk motifs. Apply these patterns to a line of products (either children's clothing or home goods, or both). Before thinking about designing the patterns, I must first decide what the brand with represent and make brand guidelines for these products.

At this point, I am unsure whether I want to focus on only one type of product or if I'd like it to be a larger brand offering different products. But what I am sure about is my overall project and deliverables. I will create a brand guide, a lookbook (or two if I choose to do both children's clothing and home goods), and a final installation for our thesis exhibit. This installation with look similar to a brand section in a store (think the Cat & Jack display within Target's children's clothing area).

The idea is for this brand to be sold in mom and pop shops and also potentially at department stores, target and a web-based store. The brand would not have an actual brick and mortar shop.

Next step is deciding exactly what kind of products....

Making lists of what products will be offered....

Getting inspiration from existing brands that are doing both one line and multiple lines under the same brand.....

Name brainstorming.... finding inspiration from PA Dutch culture and language.

Children's clothing

  • nix nux *fav

  • Grexie

  • Rutsch

  • Kinder Kinner

  • Kinner

  • Henrietta Grace *girls only

  • Yoder kinner

  • Kinner Gaarde

  • Kinder Garten

  • Betts & Bill

  • Wander

  • small + mighty

  • folks

Home goods

  • heritage

  • tradition

  • legacy

  • preservation

  • es Haus

  • kich

  • D Kich

  • for the folk

  • folk

Some companies doing multiple products under one brand:

A great story I just heard about Chronicle Books - which may be the best model for a brand that works will all different lifestyle categories. They broke the mold of a book publisher only selling their books in typical book stores, which I love. Breaking the mold is what I am all about ;)

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