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Posts Tagged ‘j. crew’

 

Last seek I stumbled across this super delightful video from the folks at J.Crew. In the video, Somsack (head of women’s design) and Halsey (a copywriter) pop in to help you with your most-pressing denim-related emergencies. This video appears in a series called Style Hacks, and you can view the rest here on their blog.

(To see more posts like this, check out my Retail Watch blog here).

I’ve been a fan of J.Crew single middle school, and even worked there as a digital designer (see my work for the brand here). I just love everything about this video. So true to the J.Crew brand, simple, stylish and preppy, with a slight wink. J.Crew hasn’t been immune to the retail struggles of late, but seeing content like this reminds me of why I feel in love with the brand years ago. Love the color, personality and sense of fun.

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Jenna Lyons (creative director of J.Crew) even makes an appearance (above)!

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I’m OBSESSED with this telephone, and the stills from the video. Great art direction and styling.

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Job well done J.Crew! Are you as into this series as I am? More please J.Crew! Can’t wait for the next hack.

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Photos: William Waldron, courtesy of Elle Décor.

Today I’m giving you a glimpse into the home life of Frank Muytjens, head menswear designer at J.Crew. I’ve seen editorial features on Frank for a while, popping up in magazines and online, but I particularly enjoyed this profile at Elle Decor giving readers a tour inside his country home 2 hours outside of NYC. Not only does Frank have excellent taste when it comes to designing menswear (at least half of my wardrobe is J.Crew these days), but he’s equally adept at designing beautiful interiors. When in the city, Frank calls Williamsburg, Brooklyn home (we’re neighbors – I must meet him!), and he’s created an equally beautiful space there. So happy Friday, and get into these beautiful interiors by Frank Muytjens, the man behind the men at J.Crew.

 

Living room – looooove the light and flowers.

Simple kitchen.

In front every great designer, is a great desk. It all starts with a desk.

Love the painting on the wall, and the fan/stack of National Geographics.

How amazing is this closet? SUCH ENVY.

Frank at home in the country (above). Frank and his two-year old Dutch.

These spreads are featured in the Dec 2012 issue of Lonnymag.com

Love the bed. Neutrals forever.

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The wonderful people at J.Crew just released their 2012 J. Crew Collection and I stumbled across these images from their 770 Behind the Line blog. As we’re in the middle of winter here in NYC it’s refreshing to see COLOR! What I love so much about J.Crew (for women) is their playful use of color. They have really moved beyond the bland preppy-casual style of J.Crew in the 2000s. The J.Crew of today is so different than it was just 10 years ago. There are a few interesting articles about the transformation of J.Crew over the years under the direction of Jenna Lyons that are interesting to read. Seems like it was quite the battle but from what I’ve read, J.Crew has never done better. I wish the Men’s lines would take more risks and use more color/pattern, but I will say the NY Liquor/NYC Men’s stores are so much more well designed than the typical mall stores. So that’s something!

Anyways … what I really love about these pictures are the vibrant colors. As a male graphic designer, obviously I can’t wear this stuff (or could I? … jk), so I use this stuff as great inspiration. If I’m feeling uninspired or starting a new project, I love looking through my fashion image libraries and using the color picker in Photoshop/Illustrator to pick new color combinations. That’s one of the tricks I learned from my time in Copenhagen studying textile design. Interior design blogs and magazines are also great for this! Look for brands (or photos) that playfully use and MIX colors, and bring that to what you’re designing to create something new and surprising. Use something from one medium, be it fashion or interior design, and bring that to graphic design. Here’s what I mean:

So in love with these magenta pants .. gonna try to rock a colored pant this spring

So if this is something that is interesting to you, I have a few sites to check out.

1. J.Crew’s Behind the Line Tumblr.

2. Kate Spade’s Tumblr & Pinterest.

3. Design to Inspire Blog

4. My Tumblr! 🙂


Rebecca Bauman via J.Crew’s Tumblr.

Kate Spade NY’s Tumblr.

My Tumblr archive.

 

 

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How to Communicate with Aliens, Fall 2010, Pratt MFA

Now that I’ve returned from Denmark and the colorful world of textile design, it’s time to return to graphic design and branding. And that’s exciting (to me). I’m so thankful I got to do something new and challenging the last two months. I feel inspired and rejuvenated to finish my thesis and start the next chapter of my life … working in NYC.  Before I left Denmark I spent hours applying to countless design jobs for anything I felt I was remotely qualified for. And to my delight, on Monday I received the good news I’d been waiting for … someone wanted to hire me! I’ll reveal full details when it becomes 100% official. I went on a few other interviews because it’s great practice talking about one’s work and I wanted to explore all my options. One interview I was very excited (and nervous) for was a designer position at a huge branding firm, one I’d admired since I moved to NYC. Very intimidating, but also an exciting opportunity.

During the interview, I talked about my work experience, favorite projects, my interests in design, etc and then was asked, What is your favorite brand? I was stumped. It’s a simple enough question right? I ended up talking about how interesting the entire Gap logo fiasco is compared to the success Starbucks redesign. Which I do truly think is interesting. Both Starbucks and Gap are iconic global brands. But one did it so wrong while the other flourished. People said during the Gap logo scandal that some logos are so well established and iconic, they should be left alone. I argue Starbucks built just as much brand identity as Gap, perhaps more, and they were embraced. Why is this? And more importantly why do we care?

This brings me back to a project from one of my Pratt MFA studios. For the project we had to communicate humanity or “humanness” to aliens. I proposed sending aliens an alphabet comprised of logos establishing a shared language and making a commentary on American values. A modern day Rosetta Stone, sponsored by Adobe, Budweiser, Coke, etc .. While this idea isn’t new, lots of these logo alphabets exist, it’s so interesting to think about these logos as living things, as brands, that communicate. In this project the alphabet symbolizes way more than letterforms and logos, they are cultural symbols of our society at a specific period in history. While listening to Design Matters one night, I heard this quote by Phillip Meggs:

It’s so interesting how in the last 10 years brands have really become alive. They’re living things. While brand loyalty has existed since the creation of brands themselves, brands they were not always living things. I believe the shift happened with the creation of social media. We all have these digital lives, alter egos, and so do these brands. They have personalities that must communicate as effectively on the iPad as they do in the store. I think that’s so fascinating because as a designer working in brand strategy, you’re creating emotional relationships that must be nurtured. So things brings me back to the original question, what is my favorite brand?? While researching brands, I came across report from Interbrand about America’s most valuable brands:

Read and download the full report here.

In thinking of which brands are my favorite, or that I find the most interesting, I decided to come up with a list. Initially when I think about brands, I only think about retail brands. This is due to the lifestyle fashion and retail try to sell consumers. I didn’t even consider food brands in the grocery store, which are just as powerful as these retail giants, and probably even more so since we interact with them so frequently. According to Stores.org, “Americans have an ongoing love affair with brands. Threaten to take away their Dawn dishwashing detergent or their Kleenex and you’d better be ready for a knock-down, drag-out fight: Those items, along with Bounty paper towels and Crest toothpaste, are among the products shoppers choose most often when they roll their carts up and down the supermarket aisles.” I’m completely guilty of this. For example, I only drink coke products, I’m totally addicted to Aquafresh toothpaste, and I generally don’t trust store brands. Some of these brands are my favorite because I use their products religiously, like Coke or Apple. Other brands I admire the lifestyle they symbolize (Kate Spade, J.Crew). With these brands I want to live in the beautiful glossy world they create. I’m totally under their spell.

Here are some of my favorite brands, in no particular order …
UNI QLO // Fashion Retail // Japan // link
Coca-Cola // Food & Beverage // Global // link
Obama  // Political // US // link
Apple // Computers & Tech // Global // link
Kate Spade // Retail // US // link
J. Crew // Retail // US // link
J. Crew Behind The Line – follow their blog here.
So what’s your favorite brand and why ?!?!

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