It's not often you get to create a brand from scratch. The founder initially reached out about a logo, which is quite common. So we discussed the real opportunity and value of a brand identity system, and soon we found ourselves deciding to partner and build this brand from the ground up. A deep dive into the business and customers informed a brand architecture, which flowed seamlessly into the brand identity system.
The back story
For startups, building awareness is a major hurdle, so first impressions are huge. It's a critical moment to tell your story, get noticed and educate people about the product or service. For PostKnife, we worked to discover the core benefit to the customer and let that drive all decisions for the visual identity.
Digging into the Problem
During the research phase with the client, we realized that explaining the service is complicated. Here's how PostKnife works: a box of freshly-sharpened knives arrives in the mail. Then, the knives from the last delivery are returned and sharpened for the next shipment. It's an ecosystem that's cheaper than ownership and maintenance costs, with the benefit of always working with super sharp knives. It's awesome, but it's a lot to explain.
After thinking about it, we realized the service is really a tool, delivering something important to restauranteurs. That something was sharpness. And not "I-just-bought-this-it's-brand-new" sharpness, we mean "honed-by-a-trained-craftsman-with-a-water-cooled-whetstone" sharpness. The kind of sharpness that turns a food worker into a master samurai. The kind of sharpness that makes a professional kitchen safer and more efficient.
The Core Benefit: "Sharpness"
PostKnife's sharpness is more than a physical product, it's an experience. It's that satisfying feeling of slicing an onion with a fresh blade. It's the ability to do your job better and safer. It's confidence in well-made things. It's for people who appreciate craftsmanship because they take pride in the quality of the food they make for a living.
From the Founder
“Nathan understands branding differently than most people. I came to Nathan thinking of a brand as a logo, and he helped me understand how much more depth goes into creating a brand identity... Nathan is committed to working with clients to bring their vision to life, and throughout the process you know that it’s going to be done right.”
The idea of sharpness is visible in every detail of the brand. The graphics are crafted, honed. High-contrast colors feel crisp. Copy is direct and to the point, the excess is trimmed away. Even the logotype has a slice out of the "K" so the idea of sharpness is always present. Take a look at the work below to see all the ways that sharpness makes a big impact on this new brand.
Brand Identity System
The PostKnife system makes a big impact with just a few well-crafted parts, and leans heavily on the high-contrast color palette. This allows the brand to cut through the noise of a stressful, fast-paced professional kitchen.
The punchiness of the brand tools makes any activation into a billboard for PostKnife. And at the same time, the presentation is clean and simple, which feels appropriate for the food industry.
When fresh knives arrive, we want it to be so special, we call it Knife Day. The custom shipping box has two jobs: deliver a freshly-sharpened set of knives and return used knives to be sharpened for the next shipment. Opening it is a branded experience in itself, with layers that use pictograms to walk through each step.
Color Coding To make the receive and return process easy, each shipment has alternating black or red handles, so it's a snap to see which knives are used and which are fresh.
Step 1 Shipping box arrives, the used knives are gathered.
Step 2 Remove the protective sleeves from the fresh knives.
Step 3 Used knives are returned to PostKnife for sharpening.
Storefront & Management Tool
At postknife.com, visitors learn about the service, browse knife sets, purchase a subscription and manage their account on a desktop or mobile device.
Sometimes you just need to see a product in action, so we shot a library of photography to capture the brand in its ideal setting. The delivery experience, knife sets, employee testimonials and most importantly the knives at work are all seen in the context of a professional kitchen.
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