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Dead Gent Clothing

The Start

Dead Gent started really organically; I used to make Panel t-shirt and Pocket shirts for myself using fabrics that I had gathered while on holiday. I’d get ask by my brothers to make some for them, soon friends and work colleagues started to ask if they could buy them.

 I was producing unique one off t-shirts personally hand finished in obsessive detail. Each pocket, panel and bit of handcrafted detail was unique to that garment and made to order. My materials where often brought in far flung places usually of the highest quality in small quantities.

 I quickly started selling to friends and then slowing online using a Basic Big Cartel account and eventually Etsy. Slowly but surely my range grew and my sales increased, at this point I had no brand name, logo or philosophy I just enjoy making t-shirts and enjoy seeing people wear my creations with pride.

 I have don’t have a design background I have basic grasp of Photoshop and illustration software and I had never used a sewing machine until 4 months ago. Everything I’m doing is new to me and I’m really enjoying it, I’m keen to learn all I can and I’m more then happy to share things I know.

 Beginning my brand development 

 Online sale continued to grow and positive customer feedback made me realize that this could eventually be a viable alternative to my freelance career in the UK TV industry. If I wanted to grow the business I knew I had to develop a brand name, logo and have a clear brand philosophy much like Jeff has outlined in this course video.

 In all honestly I know I have done everything backwards stumbling through creating a brand and doing everything in a weird order.  I’m sure most people can relate to the steep learning curve and the continuous need to develop and create leading to endless discoveries and inspiration.

 I had my logo in my head for days before I developed the name and philosophy having lived with it and gaged people thought I was confident that I had a strong name and logo, applying it to my range and creating a philosophy was the tricky bit. The name I had chosen was Dead Gent Clothing.

 First Brand Statement:

A mature street wear brand creating bespoke hand finished detailed clothing using traditional, rare and vintage fabrics gathered from around the world.

 The name is something I have trouble explaining at times. I wanted a name that expressed my use of world fabrics and print designs. I want the brand to simultaneously honor textile cultures around the world as well as bring a tailored grown up approach and aesthetic to street wear.  Any name I came up with that did that sounded to literal and wordy like ‘Dalton Pattern Cutters’ or Hackney Trading Company – HTC (stupid!).

 Slogan

 Initially I went with the slogan Dead Gent Clothing – ‘Fresh to Death’. I thought it was playful employing a slang slogan to highlight the crisp and individual designs in my collection. It tied in with the logo and echoed the ‘Dead’ theme in the brand name.

 The death theme is something I constantly question because besides providing some strong graphical direction it does nothing to help communicate what the brand creating. I’d be interesting in hearing what people think about this as when your involved in a project you can over think it??

 I have now settled in  ‘Honor in Detail’.  I’ll break down why I think this is a better slogan and how I think it helps us communicate with our buyers.

“Honor in Detail” We use prints and fabrics that are designed and manufactured using classic and traditional methods that allow us to ‘ honor’ the ethics and heritage of textile cultures around the world. Proudly creating pieces that are finished with obsessive attention to fit and finish, allowing us to find for ourselves… HONOR IN DETAIL

 Final Name and Slogan

Logo Development

I had the image for the dead guy icon in my head for a few days before the name really come in to fruition but I couldn’t get the sketch right straight away so I left it and started to look and other imagery. The first being the monogram badge but I instantly realised that the DG monogram is already well know for Dolce & Gabana, back to the drawing board.

 With a little help from my nephew who is much better at using design software then I am we constructed the top hat dead guy icon, going through different version to make him look dead but not gory, gross or deformed. He also needed to look like a gent, the moustache, the top and the bow tie all help to give him an air of sophistication and character.

Over all I think the final icon is able to communicate to communicate that we are an English brand with mature and sophisticated aspirations without being stuffy, old school or familiar. It’s fun, iconic, adaptable & distinctive hopefully allowing us to distinguish ourselves in what we know if a hugely crowded sector.  

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