Kong Lung Trading's identity package presented a fairly complicated design challenge. They required a logo, a basic web site, in-store promotional materials and standard stationary elements. That part is straight forward. The issue was the actual retail offering in Kong Lung Trading. The store has been open since 1892 and has served as general store, butcher shop, bank, clothing store, gallery and just about any other purpose a small town store could fill in its 119 years. Recently, owner Patricia Ewing has turned the store into a very design-forward gift boutique that offers cutting edge table top, clothing, books, children's toys and jewelry. Often viewed as an Asian inspired shop, Ms. Ewing wanted to appeal to a broader audience and represent her shop in a more revealing light. It is true that there are many Asian items in Kong Lung Trading, but they make up only a small part of what is offered. So the first challenge was to be Asian without being too Asian.
Another big issue was that Kong Lung Trading (originally named Kong Lung Company) is located in the Kong Lung Center. Something needed to change about the names. After months of debate and study the store was renamed Kong Lung Trading and the center was renamed Historic Kong Lung Market Center.
The single biggest design issue facing Happy Hour was properly representing the extremely diverse collection of items sold at Kong Lung Trading. The diversity made even more complex by the fact that Kong Lung Trading only sells limited number of items and changes their inventory on a daily basis. The question was given to us, "What single mark will embody all of these items—Sugahara Glassware, Kiyomi PJ's, Tori Richard apparel, Melissa & Doug's Classic Toys, Rand Papule's jewelry, Funktion aprons, etc. We are talking about geometric toys with primary colors, subtle colored Asian glass, brushed silver jewelry and gems, coffee table books with acidic photography. A tough nut to crack indeed.
Happy Hour began with the name research to sort out that issue. Although no one was super excited with the end solution, the main point of differentiating the store from the center without losing 119 years of name recognition was achieved. Then we attacked the logo. When the final iteration was picked, the other unused versions were quickly put into service as silk screening options and traditional Japanese signature "chops" for packaging. That is always a good indication that our options were all appropriate and on-point!
Next step was to apply the new logo to needed touch-points. Again, matching and complimenting the diversity inside of the store and delivering a cohesive solution was a bit overwhelming. Happy Hour moved forward with an angle of attack that addressed every need, which was to provide multiple color-ways for the logo and every printed piece. For example, each person gets four different business cards—each one a different logo color, pattern color and background. By choosing an extended color palette for their graphic standard we aligned the stationary with the physical store.
In addition to logo and business cards, Happy Hour provided a basic web site, photography, table tents, Script Cards and Trade Cards. Script Cards are trimmed to fit perfectly in a #10 envelope and are used for personal correspondence—a nice touch these days. The Trade Cards are a modified business card created to deliver informal but still branded correspondence on the floor of the store or trade shows. They are folded with a blank inside for writing. Eventually we had a translucent envelope created to hold these cards because customers wanted them for gift cards. They are now for sale at the register!
The one piece we are most proud of is the Gift Certificate. A circular, tri-folded card housed in a tin filed with rice. Rice is the symbol of prosperity and comes in great colors such as light green and black. The goal was for the person receiving this gift card to have a very engaging tactile experience. The weight of the rice in the tin and the noise it makes leaves a lasting impression. Plus the tin is a branded keepsake. We know it is successful because a local vendor knocked us off almost immediately.
Happy Hour received the AIGA HAwaii 5-0 design Award for this package. Yeah!
If you are in need of a logo, business cards or any sort of creative solution to help get a buzz going for your company or product, give us a call today at 808-332-9944.
Click here to visit Kong Lung Trading's Site or call 808-828-1822 for more information.
coming soon: project spotlight archives.