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Captivating Visual Assets Create Timeless Branding

Author Clock needed us to create a logo suited for a minimalist brand whose products are made from materials like white oak, brass fittings, and recycled plastics.

Client Testimonial

When gearing up for another product launch, I turned to a longtime partner of ours, Steel Croissant, to aid us in creating a unique brand identity. I was very pleased with both the process and final deliverable and will certainly work with them again on my next invention!

- Jose Cardona, CEO of Author Clock

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About Project

We created a logo and tagline for a new product ready to hit Kickstarter. These were the last assets they needed to tie their brand together and launch a wildly successful campaign.

The Client

Mechanical Design Labs came to us early in their product development, knowing that their next invention would need a strong brand identity. They had the ingenious idea of creating a clock that tells time through stories, the Author Clock. Instead of merely displaying the time of day, you were able to read it in a quote from a classic book. This made it the perfect accessory for any fan of literature.

Their audience, like their product, fell somewhere between digital and analog: modern people with a specific interest in the classics. We decided the logo needed to be somewhere between traditional and progressive.

Logo

We started with the typeface, Didot. Didot is over three hundred years old and still used to this day, ironically, as a modern print font in fashion publications because it’s so readable at large sizes with high contrast and distinguishable legs on its characters.

Early versions of the logo leaned heavily into the materials that made up the clock, portraying wood and clock hands. Ultimately, we decided the clock is really about the words it displays, so we put our focus into the “A” (often a standalone symbol for the English alphabet). That “A” became the icon,and it was gradually made less abstract.

Tagline

For the tagline to have a high contrast against the text that Author Clock used for their paragraphs, we paired Didot with Gotham, a modern sans-serif. Gotham is symmetrical and geometric, perfect for representing the product design and the more technical aspect of the clock itself. It’s from the early 2000's which appeals to a younger audience who have been previously exposed to it as a popular film industry font.

Finally, we needed to write some catchy snippets to pair with our gorgeous logo. The right taglines will communicate the “story” of your product in as few words as possible. And for a product whose main audience is avid readers, we really needed to tap into our inner wordsmiths.

We compiled a list of all the clever ways to combine books and clocks we could think of. There was a lot of “time,” and “novel,” and “minute,” and “story” involved. Eventually, we narrowed it down to two phrases that gave us the perfect taglines: “A novel way to tell time” and “Every minute has a story.”

Results

The new Author Clock logo served as a foundation for the brand’s identity and gave them a base to build on as they brought their product to the market. While their clock itself is a brilliant trinket that achieves the perfect balance between modern technology and classic comforts, the right visual branding was just what they needed to grab audience attention at a moment’s glance. Mechanical Design Labs brought the Author Clock (and their logo) to Kickstarter and have since raised over $1.3 million!

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