For my Senior Graphic Design Thesis, I needed to build a brand identity that was not only cohesive and purposeful, but also showcased my personal style and abilities as a Graphic Designer. As a Haitian-American woman with a love for her culture, jewelry, and motion of all sorts, it was only fitting to design a brand identity that encompassed all three.
To introduce the brand, I stylized the "E" in my wordmark logo to represent the two fundamental subjects of our brand: Haiti and Jewelry.
TRIBE is heavily inspired by the Haitian revolution, so the brand looks to make their customers feel like warriors at all times. Since a great warrior should be addressed with importance, our client/customer's name is the biggest text that they will see before reading the rest of the content.
"Koupé tet! Boulé kay!" (Koo-peh teht, Boo-leh kahy) which means "Cut off heads! Burn homes!", is a famous phrase by Janjak Desalin during the Haitian Revolution against the French. Thus, wood and metal become very special materials for TRIBE's branding, as they can be cut into with force or burned.
Being that TRIBE functions primarily online, it is expected that physical showcases of the brand would be at special events like trade shows or expos. Therefore, wooden business cards add to that special experience as they are meant to feel like a keepsake.
Most of the warriors who fought in the Haitian Revolution came from The Dahomey Empire in West Africa, which is present day Benin. With this knowledge, I took the Benin Flag, the Pan-African flag, and the first flag of Haitian independence (1804) and most recent Haitian Flag into consideration when creating my 6-color palette. Five of the colors are named after notable figures in the Haitian Revolution, and our cream color is named after our celebratory drink Cremas.
Heavily influenced by Afro-futurism, Haitian and West African mythology, and old editions of Jet Magazine, I designed three poster advertisements for three different jewelry collections. The color of the poster indicates the general theme of the collection that is advertised.
Desalin Red posters showcase collections inspired by topics of war, politics, or religion.
Toussaint Dark Brown posters showcase collections inspired by Pan-africanism, Language (Haitian Creole), or general brand promotion (cultural pride)
Makandal Green posters showcase collections inspired by topics of Culture, Food, Art, and Music.
Displayed in unison, these posters make up the colors of the Pan-African flag, as the posters themselves reflect themes from Haitian culture and history.
By cutting out the model's eyes to replace it with a bright gold texture, and surrounding their heads with elements in motion, my design succeeds when I evoke fear or empowerment in the viewer as the subjects intend to appear supernatural or god-like. Many believe that it was the spirit of Ogun (Yoruba Ifa deity, Haitian Vodun Lwa of War and metal work) that helped Haiti run a successful revolt, so I wanted to translate the essence of Ogun in my posters.
our promotional/gift boxes are TRIBE's special packaging boxes. Because they are intended to either be a gift, or introduce new collections or pieces, these boxes are made of wood, designed to slide open like a box of matches (in reference to creating fire), and come with an information card that describes and discusses the inspiration behind the piece(s). The largest box does not slide open, but is made of a much darker wood, to provide contrast as it is a collection box that houses a whole set of statement pieces, and it is reminiscent of burnt wood.
The front of our info cards read "MESI," meaning "thank you" in Haitian Creole to thank our customers for their purchase, followed by the title of the piece within that collection.
The back of the card has a simple golden symbol referencing the content and the jewelry.
The inside of our info card contains the description of the historic or cultural element that inspired the design of the purchased item, followed by questions for the customer to consider when thinking about global culture and history, a special quote, and a call to action for the brand website.
The next type of packaging are the simple kraft boxes with a sticker of our gold logo on top, and bagged in burlap. They are within the brand guidelines of being a natural material, but are inexpensive, perfect for regular, non-promotional, personal purchases. These boxes can only hold 1 piece of jewelry and do not come with an information card.
Kraft boxes are only sold together in the collection box as they keep the pieces in place. Each box is lined with tissue paper, and cushioned with faux grass to which the jewelry lies on top.
SENIOR THESIS EXHIBITION SPACE