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Fashion Forward


One of the (many) strengths of print is its ability to capture vibrant colors, reproduce rich textures, and provide tactility that supports fashion marketing and similarly distinctive products. Shown here is a selection of print projects whose common theme is the effective use of design, paper and ink to evoke the fantasy of fashion as only print can do.

design army | concrete | turnstyle | pentagram

april_news

Turnstyle

for nordstrom loop

Nordstrom Loop is a quarterly magazine distributed to Nordstrom employees company-wide. Unlike a lot of companies, the majority of Nordstrom's 50,000-plus employees are salespeople on the floor who don't have access to computers as part of their jobs. The purpose of Loop is to communicate company news, showcase upcoming fashion trends in apparel and accessories, share best-practices on selling and customer service, and celebrate extraordinary employees.

When Nordstrom approached Turnstyle, they wanted the creative team to inject Loop with a new vitality. Says Turnstyle; There was concern that the design of Loop had become stale and wasn't reflecting Nordstrom's position as a leading fashion retailer - thereby not working as hard as it could to inspire sales staff. Not only this, the publication had become somewhat unwieldy in the way it handled its rather disparate content.

Even though Loop is an internal communications vehicle, we aimed to develop an aspirational high-fashion look and feel, evocative of the external Nordstrom customer experience. Special attention to information hierarchies enlivened by expressive typography was key to our solution. A structured but flexible grid infuses the redesign with both energy and order.

Among the major challenges was handling a bevy of source imagery - from Turnstyle art-directed product shoots and pick-ups from retail catalogs to event photography and a low-quality, camera-phone headshots from the field. We put visual strategies in place to unify imagery from disparate sources and to elevate lackluster subject matter, while minimizing image quality concerns.

Expressive typography is an extremely powerful complement to imagery in setting tone and mood. Type's expressive range and malleability is an invaluable tool in keeping pace with the ever-evolving aesthetics of the fashion industry itself. Less is also more-not only in terms of layout and negative space, but in terms of typographic color. In some ways, black and white is the "less is more" of fashion typography. However, in speaking about trends, the only real constant in the fashion industry is that it's constantly changing and reinventing itself. And so graphic design for the fashion industry tends to follow suit.

As a studio, our first loves are print and packaging. There's something about the tactile quality of paper and ink and material that connects with us on an organic, human level. Interestingly, we feel like print is diminishing, but becoming more valuable at the same time. When organizations and companies take the time and allocate the resources to put something well-crafted together in a print medium, people appreciate it. We love working in print and hope it will never go away entirely, nor do we think it will. A focus on fewer high quality print pieces vs. mass quantities of mediocre promotional items is a good trend for print in terms of impact and sustainability and something we would advocate.

In designing materials for the fashion industry, photography is king. But typography is queen. And not a demure, figurehead matriarch at that, but an influential, power-yielding queen; more a Queen Elizabeth I than a Queen Elizabeth II.

Nordstrom Loop is a quarterly magazine distributed to Nordstrom employees company-wide. Unlike a lot of companies, the majority of Nordstrom's 50,000-plus employees are salespeople on the floor who don't have access to computers as part of their jobs. The purpose of Loop is to communicate company news, showcase upcoming fashion trends in apparel and accessories, share best-practices on selling and customer service, and celebrate extraordinary employees.

When Nordstrom approached Turnstyle, they wanted the creative team to inject Loop with a new vitality. Says Turnstyle; There was concern that the design of Loop had become stale and wasn't reflecting Nordstrom's position as a leading fashion retailer - thereby not working as hard as it could to inspire sales staff. Not only this, the publication had become somewhat unwieldy in the way it handled its rather disparate content.

Even though Loop is an internal communications vehicle, we aimed to develop an aspirational high-fashion look and feel, evocative of the external Nordstrom customer experience. Special attention to information hierarchies enlivened by expressive typography was key to our solution. A structured but flexible grid infuses the redesign with both energy and order.

Among the major challenges was handling a bevy of source imagery - from Turnstyle art-directed product shoots and pick-ups from retail catalogs to event photography and a low-quality, camera-phone headshots from the field. We put visual strategies in place to unify imagery from disparate sources and to elevate lackluster subject matter, while minimizing image quality concerns.

Expressive typography is an extremely powerful complement to imagery in setting tone and mood. Type's expressive range and malleability is an invaluable tool in keeping pace with the ever-evolving aesthetics of the fashion industry itself. Less is also more-not only in terms of layout and negative space, but in terms of typographic color. In some ways, black and white is the "less is more" of fashion typography. However, in speaking about trends, the only real constant in the fashion industry is that it's constantly changing and reinventing itself. And so graphic design for the fashion industry tends to follow suit.

As a studio, our first loves are print and packaging. There's something about the tactile quality of paper and ink and material that connects with us on an organic, human level. Interestingly, we feel like print is diminishing, but becoming more valuable at the same time. When organizations and companies take the time and allocate the resources to put something well-crafted together in a print medium, people appreciate it. We love working in print and hope it will never go away entirely, nor do we think it will. A focus on fewer high quality print pieces vs. mass quantities of mediocre promotional items is a good trend for print in terms of impact and sustainability and something we would advocate.

Design Firm: Turnstyle, Client: Nordstrom, Creative Director: Steven Watson, Designers: Steven Watson, Madeleine Eiche

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