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The product is always of upmost importance to our process. If we're not creating great new things that elevate the design and function of a product, then there is really no sense in a collaboration. Keeping that stance close to heart, developing the color scheme of yarns we ultimately used for the "Seafarer" collaboration was a tedious but thrilling process that was ultimately incredibly satisfying when we got our hands on the first sample. Once the color scheme on the ODCP001 was set in stone though, it was time to get the genius behind the pen involved. Cue Nathan Spoor, friend and celebrated artist from Southern California.
While the creative at the very top was the final design piece that made it to print for the packaging of our collaboration socks with CHUP, we really want to share what eventually brought us to this final design. We spent over an hour on the phone with Nathan (time difference between Tokyo and Cali is 16 hours, mind you!) discussing everything from the birth of the CHUP brand in 2009, their design and inspiration ethos and the continual link to numerous native cultures and communities around the world. The name, CHUP is derived from the Ainu (indigenous Japanese people hailing from Hokkaido) language, and we knew we wanted that to be the focal point of our collaboration design. Stripping the rainbow color circles to keep a more simple logo design, Nathan decided to take that original CHUP logo and freehand the lettering.
"Design is so simple. That is why it's so complicated." - Paul Rand
The very first step is usually creating a mood board with a detailed paragraph or two of text describing the theme and direction we would like the collaboration to take. Above you can see Nathan's first freehand design for the creative, from where we begin the process of addition and elimination.
Switching out the "Heritage" for "Collaboration", we wanted the beads to follow some element of the OD logo colorway. Hence the eventual choice of going the red, blue, white alternating colors for the beads. The feather pays homage to Native American culture and CHUP's affinity for all indigenous cultures.
Once the logo was tightened up, Nathan went off with the coloring of the design for the final print, while maintaining the five color print limit that was set forth by the printers. Above you will see the original art and our updates that were annotated on the tag.
The final print harmonized perfectly, as we expected with the genius that is Nathan behind the pen. While a Nathan Spoor piece could put a serious dent in the bank account, with originals priced upwards of USD10k, you could grace your wall with one of his inexpensive prints from his Society6 store (an online art community that he also manages!).