If your brand isn’t clearly defined, others will define it for you.
Three years after their launch, it was clear to the folks behind Lands’ End Canvas 1963 that they needed help. Their initial plans to make slimmer fitting clothing for a younger audience wasn’t enough—they weren't gaining the marketshare that they were craving.
They wanted a brand that won the attention of a specific audience—the Arriving Class.
Just like their audience, we didn’t know why, and neither did Lands’ End Canvas.
After interviewing their entire team, we found that everyone had their own idea of who they were designing for and what Lands’ End Canvas was about.
It was clear the brand needed a unified vision to stand on its own two feet.
The initial solution came in two parts
Unlike Lands' End Kids or Home, which are brand extensions, Canvas was a sub-brand of Lands' End. In order to stand alone in the retail landscape, it was important that Canvas be seen and understood in a distinctive light with its own point of view.
To us, it was critical that Canvas was the first word in their name.
As for the Brand Insight, Canvas Lands’ End existed to:
Back in 1963, the parent company Lands’ End was born from utility. It started as a supplier to racing sailors, offering everything from equipment and supplies to knowledge and technical information.
Today, Canvas Lands’ End exists to help prepare a new audience—the Arriving Class—a group of individuals who are moving beyond their post college years, and are for the first time in their lives coming into their authentic selves.
The Whitman quote at the beginning of this case study (which we championed from our initial pitch) now rang even more true, and we used a single line from it as the call-to-action tagline for Canvas:
More metaphorical than literal, the Canvas tagline Take to the Open was meant to inspire. It’s about making dreams a reality. Arrivers are active participants in their own lives. They don’t wait for things to happen—they make them happen.
We encouraged the Canvas audience to take to the open in whatever capacity it served them best, and we wanted Canvas to be there to help guide them along the way.
With a new name, an insight and a call to action, the visual execution came easily.
The online experience started with a simple choice–Men or Women— getting visitors quickly and easily engaged, rather than overwhelmed with options.
Once a decision was made and you were in the site, we showed items that were specifically relevant to them, giving them several logical entry points into the product.
We also offered up relevant editorial content to help round out the brand's point of view.
We redesigned their flagship store with the same solutions in mind: Easy entry points, open vistas, and simple choices to get their audience engaged and help them feel at home.
And we created a handcrafted Brand Bible for them to give to their whole team, so everyone could be on the same page more easily.
We made hand-sewn book covers of raw canvas, and letterpressed each one in house. In the book we discussed everything from the thinking behind the brand to actual guidelines and executions, including fabrication for store fixtures, product photography and even how their models should look.
Overall, the job was a success. The team was grateful to have a strong point of view, the client loved the look and feel of the creative as a whole, and we had a lot of fun doing it, making friends along the way.
- Art Direction
- Creative Direction
- Brand Book
- Store design
- Web Design
Canvas Creative Director
Lands' End Brand President