We’ve worked with howies for over 15 years, and throughout that time we’ve witnessed the brand expand and retain its consumer base at an impressive rate. With expansion comes the challenge to innovate, and howies recently decided their in-store and e-commerce packaging was sadly lacking the memorable, quirky and witty tone of voice the brand has vocalized since its inception.
Often, e-commerce packaging is deemed of low importance and viewed simply as a vehicle to get a product from A to B. However, howies saw this as an opportunity to engage with their customers by creating something unique that expounds their ethos.
Understanding that the packaging for goods purchased over the Internet can pave the way for a positive purchasing experience, howies sought a packaging range that met the specific needs of this retail environment and the respective challenges it faces.
When approaching this project, we wanted to ensure that the packaging revealed howies’ brand story in a truthful, ownable way. To do this, we sought inspiration from the handcrafted typeface we designed for the brand a couple of years ago, and used this as a starting point for the packaging.
As with the creation of the wood font, we began by going back to nature by sourcing a slice from an old Acer tree, which became our canvas. Having prepared this for printing, the final wood impressions were then given quirky individual treatments to make the designs definitively that of ‘howies’.
Taking into account the many varied activities howies customers engage in, we decided to represent these as fine silhouettes around the horizon of the woodprint and, being rendered in the same textured finish as the print, they physically and metaphorically became part of the landscape. We have a downhill cyclist negotiating a particularly gnarly piece of knot, a runner leaping a crevice between bark segments and a road racer out of his saddle climbing a steep testing section of the tree. The most pleasing thing is how this subtle idea reflects the understated nature of howies simple clothing with the silhouette figure not immediately obvious.
This concept is carried through to the in-store clothes tags, which have been lovingly crafted using the finest recycled card, bestowing the packs with a raw and organic aesthetic befitting the products themselves.