By 2017, Great Bear Wax Co. had reached cult-like status.
With candles in stores across all fifty states including national retailers Anthropologie and PacSun, it was time to update the brand identity and packaging and show the world that this Birmingham, Alabama-based operation had grown from an artisanal/craft brand to a disruptor in the candle industry.
THE PREVIOUS LOGOTYPE HAD A STRONG BRAND RECOGNITION so the client and I both agreed that a brand refresh was a stronger option than a complete redesign. After auditing the existing identity, I found several areas that needed improving.
1. The weight of the letterforms were inconsistent: Heavy capital letters and top-heavy E’s.
2. The bold script made it difficult to read at small sizes.
3. The loop at the top of the G and the A’s were distracting and made the script feel too ornate.
4. The cross stroke of the T sat too high.
5. The stacked type was off balance and difficult to work with in application.
After addressing these problem areas I went back to pencil and paper to create a new script that is more modern, and better suited to represent a national company. When the primary logotype was finalized, I created several alternative marks that could be used to identify the company.
HOW DOES A COMPANY STAND OUT in a market where its competitor’s products are comprised of the same three elements: wax, oils, and a wick? For GBWC, the answer was to fine-tune its product and voice and begin moving against the grain. With companies producing bacon and pizza candles, man-dles, and overly-scented candles that give you a headache when you share a room with it for more than 15 minutes, there was a massive hole in the market.
Great Bear Wax Company produces high-quality, delicately-scented candles that enhance any environment its burned in without drawing attention away from what is happening in it.
The packaging reflects that restraint. The packaging isn’t overly designed. I removed any and all of features that would clutter the product package. A screen-printed logo stands alone on the glassware. Simple and familiar typography on a kraft cardboard tube protects the glassware inside. A unique inspection stamp is printed on the top of every candle lid to separate the scents. These thoughtful-but-restrained details echo the concept of the company. Now, these candles smell and LOOK beautiful without diverting attention away from the environment its burned in.
During the rebrand, Great Bear Wax Co also wanted to introduce a new sku of products that allows customers to take their favorite scents on the road. Introducing the Traveler Candle sets. These candles are sold in curated sets that make your beach house, your tent in the woods, or your hotel room a little more homey.
An opportunity for restraintless fun comes in the form of the letterhead. Anyone who knows GBWC’s founder Jake, knows that he is energetic and full of life. That why the letterhead has a tone that is unique from the brand. This is a chance to showcase the personality of the candle maker more so than the candle.