Great Bear Wax Co.
Transforming a craft brand into one of the South's leading candle companies.
By 2017, Great Bear Wax Company had reached a 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 a 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 logo refresh was a stronger option than a complete redesign. I found several areas that needed improving during the audit of the existing identity.
1. The weight of the letterforms were inconsistent: Heavy capital letters and top-heavy E’s.
2. The bold script was 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, WICKS?
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. An opportunity to produce a candle that was a bit more thoughtful and a bit more subtle was our answer.
Great Bear Wax Company aims to produce high-quality, delicately-scented candles that enhance any environment its burned in without drawing attention away from what is happening in that environment.
It is important for the packaging to reflect this mission statement. 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. The kraft cardboard tubes are an homage to our previous kraft labels but now they feature simple and familiar typography. A unique inspection stamp is printed on the top of every candle lid to separate the scents. These thoughtful-but-restrained details echo the foundational idea of the company.
Now, the candles smell and 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 came in the form of the Stationery Suite. 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.