“Through the Roof”
Established in 2006, Factorie is a global youth fashion brand that offers “accessible street and casual fashion for girls and guys”. Owned by Cotton On Group, Factorie has over 170 stores across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Malaysia. Recently, Factorie introduced a new identity designed by the Sydney office of Interbrand.
In a world where businesses struggle to reach teenagers, Factorie was famous for its youth culture. Unafraid and unapologetic, it resonated with its customers in a way few brands do. So when Factorie’s audience started to grow up, the brand did too.
It became a little more mature. Slightly more sensible. Less teenage angsty, and certainly less controversial. But in the end, the effort to stay relevant to its original fans saw the overall brand lose its relevancy. All of a sudden, Factorie wasn’t Factorie anymore.
The new brand sits at the collision point between contemporary culture and that timeless youth attitude. Made for the restless generation, it draws inspiration from everything from modern-day influencers like @kathebbss and London grime, to DIY producers and even 80’s grunge.
Born from Factorie’s oldest and most authentic element of all (its name), the logo offers a striking device for owning and disrupting imagery. But more importantly, it’s shorthand for a new kind of factory – a place where young people and artists can relax, remix, craft and collaborate. It invites the restless generation in, before asking a small, simple, unrelenting question…
What will you create?
The old logo was painful to see, with its droplet “a” and uncomfortably-flipped “t” posing as a “t” and, overall, it had horrible rhythm. Perhaps the kids dug it or didn’t care. The new logo is pretty cool — maybe a 40-year-old dude in the Midwest saying it’s “pretty cool” just made it lose all its street cred — with an icon that instantly pays off of the name but also introduces a rebellious-looking graphic device to strongly represent the brand. The wordmark is also good, perhaps that one feels like it’s trying a little harder to be edgy but I still like that it looks strongly manufactured but with a hint of oddness to it.
I like how the icon can be explicitly shown as is but also implicitly in the breaking of the typography and imagery. It’s a clever way of extending the visual language of the icon into the identity. I also like how it can be extended to have more spikes and used to strike words. Maybe it gets to a point where it’s far too many spiky, angle-y things but it’s nicely tempered by the blocky, monospace typography.
Despite its thinness and wide horizontal proportion, the icon is surprisingly convincing on its own and works quite well in small areas, especially ones that require less traditional reproduction like debossing or embroidery.
Perhaps it doesn’t have the authenticity of a Vans or Burton but, overall, this all feels youthful, bold, and exciting with a simple kit of parts that can expand in cool, different ways.