“What Lines Beneath”
Established in 2006, Sido is a line of underwear and boxer briefs designed and manufactured by Rogin in Tokyo, Japan, using a special material with a patented textile fiber called Hohtai, made from cotton and similar to the fabric used for medical bandages. Sido is probably best known for its line of Samurai armor underwear, which you know you want. Recently, Sido introduced a new identity and packaging designed by Barcelona, Spain- and Tokyo-based Erretres.
The new visual identity of the brand had to reflect “fun in function”, that is, the union between a product’s functionality and its “cool”, contemporary and attractive image. Thus, we drew the logotype in a thick, elegant and contained, typography with an extended typeface that makes reference to the elasticity of the fabric. We accompanied it with a tagline to help highlight Sido’s main asset, Hohtai. We wrote Hohtai in Japanese characters, to tie the intrinsic quality of “made in Japan” to the logo. As a symbol for the mark, we gave special treatment to the letter “S”, from the company name. It adopts the curvilinear form of a textile fiber and creates a black and white pattern of lines, a metaphor for the breathability of the fabric.
The old logo wasn’t good. An abstract “S” that perhaps looked a little like steam, which is not a reference you want when thinking about underwear. The wordmark was decent but forgettable. The new logo revolves around a custom, sturdy, extended wordmark that looks great but maybe too industrial looking for underwear? This could almost pass for a line of concrete. Still, it’s a really nice bit of typography that helps support the sub-categories (more on that later). It also keeps an “S” monogram but this one is more abstract and starts to introduce the use of lines. When they rarely combine, the monogram takes over and the wordmark becomes secondary, so there is a nice flexibility to the two elements.
The corporate-side applications are clean, simple, and bold. And, yeah, not much more else to add on that.
In the strategy phase, we concluded the entire range of Sido products needed an architecture to distinguish each product category. We created a graphic system to visually organize the product portfolio. Each line needed to be perfectly differentiated from the others, while simultaneously respecting and coexisting with the identity of the parent brand.
To do so, we selected a letter to identify each product line and designed it in a way that makes reference to the fabric weave (also reminiscent of Japanese Zen gardens): “S”, from Sido, for the premium line; “H”, from Hohtai, for the basic line; “X”, from extreme, for the sports line; and “&” for special collaborations. We also adapted the design depending on whether the product was for a man or a woman.
The identity starts to get interesting with the newly defined product categories, divided into Premium, Basics, Sports, and Collaborations, with each getting its own custom monogram, all with a visual emphasis on lines… from the multiple (in the “S” and “H”) to the single (in the “X” and “&”).
The packaging then establishes a basic structure for all categories, with the wordmark on top and a big category monogram filling up the rest of the box. The “S” and “H”s clearly feel like a family as do the “X” and “&” but I wish there was a better relationship between those two sets, although I can also see the benefit of having more clearly distinct styles for the two categories that fall outside the basics.
The packaging is quite nice and smartly designed, making it easy to see what’s what and keeping a consistent aesthetic and brand hierarchy throughout. Also, major bonus points for the Mount Fuji-inspired origin sticker… that’s quite nice.
Overall, this gives Sido a category-leader identity and packaging system, instead of the previous look that felt like the knock-offs it has to compete against.