The Brand Identity

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Clase’s narrative-led identity for Leland cements the company’s roots in American modernism

In a bold and articulate expression of American typography, Clase have combined sturdy and staple US typefaces for home-grown furniture manufacturer Leland, found in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Utilising ITC Century and ITC Franklin Gothic, the Barcelona-based design studio sought to create a graphically simple, but humbly compelling identity; rich in storytelling and a charming sense of labour, resulting in a tone of voice reminiscent of a warming campfire in a wild forest.

As well as rebranding their whole identity, Clase have also determined a narrative-led brand strategy; a blueprint unique in comparison to their manufacturing competitors. Aside from the high quality of the output, Clase explain how this narrative-driven strategy assisted in differentiating Leland’s spirit – noting “the community of which they are part,” and “the heritage of American modernist values,” as elements distinct to the soul of Leland. This is also where the typographic choices are not only instrumental in the character of the brand but also the strategy, electing for typography that cements their nature in its American modernist roots. 

Befriending the typography throughout are the charismatic illustrations of Miguel Porlan – providing both a humanising resonance to the brand, as well as visual somewhat akin to the diagram in nostalgic instruction manuals. “The scenes depicted metaphorically support the key concepts that characterise a product or that are addressed in an article,” Clase recalls, such as the article ‘Better Together’ discussing new furniture combinations being accompanied by folks around the campfire.

Not only is the Grand Rapids a home for the company, but also a home for the company’s colours – with Clase finding direct inspiration for their colour palette in the surrounding, awe-inspiring, natural landscape. “It speaks of the values that Leland shares with American modernists,” Clase concludes, ”who strongly believed that architecture and design should belong to their environment.

Typefaces: ITC Century by ITC / ITC Franklin Gothic by ITC
Illustration: Miguel Porlan

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