Brimming with a sea of stickers, DashDigital’s brand for Fitsole is an ode to its street spirit
Landing on the ‘About’ page of the website of Fitsole – an established Egyptian sneaker and lifestyle retailer based in Cairo – is a particularly fun experience. The cursor turns into a sticker, letting the user ‘tag’ the page; just as you’ve pasted one sticker, another one appears, letting you fill-up the page in a sea of stickers. A clever, crucial element of the brand’s identity – created by Cape Town-based design studio DashDigital – the stickers nod to Fitsole’s roots in street culture, tagging and graffiti.
As a retailer that pools together the best sneakers and apparel from leading brands, Fitsole needed an identity that would capture their DNA, but also make space for the suite of brands they stock. Walking this delicate tightrope, DashDigital delivered a sans serif, all-lowercase wordmark set in Neue Montreal, that allows for a sense of “accessibility and authenticity,” says Designer Jedd Luke McNeilage. From the very get-go, one thing was clear – the identity had to reflect Fitsole’s global output.
“Our strategic insights showed that the market in this area had a bit of a problem with products not being authentic, but rather counterfeit,” continues McNeilage. “We carried this over into our design thinking and steered the design system not toward Egyptian heritage, but rather towards elevating the brand to be seen as a credible retailer, stocking authentic, top-shelf products, with a global vision of creating a collective and culture of like-minded sneakerheads.” However, the Egyptian-ness of the brand is felt in other elements – from the colour palette, that leads with the rich red of the national flag, to the illustrations on the stickers, that “aim to infuse Egyptian history and even challenge certain stereotypes,” as Creative Director Rogan Jansen points out. The illustrations, created in collaboration with Jade Klara, feature zany settings – from a snake rising from a sneaker in a trance-like state, to a camel confidently skateboarding through the bustling city streets while sporting a pair of sneakers.
The level of detail seen through the project is also tucked into the inner workings of the website, adding a sense of charm and interactivity to online shopping, which can, sometimes, be a bit of a drab experience. The stickers that show up on the ‘About’ page can also fill up your screen in an act of rebellion, if say, you’ve left the website alone for too long, and gotten distracted by a cat meme. The full-screen, ‘look-at-me-now’ product gallery view highlights key features of the products, while the togglable ‘Grid’ and ‘Index’ views ensure that users can interact with the website in a way that feels just right for them.
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