When Oakland-based jewelry maker Candice Cox decided, after six years, that it was time to establish a defined visual identity for her jewelry brand, CANDIDART, she dreaded the idea of formal brand development. That’s because her creative process has always been spontaneous, experimental and organic. CANDIDART is the lovechild of Candice Cox’ creative expression and self realization — it didn’t come from traditional product design education. Her first brand was more so utilitarian, because all the attention to detail went on jewelry making and experimentation. So we decided to do away with the rules, and approach the CANDIDART brand as its founder would: letting the materials dictate the design.
CANDIDART lives true to its promise of authenticity and unbridled creativity. The freeform approach to discovery and experimentation with various materials, shapes, sizes, and substrates, determines the creative offering. We adopted the same approach to design the logo. While a custom typeface was not in the budget, we still wanted to find a typographic solution that would immediately connect customers with the signature shapes of the jewelry. We also wanted to make the unique creative process part of the visual narrative, so we did what Candice does: we sourced the prime material, poured it on the table, and let shapes attract each other into the perfect composition. We sourced a geometric, bohemian, “bejeweled” sans serif from designer Jean-Baptiste Morizot (ITF), we printed out the entire alphabet in lower and upper case, we then cutout the single letters and poured them on a table, and we started rearranging them until we found the most harmonious combination. We then altered and adjusted the composition into a perfect grid. The name CANDIDART lent itself to the kaleidoscopic effect, as it is made up of three-letter segments that carry a load of significance both alone and combined: Can Did Art and Candid Art are powerful and truthful wordplay-affirmations within the name. The letterforms also particularly lent themselves to stacking and connecting, reminiscing of jewelry assemblage. We look at the logo and we can now see what Candice sees when she creates her pieces, but we also get a feeling through the rigorous grid, that there’s a method to the magic.
Part of the inspiration behind Candice’s work is her penchant for sacred geometries and African visual language. While the logo itself became a module for developing a modern African-inspired pattern, the color palette brought it full circle with warm desert and bohemian vintage tones reminiscent of California sunsets and Bay Area hippy culture. Grid-based design applications provide endless configurations of type and geometries that keep layouts dynamic and kaleidoscopic.