The Studio of
Frank Guia

Flint and Tinder
Brand Identity Update

Flint and Tinder is not only one of the best selling brands at Huckberry, it's also one of two private label men's clothing brands managed in-house. During my time as Art Director, I was in charge of creative execution and led a brand identity update—including new logos, product trims (hangtags, woven labels, etc.), marketing collateral, and digital presence.

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To update the brand identity, we took a step back to re-define the brand pillars of the brand. All garments and fabrics are sourced from throughout the United States, sewn in Los Angeles, CA. We established that our internal mission statement for the brand is, "Tell American stories." With that motto as our north star, we determined that Flint and Tinder is a brand drawing on America's hard-working heritage. An honest day's work, pride in one's craft, and a patriotic sense of duty. Those are some of the core elements Flint and Tinder is meant to embody.

However, we were also aware that the Americana aesthetic is a trend and not necessarily timeless. We were careful to manifest the brand as one that is not overly serious and reflects the best principles of the American spirit—having a good time, for example. The visual identity feels heavy-duty, bold, clearly defined, and durable.

I worked closely with Brendan O'Connor, who designed the original wordmark. Using typographic details from the golden age of American manufacturing, Brendan applied imperfections to the wordmark in order to evoke a sense of humanity and manual craft. The final wordmark was designed to be a statement stamp available in vertical and horizontal variations.

The visual system uses a playful combination of compressed and expanded typefaces to create emphasis. The system also uses negative space sparingly, drawing inspiration from a time where visual real estate was limited and extremely valuable.

As a photographer, I had the opportunity to update the photographic style for Flint and Tinder. Using a warm hue, a subtle fade, and slight color desaturation, the new photography was meant to have a tone of nostalgia while remaining contemporary. I shot all images for Flint and Tinder marketing assets, which allowed me to bring a degree of consistency and authenticity to the brand. Due to the small size of our team, I was responsible for pre-production, post-production, and creative application of all photos. Retouching was outsourced to the good people at Local Color NY.

Pop-Up Retail Shop

The role of art director for the house brands team at Huckberry offered a variety of opportunities to put my skill set to the test. In collaboration with Tanner Goods, Huckberry struck a deal to set up a Pop-Up Shop for Flint and Tinder during the Summer of 2018. While at Bonobos, I had worked with the Guideshop team in a supporting role. However, this challenge proved to be the first time I would lead the strategy and execution for a retail space.

This was the first chance we had to manifest Flint and Tinder in a physical space, which allowed us to further define what was on-brand and what was not. I directed the re-organization of the store and created a strategy for the customer flow. The most important change made was adding a long table to the entrance of the store. We set up the entrance to be an immersive experience so people being exposed to Flint and Tinder for the first time could understand what the brand represents right away.

The language used to promote the Pop-Up mimicks the language used in the food & beverage industry. The intention is for folks to feel welcomed to a hospitable environment. While the location in and of itself was good, we still needed to create more foot traffic into the store in order to meet business expectations. "Hot Coffee, Cold Beer, Warm Welcome" was the wording used to establish the experience as more than a store—a place for people to hang out and not feel pressured to make a purchase.

Spotlight Story: Sonoma Distilling Co.

In an effort to tell true American stories, we partnered with real folks who fit the Flint and Tinder narrative. Sonoma Distilling Co. is a whiskey distillery based in Sonoma Country, CA. I partnered with the head editor of the Huckberry Journal to document a day with the Sonoma Distilling team.

Spring '18 Collection

The Flint and Tinder collection of products for Spring 2018 was shot over the course of two days in Stinson Beach, California. The shoot was intended to hit notes of warm days and chillier afternoons/evenings. The garments were designed for versatility and layering, as is typical during Spring days and April showers.