Commerce Paper & Supply is a Toledo, Ohio paper distribution & supply company that has served the needs of regional businesses and designers for 85 years. My experience with Commerce Paper has taught me that their staff is dedicated, humble, hardworking and always helpful. I wanted to freshen up their brand to help honor their historic legacy while also ushering them into the modern digital workspace of todays clients.
Commerce Paper doesn't mill papers, they distribute them. Their role in the rich and varied world of paper is that of facilitator. This challenge required a different approach than showcasing specialty printing techniques and expensive paper promos familiar to manufacturers.
Focusing on the brand as both service and product, I found key themes and requirements.
1. Tactile. Paper is best discovered through personal interaction.
2. Unique and personalized. The brand should communicate the same personal attention paid to each of their client relationships.
3. Feasible for the office to maintain using the supplies on hand with simple guidelines.
4. Celebrate their underutilized slogan, "Paper Is An Adventure" by highlighting discovery.
5. The logo should be stable and communicate a sense of history, distribution, a modern feel, with nods toward green industry and recycling. A stable, reliable mark with a kinetic application.
The resulting system and mark makes use of simple hand stamps in a 5:1 size ratio easily applied with simple guidelines. The base colors are black and white to allow use across the vast array of papers available. The brand is stable, the material chaotic, opening the door to application across countless beautiful paper types.
The brand book is created using simple supplies available in any office.
The brand guidelines are kept fairly light:
1. The large mark can never be shown in its entirety.
2. The small mark must always be shown in its entirety.
3. Stamps are always used to create the mark on paper unless printed for larger purposes (vehicles, billboards, window decals, etc.)
4. White paper/black ink or black paper/ white ink with stamps make up the base branding for envelopes, papers, labels and folders. The brand can be extended by introducing new papers as needed.
5. Avoid standard typing paper.
For stationery and other promo items a simple didactic is printed on the page advertising the paper as product while accomplishing the brand service goals.
Any color or paper type can be used from any manufacturer and they can be used at will provided they include didactic when going to clients. A LaserJet printer and a handstamp can create vast amounts of letterhead efficiently while maintaining a human touch.
Business cards are created by duplexing two sheets of cougar cover together, topped with any preferred paper type, and stamped following the logo guidelines. Churning these out in bulk is quite efficient.
To embody the adventure of discovery, I made use of a narrative theme for the website. A simple, clean interface allows those who might not be familiar with the specific nomenclature of paper to find what they seek intuitively. This is merely a mock up of the concept.
Further filters are available for color, surface, and more traditional refinements.
Hopefully I've hit the original challenges and done justice for the people at Commerce Paper. As this is a student project, my goal was to craft something articulate and considered while maintaining a kinetic and human touch. I feel the identity & branding system hits a few nice benchmarks.
Efficient reproduction but maintains human touch.
Identity actively promotes brand as product, paper.
Identity actively promotes brand as service, introducing and supplying fine papers to new and existing clients.
Celebrates the adventure of discovery through tactile experience.
Identifies Commerce Paper as a product source for creatives and professionals.
Improves web experience thus improving brand.
Thanks for looking!