Two Blind Brothers makes ultra-soft designer clothing with natural plants and proven fibers for the sole purpose of funding research to cure blindness. They came to SMAKK in the spring of 2016 for a branding revamp and website redesign. Creating a look and feel for a brand with high visibility in a community with limited visibility presented some unique challenges – and possibilities. First, the brand’s character comes from their highly energetic founders, Brad and Bryan, and we wanted to capture their positive and playful spirit in the visual identity and messaging platform we created. Second, we also wanted to embrace visual conventions that created a connection to, and best served, the unique legibility needs of the visually impaired community. We looked to design elements with high legibility design conventions for inspiration, like street signage and eye charts. And also studied vision impairments to select high contrast colors – black, white and yellow – that were intentionally highly energetic, differentiated, and ultimately extremely legible for individuals with varying vision abilities.
A NEW LOGO
Braille is the written language that many visually impaired folks use and we knew that we wanted to incorporate it into the identity. As we did research into Braille grammar and characters we learned that “2” and “B” are represented by the same double-dot character. The Two Blind Brothers’ abbreviation “2BB” translated into a unique Braille mark, and an inside pun for those who read Braille. We created new the full logo mark with the “2/B” mark built into the type lock-up to continue this play on language.
ACCESSIBLE BY DESIGN
What did we do in the UX, design and development to make the site more accessible than the typical website? Color usage passes WebAim contrast level AAA guidelines. WebAim is a website that allows you to input hex codes and see if the contrast is great enough to be legible to those with certain visual disabilities.
AN ENGAGING EXPERIENCE
We set out to create a shopping experience that goes beyond a simple “Add to Cart” – one that keeps users engaged and really drives home the brothers’ mission.
PHOTOGRAPHY WITH MOVEMENT
Two Blind Brothers’ shirts are insanely soft – made to be worn and lived in – we captured this through the photography by showing models in motion.
Each page boasts a flexible grid that can be used to pull to blog posts, press, or videos or house gifs and lifestyle photography which results in pages that feel full of life and excitement.
INFUSING THE BROTHERS’ PERSONALITY
The Two Blind Brothers, Brad and Bryan, are warm, friendly, and big fans of dad jokes. We infused this lighthearted spirit and humor into the site, showing their personality wherever we could.
FOR THE CAUSE
Although creating an exceptional shopping experience is important, we also didn’t want to lose sight of why the shirts matter and where all profits are being donated. We created the “Curing Blindness” page that is dedicated to sharing the cause and how close they actually are to finding a cure.
Going a step further we wanted to share the experience of Stargardt's disease (the form of macular degeneration that causes Brad and Bryan’s vision impairment). Along the lower right hand corner of the entire site, you’ll notice an eye button – which toggles the site into “Blind Mode”. As the user scrolls a blind spot forms on the site, simulating the experience of having Stargardt’s disease.