The Vibe Group

Imagine the fashion industry. The glamour,
the sex appeal, the flashbulbs. Unimagine this all.
Now imagine all the unfashionable things about
fashion. Accounting, Shipping, Customs, Logistics,
Legal and Contracts. That’s the Vibe Group.
Excited? We weren’t.

Hello! This is not who we are.

Imagine having to begin with explaining who you’re not, rather than with who you are. Enough with the imagining, because this was the real issue with The Vibe Group. They were often misunderstood as designers due to their fashion specialisation, and not as back-office operators. Ironically, they needed a bunch to designers to solve this issue.

Read More: Shaping Strategy?

Shaping Strategy

The problem began from within. Though accidentally perceived as designers, and though they catered mainly to fashion designers, they had a very peculiar sense (read: no sense) of design. Challenge accepted. We designed a way to explain design the way they would understand.

For that we first understood the category. We drowned ourselves in the jargon. We cut right through it. Moved from ‘what they did’ to ‘how they do it’ and defined the core purpose - Navigating local brands to a global marketplace. In design terms we found our triggers. Triggers that led us to a sense of movement.

This translated into the letter ‘V’ being interpreted as a pointer. We combined a modern sans type with a traditional serif, to form a simple yet distinct ‘V’. A mark that aptly doubled as a pointer. A symbol that suggested a definitive direction. That’s the ‘V’ in Vibe. The Vibe Group had found its new identity. Now we were excited.

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Like every project, the Vibe Group too, arrived with its unique share of challenges. And while I strived to do my best, I discovered Maria Popova’s fascinating concept of Combinitorial Creativity.

“Creativity is combinatorial, that nothing is entirely original, that everything builds on what came before, and that we create by taking existing pieces of inspiration, knowledge, skill and insight that we gather over the course of our lives and recombining them into incredible new creations.”

Why do I quote Maria? Because this is what helped me put things in perspective for me when I was asked to do the implausible. I was asked to recycle, reuse an old design that I had created for another purpose. I was livid, disinterested and then Maria’s words inspired me. I wasn’t bogged down anymore, I went about reworking the old design to solve the new problem. And in the process created a completely new relevant design solution.

Like I said - Combinitorial Creativity. Discontent turned into satisfaction. Boring had turned into fun.