Founded in 1993, DC Shoes (originally Droors Clothing) quickly gained notoriety among the skateboarding community. What began as a garage operation making and marketing skateboarding footwear quickly grew into a household action sports brand.
Today, DC Shoes is a leading designer and manufacturer of performance skateboarding and snowboarding footwear, whose product line has broadened to include snowboards, apparel, outerwear and other fashion accessories. Expanding the brand beyond its originally male-dominated identity, the DC Shoes business evolved to appeal to a wider mainstream audience, with a dedicated women’s line launching in 2003. The women’s line has gained momentum and today represents an important component of DC Shoes’ business.
DC Shoes saw tremendous potential within the women’s category, which they felt was currently under-served. To take advantage of this opportunity, DC Shoes decided to strengthen their women’s business by creating a new women-only brand. DC Shoes tasked Creative Agency Character with creating the new identity.
Character is a San Francisco-based, independent creative agency with a passion for launching, rejuvenating and propelling brands. Their goal is to create lasting and meaningful relationships between client’s brand and their audience through smart thinking and intelligent design.
Over the past 11 years they have partnered with some of the world’s most renowned and revered lifestyle brands across multiple categories, from beverage, retail and e-commerce to footwear and consumer electronics. They’ve partnered with companies of all sizes and provided a wide range of services, from developing branding systems for successful startups like Android to designing global retail systems for established brands like Nike.
“We enjoy what we do, we have fun, and we like meeting people and making friends along the way.” – Character
To capture a greater share of the women’s market, the new identity needed to appeal to the existing DC Shoes audience but also speak to a more fashion-forward consumer. In addition, it was important that the new identity be visually derived from the existing DC Shoes logo and conveys the same urban attitude that the DC Shoes brand has become known for. Character explored many logo themes, eventually settling on the theme of linkage.
This was a nod to the existing DC Shoes logo, which features an interconnected “D” and “C”. The new mark is a nice elegant tribute to the old logo. Its only issues in my opinion are that the horizontal scaling is a bit off leaving it narrow and the “C” doesn’t read very well. The overall mark looks more like an infinity sign than two letters. A pretty nice infinity sign nonetheless! I think it’s a great mark to represent the girls brand and the application on the ads and the shoes is warm yet trendy in a girly hipster way. I would buy this brand for my fiancé in a heartbeat.
The new resulting logo is elegant, yet still urban and edgy, an interlocked “D” and “C” featuring the characteristic DC Shoes star.
Once the design was approved, Character applied the new logo to a variety of usage scenarios including product, print and online placements. The project culminated with the development of supporting brand guidelines.
The new DC Women’s identity successfully launched in early 2012. DC Shoes is currently integrating the new logo across all of its women’s product categories and marketing activities.