Charles Street Bow Tie Company
I've always loved bow ties and seen them as more practical than regular neck ties, so when we needed a self-authored branding project, I thought what better opportunity than to sew, brand and package my own?
The goal of this project was to champion the bow tie as not only dress wear (as it became in the 1920's), but as business and casual attire (like it was seen in the 18th and 19th century), while making it meaningful to the wearer. A limited run of each tie would be produced, so as to increase the value if only by originality.
The name "Charles Street" comes from Charles Street in Boston, which is rich in American History. From this, the branding takes an Americana feel, though heavily influenced by traditional British design. Stationary and labels for the boxes are laser-printed on a cream tone paper to keep the price-point low enough to be accessible, and multiple arrangements of the name and Monogram allow for flexible application across assets.
The packaging was designed with delight in mind. My key influence for the long, narrow shape of the box was Olivander's Wand shop from the Harry Potter Series. I imagine a similar shop on Charles St with dark-wooded floor to ceiling shelves completely full of these boxes, their end labels being the only indication of what's inside. I hear the sound of sliding one box out from between many others, then opening the top to reveal the colors, textures, and story inside.
The top of the box is subtly de-bossed to hold the top label—which is filled out by hand to include the tie name, when it was made, and a sort of serial number for tracking. These numbers are also noted on the ends of the box. Inside the lid are illustrated tying instructions, and beneath the tie, in the bottom of the box, are care instructions.
Each bow tie is named after a fictional character whom is then placed into a real event in 20th century American history. In each story, a certain character trait or emotion is brought out by the bow tie worn by the man the story is focused on. These stories are screen printed in white ink on a kraft paper and folded to fit snuggly inside the box, holding the tie inside.
With each tie, the purchaser also receives a screen-printed linen travel case. While interviewing men about their storage habits when it comes to accessories, I learned that most would prefer the box for at home, but that they wouldn't use it traveling for fear of damaging it. Instead, most told me they roll their ties and stick them inside their dress shoes. Yikes.
The linen case holds the tie folded in quarters—as it is in the box—but allows the wearer to role the entire package before sliding the—now protected from stains and smell—tie inside.