Branding a Fashion Startup

I designed the brand for Nifty, a company that would do for clothes what Instacart did for groceries (and give you free returns). I worked with the founding team to build a landing page and message tailored to their unique audience.

My Role



August 2015 - October 2015

Fashion is fickle by nature. To even get started designing Nifty I needed to get to know fashion's larger trends. I surveyed a wide breadth of content, cultural and commercial, to create a palette of common design elements. I then worked with the Nifty founders to whittle this collection down and build our voice.

The word nifty, in and of itself, possesses an interesting near-symmetry. Spoken aloud the word begins pleasantly, inflecting upward towards and over the first syllable until the teeth meet the lower lip producing just enough obstacle for the low hiss of an "f". Then it falls gracefully into the ease of a soft, open "e". Nif-ty. It describes something that is interesting, but not challenging; cool, but not exclusive; useful, but not dull. I wanted to capture some of that sonic and figurative structure in a wordmark. A selection of explorations from my process are shown here.

Our desire was to evoke a sense of well-dressed urban life. I collected a set of images representing the archetypal city-dweller in various forms to act as central thematic element. The thought was to immediately present the visitor with a kind of mirror—an intentionally flattering one. This early version of the mobile landing page contains a type, color and image choices meant to reflect that goal, with a warmth and approachability competitors did not display.

I've selected this layout to demonstrate the mid-stage of iteration, picked from an array of similar explorations I used to work through ideas for the front page of the brand. Here I am controlling the application of color with grayscale images, emphasizing critical actions with increased prominence and contrast, and attempting to inject dynamism into the experience with a shifting, asymmetric arrangement of forms.

After several rounds of review and iteration, our team selected this as the final design. A single, high-contrast image backs the call to action. Our identity and messaging elements rest above it in otherwise empty space, providing clear hierarchy to the page. In unison, these elements present a feeling of metropolitan energy, of time well-spent and a considered appearance.

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