Columbine (Re-designed)

Posted on

Derrick Lin


Designed by Dow Design, New Zealand.

The new logo and branding modernises the Columbine image, positioning the brand as a quality product for the mainstream market and creating brand cohesion across the range. “We wanted to communicate Columbine’s quality and stylishness while making an impact,” says Dow Design’s Creative Director Donna McCort.”

“Although a trusted brand, Columbine lacked the personality needed to properly stand-out and attract the attention of younger shoppers. By giving the brand a fashionable new look, the packaging reflects the modern quality product inside and keeps Columbine right up with its competition.”

“The new Columbine logo makes a dramatic statement in today’s fashion-focused market with an artistic and contemporary arrangement of the Columbine letters in a custom-built decorative typeface. Held within a strong black circle, this creates an eye catching symbol to cut through in the competitive hosiery market, capturing the brand’s unique sense of elegance and effortless beauty.

Columbine Managing Director, Alistair Thorpe, says the time is right for a rebrand. “We have essentially had the same look since 1989 and I knew a brand refresh was overdue.

“Inspired by both the pride of being ‘New Zealand Made’ and the modern designs I had seen in Europe, I wanted something that was individual but also contemporary. Knowing some of Dow Design’s work, I knew they were the company to take us there.”

Dow Design retained and reworked Columbine’s traditional black and gold colours, pairing them with a style of minimal photography that features the same model across the range. Unlike most hosiery imagery, which features just leg imagery, her face is seen and reinforces the natural beauty that Columbine so values.

“We wanted to communicate that the Columbine lady is naturally chic with subtle sex appeal and the model’s face communicates an honesty to which customers can naturally relate,” says Dow’s Senior Designer on the project, Hannah Gordon.

She explains that shopping the hosiery category can easily feel overwhelming and confusing. “So, as well as creating a consistent look across the range, we have introduced a darkening background colour that lets shoppers identify the options more quickly and more easily. The overall outcome is a stronger, fashion-focused brand”.

Established in 1951, Columbine is the only remaining New Zealand based hosiery manufacturer. Headquartered in Gisborne, the family business employs 100 people and also manufactures Harlequin men’s socks. Its products are widely available throughout New Zealand and Australia at both major department stores and smaller independent retailers.

Dow Design’s Columbine offering follows recent successes in rebranding long established local brands such as Anchor, DB Export, Hellers, Primo, Fresh‘n Fruity, Brancott Estate (Montana) wines and Robert Harris. The brand design specialists are also behind the recent redesign of the Alison’s Pantry section of New World and Pak‘n Save stores nationwide, and are consultants to Auckland’s new Q Theatre.