RDA 2009: Hook’s logo for Sucker Jeans
For this year’s Regional Design Annual, Print asked each designer a few questions about their work that appeared in the magazine. Charleston, South Carolina-based designer Brady Waggoner, art director at Hook, talks about the logo the agency made for Sucker Jeans, and what it’s like to be a designer in South Carolina.
What’s the most challenging part of being a designer in Charleston?
Helping clients become different is really tough. Being different is easy. Becoming different is the hard part. Wearing a mohawk is easy. Getting a mohawk is scary.
What was the single greatest challenge in making this piece?
Sucker is all about being sultry and Southern. The wrought iron-looking ornament was a must have. Working it in and keeping it subtle was tough.
What’s the story behind the materials you incorporated?
Had to use indigo leaves. Indigo is a part of South Carolina’s heritage. See the SC flag and you’ll know why it’s deep blue/purple. Applies directly to the color of the jeans. Made it local.
What was the process like for this piece?
This client is a designer and a painter. Plenty of good vibes. We knew we wanted a monogram or initial. We knew it had to feel old school. So it was just getting all that organized in some compositions and then going nuts with embellishment.
How do you get most of your work? Self-promotion, word-of-mouth, another approach?
All of the above. Our website took three years to produce, no lie. We were busy with word-of-mouth for a long long time. Now that the site is up and has won some solid awards (Gold National Addy) … we’re seeing a difference in receptiveness on the clients part.
How has the current economy changed your design business?
We need to be super conscious of people’s expectations and budgets. But, we’re used to that in Charleston.
Do you do any other type of work besides design? Or do you have a passion that you hope to turn into a business one day?
Is this a place to plug our side projects? If so, I have a reggae band.
Do you think Charleston has a regional style?
Everything looks old, so it’s all about ornament and calligraphy and type done by hand. When it’s done well, it’s beautiful. When it’s an overused script typeface, it drives us nuts. The best design in Charleston lives well and draws on or contrasts sweetly with the city’s beautiful architecture. In the other markets we’ve worked in, the canvas is more blank. Here you have to pay more attention to how it works in history. I think that’s a good thing.