PaperSpecs Presents: Playful Alvies Boots Branding and Packaging
From its eclectic music scene to a thriving film community (and the famous South by Southwest Festival that marries the two), Austin, Texas, has cultivated a fun and funky vibe. It’s one that design studio Helms Workshop (https://helmsworkshop.com/) captures perfectly in their lighthearted and laid-back brand identity for Alvies Boots.
The local bootmaker started designing and selling boots and flip-flops out of an Airstream in Austin in 2014. However, with a mission to bring the glory of boots and flops to the rest of the world, a rebrand, including an accompanying website, was needed.
Let’s start with the box which, as it houses genuine leather boots, naturally is huge, so it’s already sure to grab your attention.
Printed using flexography by Mexipack (https://mexipack.com.mx) in León, Guanajuato, in Mexico, it’s awash in Blue, and sports several different callouts that have been knocked out to contrast with the Oyster White corrugated cardboard beneath.
It also has a slightly distressed look, which is a great tie-in to the contents inside –after all, cowboy boots aren’t meant to look new and shiny. And with phrases like “Designed for life,” “built to last” and “Austin originals” on the front, this isn’t just packaging – it’s a full-on, eye-catching reassurance that you just purchased so much more than just a pair of boots.
Believe it or not, it gets even better once you lift the lid.
The first thing that jumps out at you is the White Alvies logo against a sea of Blue on the inside of the lid, before your eyes drop to a smorgasbord of playful Austin-themed iconography – from trailers to vinyl records – all against a Warm Yellow background. This, it turns out, is the wrapping paper, printed on 60 lb. Sylvamo Accent Opaque, protecting your new boots until you break them in. A simple Blue sticker with a friendly “Howdy” holds it closed.
Not to worry, you don’t need a horse to wear these boots and Alvies welcomes you into the family with a warm “howdy” and clear instructions from how to ensure your boots are the right fit to caring instructions along the way.
All this is neatly tucked inside a small folder made from 130 lb. Classic Crest Solar White Eggshell Cover whose all-Blue exterior (complete with embossed Alvies name) in no way prepares you for the stunning “Made with Soul” artwork that jumps out at you when you open it.
Tucked inside are various tips and insights printed on 80 lb. Neenah Classic Crest Solar White Eggshell Cover, including:
- A notecard explaining the company’s history and mission, with a Yellow exterior as well as the embossed Alvies logo
- Info cards to guide you through trying on and caring for your new boots
- A feedback request card with the familiar Blue and embossed logo on one side, and an invitation to email your thoughts on the other, playfully headlined “Opinions are like feet” - as well as a snazzy Blue and White sticker.
Cowboys. City girls. Accountants. Surfers. Techies. The extremely well- thought-through brand experience captures the spirit of Alvies, and magnetically draws you into wanting to be part of this laid-back lifestyle.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.