Built to Discover Building a brand, and a process of discovery.

the question


How do you grow a small but spirited luxury consumer brand into a design-driven competitor?

(Anwser: human-centered design)

 

the overview


 

Role

creative director

Variables

Strategy
Brand strategy
Marketing strategy
Operations strategy

Design
Brand design
Product design
Experiential design

 

Background

Founded on a headstrong vision of exploring your own curiosity in order to do your best work, the owner’s passion for horology as a watch collector sits at the core of the company vision, taking them from a dissastifying role in corporate real estate consulting to developing a network of talented watch designers, craftspeople, manufacturers, and other collaborators needed to make high-quality mechanical timepieces and accessories in the 21st century. In only 5 years, Oak & Oscar built a reputation for,

“. . . producing casual, well-built watches that get the details right.” 

Stephen Pulvirent, managing editor and director of operations, HODINKEE

 
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primary wordmark + tagline lockup

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secondary mark 

A collaborator on the project from the beginning, I helped to design the initial brand marks for the company and offered design and strategic advice throughout the first two years of operation. In 2017, I was invited to serve as the first creative director for the company—helping to bring all product and brand design in-house, formalize the design language of the company, and guide the creative vision for the company through a period of strategic growth.

 

the process


The Fundamentals: Looking in to build out


Building the foundation.

A strong house is supported by rock solid pillars. We developed strong messaging pillars built on a commitment to producing high-quality timepieces.

 
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Continuity

Visually, we were able to build continuity across all forms of communication from the ground up. From product design, to print and digital communication, to experiential marketing—everything is geared to work together as a single, unified experience.

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The Process is the Product

What makes a great watch(company)?

Instilling a commitment to human-centered design has allowed the company to differentiate itself in a crowded market segment by providing unique, purpose-driven products and services with a thoughtful attention to the experiences that people have. For me, it is about the design of everything.



"First-rate timepiece and first-rate experience."

John F.

Navy Humboldt on Steel Bracelet


 
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The Community

A reason to exist.

From sending hand written thank you cards with each purchase, to surprise gifts in the mail on a random Tuesday, to the annual Owners Weekend each Fall, the community of Oak & Oscar timepiece owners is at the heart of everything we do. For me, it’s not just about keeping time, it’s about what you make with it, and who you share it with.

 
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"Watch Day" for our friends at chicago-based Stock mfg.

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A gift in the mail: The Olmsted Patch (@corkillsworld)

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The Community on IG (@ranxoren)

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Owners Weekend 2019

Owners Weekend 2018

The Watch Table


What do you want to watch?
(pun intended)

Conversations with customers led to the concept of interviewing Oak & Oscar timepiece owners to learn about their personal watch collections—and the stories behind the watches.

The Oak & Oscar community has a deep understanding of the watch market; obsessing over brands, models, years of production, and provenance. The Watch Table provides a fascinating take on the reasons why people collect.

 
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Episode 3

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Episode 11

 

“I love every bang and bruise and chip and scratch on it because I know that they all tell a story.”

Bryant M.

Episode 11

Episode 3

A COVID-19 Pivot

Finding meaning in a new (virtual) reality.

With a robust digital communication infrastructure already in place, we were able to quickly transition to focus on crafting new and engaging virtual experiences tailored to our audience while transitioning to a distributed and remote work environment.

 
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Weekly events with special guests from the world of horology and beyond.

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Crafting (Virtual) Cocktails with Charles Joly

From weekly happy hours with special guests, to creating and hosting a live virtual watch brand summit with fellow independent watch makers, our pivot from the effects of the global outbreak of COVID-19 compelled us to create a deeper level of engagement with the watch community.

Life is not about what happens to you, it's about how you respond, and discovering what you are made of.

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Independent Together Watch Brand Summit Wordmark

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Wordmark Lockup

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Campaign Social Story


The Result


“Oak & Oscar has made a name for themselves by producing casual, well-built watches that get the details right.”

Stephen Pulvirent

Managing Editor and Director of Operations, Hodinkee


 
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The Chicago Stars—A subtle nod to home

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The Ashland—a special collaboration with Wilson Sporting Goods Co

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Batch №1—The first release of the batch collection

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The Humboldt 12-hr

Oak & Oscar has been designing some of the coolest timepieces to come out of the modern American boutique watch brand movement.”

Oren Hartov

Watch Editor, Gear Patrol


 
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The Olmsted 38

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The Olmsted 38


What's Next?


Next
Project


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A Cannabis Care Company

Crafting a cannabis care partner with wellness on the mind.



Have an idea?


Want to discuss a past project or how we can design the future? I'd love to chat!