SHINOLA x PARTNERS&SPADE

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SHINOLA DETROIT
PARTNERS&SPADE


Following a recent visit to their Dumbo shop, I thought I’d have a deeper dive (with a couple surprises) into the origin story and branding of Shinola Detroit, makers of luxury watches, bikes, etc.

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Founded in 2011, ‘Shinola Detroit’ is a nod to the Shinola shoe polish company of Rochester, NY, founded in 1877.

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Partners & Spade designed the logotype, original branding and advertising in 2011.

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While Shinola does a compelling job of playing up its pride in bringing back manufacturing jobs to Detroit …

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Shinola Detroit is actually owned by Bedrock Brands of Dallas, TX (acquiring the name 'Shinola' in 2001). Bedrock is also the parent company of the Seinfeld-era, 1990s watch company, Fossil.

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In term of the brand's typographic voice, it is the beautifully proportioned Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium Condensed caps. (Never new Akzidenz had a great condensed caps?!)

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Interestingly, the medium is just right, while the ‘R’ and ‘S’ of the regular and bold, are less Shinola.

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Of course there is an audio division now.

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And and old fave NYT ad from around the time of the iWatch launch.

Jeff Glendenning