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Dow walks a tight line in Columbine redesign

Dow walks a tight line in Columbine redesign

While it won’t help fix the most annoying part about hosiery—indiscriminate holes appearing all over the place—Columbine has farewelled its more than 20-year-old look and opted for a visual makeover in a bid to “modernise the Columbine image”.

Columbine managing director, Alistair Thorpe, says a rebrand "was overdue" because the company had carried the same look since 1989. He says the inspiration came from the pride in being Kiwi made (headquartered in Gisborne, Columbine is the only remaining New Zealand based hosiery manufacturer) and from the modern designs he’d seen in Europe.

“I wanted something that was individual but also contemporary.” 

Dow Design is behind the new logo and branding, which appears to be bolder than its predecessor's more subtle offering, though Columbine's traditional black and gold colours are retained. The block logo and imagery is something Dow says helps create brand cohesion across the range for the mainstream market. 

“Although a trusted brand, Columbine lacked the personality needed to properly stand-out and attract the attention of younger shoppers,” says creative director at Dow Design, Donna McCort. 

In describing the new look, Dow says: 

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. 

A rather slim and attractive model has also been splashed on the front of the packaging—all of her, not just the legs, and not fully clothed either. All of this helps make stocking all the more sexy, in an unassuming kind of way, according to Dow’s senior designer on the project, Hannah Gordon.

“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.”

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