When Bram Kanstein & Bas Prass wanted a brand, the two Dutch entrepreneurs reached out to their global network of connections. Foremost came into the mix as a creative collective that could move with the two at pace to launch their new venture. Based in based in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Off The Record is an agency for startups, corporates and investors, aimed to help them build, launch and grow their product. They’re a new type of agency, specialising in Product Development, Go-to-market strategy, Growth Hacking, Public Relations, Customer Development, Community Building, & Old school marketing. Foremost was able to craft a brand to present Off the Record as a secret weapon for startup founders and businesses alike.
The Off the Record brand features an array of elements that all speak to the secretive and confidential aspects of the agency’s work. For brand research, we delved into public archives of redacted documents, gritty video streams, and blurry, pixelated photographs. Through the mix we found a way to balance cleanliness and minimalism with the gritty reality of behind-closed-doors information.
The word mark for the brand is stark and bold, resembling redactions and censorship bars from confidential documents and early popular media.
After creating the word mark, we put together a public guerilla marketing strategy that would get people talking about the brand immediately. Stickers were created with different redaction messages across them in the word mark’s visual style, and then placed on newspapers, ads, and magazines around our space.
We created a unique set of icons for OTR to use in documents, graphics, and as a pattern for various applications. The icons were based around the theme of confidentiality and off-record information, including parcels, folders, mysterious packages, microfilms, little black books, redacted documents, and cassette tapes.
To make the Off the Record brand truly unique, I researched different redaction methods on various documents in archives on the web. With this knowledge, I created a custom set of redaction bars that where both hand and tool-made to give the brand a more organic feel. The bars make a really interesting pattern to create high contrast imagery.
Going with the redactive theme of the brand, the business cards for OTR are redacted to leave only the pertinent contact info intact on the card.
Various colatteral was developed for the brand including shirts, presentation templates, a document stamp, and a little black book for new clients to be given on onboarding.