Behind the scenes of our brand

This is a behind-the-scenes moment about our backstory and brand.

Most of you won't know that this is Spinner and Yarn 2.0.

Back in 2020, there was a 1.0. Relaunching Spinner and Yarn gave us the opportunity to tinker with our own brand. Here is how we went about it.

Our brand persona.

We used the Jungian archetypes to decide our own brand personality. It is based on Jung’s identification of twelve universal archetypes that exist in our collective conscience. The reason this works well when branding a company, is that it helps people to get an instant impression of who you are, because it taps into a rich vocabulary of shared, societal ideas. For example, Nike is known for embodying “The Hero”. Diesel is known as a “Rebel” brand.

I went into depth on Jungian archetypes with our original Spinner and Yarn podcast. It’s a few years old, but it explains the twelve different archetypes in more detail. Have a listen! (The branding here is from our first Spinner and Yarn.)

Here is a sheet that explains the 12 Jungian archetypes, if you'd like to use it for your own brand. What is your personal brand?

Our Spinner and Yarn brand is a mix of “Rebel” and “Caregiver”. We are purposely provocative. We help brands to differentiate themselves by taking a stand against “business as usual” in their vertical, but we also care deeply about all the people involved.

Our values

In short, our three values are dignity, intentionality, and truthfulness. It guides our decisions, our work, and our relationships. We didn’t choose these values flippantly. I’d like to tell you a bit more about it.

They stem from the three cultures we have lived in; Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. 

From Germany, we learned the value of article 1(1) of the Grundgesetz, “Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar.” Translated, it means that the value of every human being is inviolable. This value guides us to value humans over goals, processes, or money.

From South Africa, we hold to a phrase from D.J. Opperman’s Afrikaans poem, “Negester en stedelig”. The phrase reads, “Voorlopig dan, maar onthou altyd, aan jou dade grens ‘n ewigheid.” In English, “Until then, remember always, every deed rings into eternity.” It is meaningful to me, because my father had a bronze plaque on the wall of his orthopaedic practice. His life was true to this mantra until the very end.

From the UK, we value the statement by George Orwell, “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Our logo

We chose the galaxy as our logo, because it represents the idea of ever-expanding growth seen throughout the cosmos. The whole universe came into being from a single, unimaginably hot and dense singularity. Our goal is to facilitate expansion and growth for brands, companies, and products.

Our font

We use only one font, Barlow. It is a sans serif font without frills, standing tall. It is simple and easy to read, without small strokes and extensions. The font expresses how we view ourselves. We aim to bring clarity. No frills. No fancies.  

Our colours

A few years ago, when we launched the first version of Spinner and Yarn, we were bright and colourful. We chose ice-cream colours, to represent the refreshing nature of differentiated messaging. 

With this relaunch of Spinner and Yarn, we toned down the colour and went with charcoal and white. Why? Because we understand our role as an agency is to make other brands shine, to come alongside and support their brands and products. It is a way of communicating that we are not the A-list actors. Our clients are. It also reminds us of manuscript paper used by composers to orchestrate symphonies. 

We have one accent colour. Burnt orange. You might recognise this as the original Porsche colour. This colour ties in with our “Rebel” archetype. It is disruptive and powerful. There is a backstory to our choice of this colour, #ff4500.

My father bought a 1969 Porsche 911T around the time of me obtaining my driver’s licence as a teenager. I loved this car. It was the first time a brand became a visceral experience. I remember the smell of leather and petroleum. I still hear the tappets bouncing for a few seconds as I turn the ignition key. The low bucket seats folding around my back, and of course, the growl of its acceleration. Which leads me to my next point.

Porsche 911T

The tone of our copywriting

You may have seen the classic Porsche ads from the nineties. Go and have a look.

I used to love reading these Porsche ads. The provocative headlines, the mix of facts and feelings, and their way of connecting with their ideal customers at the identity level. So, shamelessly, we aim to imitate this style of writing.

Our use of graphics

For graphics, we chose pencil sketches. It reminds us that our work is more pencil than ink, more iterative than final, and more art than authority. It also helps us to maintain the simplicity we strive for, and frankly, we just love it.

And that is how we decided on our own brand elements.