Luxury brands have a sense of prestige and status that accompanies them no matter their product. Given a luxury product, the brand should create desire through its touchpoints.
I was tasked with creating a luxury brand design around fountain pens.
Fountain pens are known for their more refined style of writing, being used primarily for calligraphy to create differing stroke weights in letter forms. However, this makes them a niche item rather than a unique luxury experience. Defining a trait that makes these specific fountain pens unique is a must to achieve that luxurious uniqueness.
Because it's a niche item targeted towards hobbyists and professionals in calligraphy, the fountain pen needs to be brought to a place where those seeking luxury items see it as a necessity.
Forming the Idea
Identifying Users
Creating something of status and luxury requires identifying who would interact with a luxury fountain pen brand. I identified this user as a high-ranking businessperson as well as some qualifying characteristics.
Competitive Audit
To create something truly unique, I need to identify what I am differentiating from by analyzing other fountain pen brands as well as other luxury brands, since both industries will have an affect on the brand I create.
Logos feature a range of fountain pens from mass produced and accessible pens to limited stock luxury fountain pens.
Secondary Research
I also used secondary research to get information on the language and environment surrounding fountain pens to use in the branding as well as image boards to gain an idea of the visuals associated with fountain pens.
This helped me brainstorm names and brand marks for the brand, and finally landed on the name "Reservoir".
Image board of fountain pens and possible packaging ideas.
Image board of fountain pens and possible packaging ideas.
Secondary research results and name brainstorming.
Secondary research results and name brainstorming.
Logo idea brainstorming.
Logo idea brainstorming.
Gap Analysis
Part of my audit and research led into a gap analysis, which helped me identify opportunities in the market.
Of the few opportunities I identified, a slim and retractable fountain pen jumped out as a unique and luxurious solution.
Developing Brand Values
Using the user archetype, in addition to the data derived from the competitive audit and secondary research surrounding fountain pens and luxury brands, I developed the values of the brand.
Using these values, I was able to develop three key statements to the brand.
Mission Statement:
We craft personal brand extensions to allow you to create your unique mark.

Vision Statement:
With our fountain pens, we will symbolize status and class for all of America's top executives.

Value Statement:
Our hand-crafted and personalized fountain pens will serve as unique extensions of your brand
and a symbol of your achievement.

Refining the Idea
Brand Mark Development
To ensure I was on the right track with the brand mark, I went through critiques with my fellow designers to identify weaknesses in the brand mark's achievement of the goals I set as well as it's relevancy to luxury branding.
Achieving Goals
One of the other issues I ran into when surveying potential users was a lack of interest in the product.
Going back to my user archetypes, I wanted to target their value of status more to make the product more desirable, as well as move closer to my goals for uniqueness. In doing so, the product became custom-crafted fountain pens.
The Execution
Visual Identity
The visual element of the nib added to connect with the product.
In addition, a sturdier and more refined typeface, Future Classic, was used, which has strong stroke contrast while maintaining the modern and professionalism of the sans serif. This was paired with a simpler, complementary sans serif called Brandon Grotesque.
Includes examples of color strategy, tone of voice, and type strategy.
Each pen is unique to each client. While it is not required, most pens feature an element of Reservoir blue as an accent or primary color in addition to the engraved logo on the nib.
The symbol of status Reservoir fountain pens provide creates the desire for their users to obtain their product.
Each part of the packaging features the brand mark to identify it as a Reservoir package.
The individual pen packaging also features a functional pen holder that is meant to hold the pen on the desk, putting the user's pen on display as an extension of their brand.

The promotional video helps create desire for Reservoir's product as well as create an atmosphere and mood Reservoir wants. It helps to illustrate the values of being personal, unique, and hand-crafted.
Billboards placed in high-traffic, commercial areas will reach the most of the user archetype's eyes. All advertisements must feature the main draw of the brand: the product.
Shonda Rhimes, a popular screenwriter, works as the perfect spokesperson and brand advocate for Reservoir as a high-profile writer. She embodies the status-driven and frequent writer aspects of the user archetype.
Website does not feature any store pages or places to create and purchase a custom pen, as this does not coincide with the brand's value of being personal. Instead, it has a consultations page where users can sign up to have an in-person meeting at any nearby physical location.
The interior features textured walls simulating pen marks, and has multiple consultation rooms for a private and personal experience. These rooms are where users are able to customize and create their unique brand extensions. Employees, like the physical space, are branded with the Reservoir color strategy.
Next Steps
Brand Expansion
While the branding and messaging for the main product of Reservoir is strong, there do need to be supplementary products provided. Things such as pen cleaners, new/custom cases and stands, oil wells for users that opt for a pen without a tank, and other touchpoints would fill out the user experience with the brand even more.
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