Project: Top Down Visual Identity
Client: Top Down
Capacity: Personal Project
Role: Visual Identity & Branding Design
Top Down is a dream company for Keara Fenzel. They craft a hard seltzer for women in their late 20’s who enjoy sipping their drinks by a fire pit, on the beach, or at happy hour after a long day of work. Top Down prides itself on unique, complex flavors in a light, effervescent drink. Its for women who enjoy both lounging at craft cocktail bars as well as exploring adventures outdoors.
“Top Down is about the feeling when you’re driving in a convertible, blasting music with your friends, and loving life. We want to bottle that feeling.”
Design a strong visual identity and logo to showcase Top Down’s mission statement, appeal to their target market, and stand apart from competitors.
Brand Definition Research:
I conducted an interview to understand the target audience and voice. This created an objective road map to filter all future branding decisions through.
"Life should be bubbly, sunny, and fun"
"When everyone is stuck inside, we’re missing that outside, summertime freedom"
"more sophisticated, complex seltzer for more mature palettes"
"We make hard seltzer that helps you find that sunshine feeling no matter the weather"
- Millennials (25-35)
- Hip & Sophisticated
- Adventurous/Go Getter
- Feminine but Strong
- Jovial & Free
- Sophisticated & Elegant (not
- Mature Palette
- Worry Free
From this, a brand story emerged.
Brand Story: Top Down provides a elevated, carefree experience for social, adventurous young women in a warm atmosphere, leaving them feeling relaxed and jovial.
These adjectives created a clear path for Top Down’s creative tone: Carefree Sophistication
I created a mood board of images I felt reflected this creative tone to reference during my design process.
Through sketching I drafted over 150 logo options and narrowed it down to my top favorites. I focused on creating sleek lines and minimalist visuals as well as the idea of a convertible with its “top down” driving into warm sunset. These decisions captured the carefree, warm, summery feeling while also adding sophistication.
I explored different typefaces searching for a good pair of modern and clean, and artistic/feminine with just enough character.
I presented some low fidelity mock-ups (below) of the top four logos I created to the client to garner any feedback. The third had the most potential, so I moved forward with the design and made some tweaks.
I then created a basic style guide for future reference.
I designed the product packaging. I chose a sleek glass bottle to convey sophistication as well as making it stand apart from its canned hard seltzer competitors. I implemented vintage elements like sketchy visuals and thin lines, to draw in the elevated, “craft-cocktail bar” feel, but kept the colors light, feminine, and relaxed. The following is the completed brand and logo design for Top Down.
Overall, I was very happy with this visual identity project. It was able to capture the creative tone of "carefree sophistication", form a strong brand identity, and translate that into physical projects and the digital space of social media. One aspect I took away from this project is the importance of logo form. Going forward for future projects I will take in to account creating a logo that could work on a broader scale of applications and sizes instead of having to create alternate logos for those applications.