DRIVEN-X-SPIRIT™ , this is the tagline for this fun Tokyo inspired NYC made apparel brand – GŌST™ (幽霊 / aka GOST GOODS). While this project is still in limited development, the majority if not all of the brand identity development is complete. The premise for this brand, was to create a streetwear brand that solely produces black and white apparel, with the core specialty in t-shirts, sweats, and caps – on occasion there will be gray-tone apparel content as well. The assignment was to create a logotype, mascot, and various uses of the end-result.
I pride myself in being an educator, and teaching my clients, fellow employees, students and interns. However, When a client or project can teach me a thing or two, it’s truly a refreshing feeling. This project taught me new things about Japanese folklore, culture, elements of their pop-culture, and more. For example, I must plead naivety when it comes to my knowledge of Japanese culture, beyond my surface knowledge… For example, I did not know that KANJI is one of their forms of a Japanese writing system, using Chinese characters — which led to a rabbit hole of the Chinese influence on Japanese culture, from writing systems to the history of Ramen, and more. I was also unaware that the Japanese version of unlucky 13, is actually 42, because the numerals when pronounced separately—shi ni (four two)—sound like the word “dying”. Yūrei is the Japanese word for ghost, and the kanji characters 幽霊 actually mean faint/dim and soul/spirit. Black cats are actually considered good luck; Spider sightings in the morning are good luck – so don’t kill it, but a spider at night is bad luck and should be killed. If you catch the glance of a crow, something bad will happen, and Shinigamis are known as supernatural spirits or even sometimes gods / demi-gods, but they are also considered as monsters, helpers, creatures of darkness, and fallen angels.
The list goes on, and it has been a non-stop consumption of new information, culture, and traditions that I was never made privy to, until this project. The end result was a delightful play and cross-blend of American and Japanese pop culture and folklore. The black and white design scheme is consistent with Japanese mourning, and American goth style; The mascot is a Shinigami developed in a Kawaii style (culture of cuteness in Japan); and the collections being developed go in depth with folklore and even the difference in meaning when it comes to good luck vs bad luck. Overall this was a true blast of a project, and now I cant wait to visit Japan more than ever.