Art that Works to a Tee – Serengetee

FB ImageHow could an elephant logo lead to positive change for the lives of hundreds of artists around the world? An organization started by two college students, Serengetee has used the elephant as a symbol for their company that uses fabric to unite artists around the globe with people in America interested in their work and in making a difference in their lives. These few college students have succeeded in transforming an idea into a popular company through clever marketing tactics that involve a tee-rrific logo.

Serengetee began in February of 2012 when American students Jeff and Ryan met on ‘Semester at Sea’. Their travels to countries in three different continents abroad allowed them to explore markets and collect fabrics. Soon, their collection of fabrics inspired them to start their own company and become “the first brand centered around fabric”. Jeff and Ryan had no fashion experience and limited resources at first, meaning they started creating t-shirts and shipping them from their dorm room.

These guys had an interest in starting a business and in sharing pieces of global fabric with people back in America, but the cause behind Serengetee always existed as the driving factor behind the effort. Not only has the purchase of fabrics from over 25 countries support the artisans and their families but the company gives back 10% of its profits to improve the lives of communities. They have a company statement to:

“Wear the world. Change the world.”

What began as pocket tees, with the pocket being the artisan made fabric, has now expanded into other apparel and accessories including hats and bags. On the product page for every item, Serengetee’s website provides information about the fabric and the cause being helped in every piece of merchandise. This attribute stands out as unique for an apparel company and allows consumers to be informed about the benefits behind their purchases or even decide on their purchases based on a cause or country that most speak to them.

Without having a physical storefront location, Serengetee relies on their website traffic for sales, making their use of digital design and a smart logo especially important. Serengetee has achieved this objective by creating a visual that captures both the global focus of the company and its original product. The elephant implies the global reach of this company but the size and shape of the elephant’s ears to resemble a tee shirt allows the icon to also denote the product. Vertical stripes moving naturally across the icon also separate the shape into pieces, referencing the incorporation of a piece of global artisan fabric in the apparel. The spelling of the organization’s name that appears as part of the log also cunningly blends the global focus with the product by spelling “Serengeti” as ending in the word “tee”.

Serengetee has also created a logo that works well when transferred into different colors and patterns, important for a company that focuses on colors and patterns in its products. Today, the Serengetee logo appears in black and white on its website and across its social media platforms but in 2015, their logo often appeared in a variety of colors, shown below.

Looking at expert advice for logo creation, specifically for clothing apparel organizations, further highlights the success of Serengetee’s logo. The logo creation company, Logaster, has a blog post, titled “How to Create a Clothing Logo: Guidelines and Tips” where it defines what makes a clothing logo effective. This blog post emphasizes a logo’s act in communicating a message to a client, which for a clothing company implies quality and price and other attributes like style and durability. Logaster gives the advice to “make sure to consider the interests and expectations of your target audience. For example, a merry and bright logo is a great idea for a children’s clothing store”.

As mentioned earlier, Serengetee used to use a colorful logo but has recently traded in their colors for a simple black and white logo.

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Serengetee heavily relies on their target audience, not only for purchases, but in representing their brand on social media. The company operates a representative program where any high school or college student can apply and by marketing for the company, earn their own perks like discounts and prizes. Therefore, it makes sense for Serengetee to use a logo design with a contemporary style that millennials have come to expect. The variety of colors available in the products make themselves evident throughout the entire website and do not need to be expressed in the company logo. Additionally, this logo’s look with clean lines and a san-serif font portray affordable high quality apparel.

In countries all around the world, artists try to sell their art to make a living. Serengetee has recognized this need as well a desire of American millennials to wear global fabrics and has created a company that delivers on its promises to consumers while providing for artists. With apparel as simple as pocket tees, Serengetee has taken the needs of global artists seriously and used design to make a difference.

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