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How Red Antler Shaped Three Breakthrough Brands

How Red Antler Shaped Three Breakthrough Brands

Brooklyn-based creative agency Red Antler helped these three startup founders hone their brands at the earliest stages:

1. Crooked Media

Problem: The former Obama staffers behind the activist podcasting collective (Pod Save America, Pod Save the People) wanted to relaunch their website last fall with a bolder brand.

Strategy: “We told them to drop ‘Media’ from their logo and just go with ‘Crooked,'” says Heyward. “What they’re doing is bigger than media.”

Solution: Red Antler developed a refined logo, with a nod to the American flag in yellow and white stripes, and colorful icons (e.g., a White House flipped upside down) that also stand out on Crooked’s “merch.”

2. Smilo

Problem: Founder Joshua Wiesman had designed baby products for other brands. He wanted his own to stand out for their scientific advantages.

Strategy: Addressing new parents, Smilo needed to project both warmth and authority, says Heyward. “We wanted to illustrate the benefits without becoming overwhelming.”

Solution: On Smilo’s e-commerce site, the Red Antler team paired sophisticated photography with a series of simple, line-drawn icons indicating when a product has, say, anti-colic qualities or is BPA-free.


Related: The Cult Brand Whisperer Behind Casper, Allbirds, and Birchbox


3. Bowery Farming

Problem: Before the vertical-farm startup could really scale, it had to get press, chefs, and buyers excited about its new way of growing produce.

Strategy: “This is high-tech produce,” says Heyward, “but it has to feel palatable and appealing.”

Solution: The lettuce-leaf logo and typography Red Antler developed has an organic quality, but is still clean and precise, says Heyward. The website includes a robust section on the science of vertical farming­–accompanied by hand-drawn, watercolor-style illustrations.