H.D. Cleverdon

A family-run Canadian candlemaker, we created an authentic brand identity for Cleverdon that embraces their family roots and is a testament to the quality of their products, and then brought that brand to life in-store and online.

H.D. Cleverdon was a branding challenge we loved taking on. Inspired by an amazing family story, their team came to us looking to establish a brand which achieved 3 key things: It conveyed the quality of their candles, it spoke to the comfort those candles provide, and it authentically told their story.

This last point was particularly important, as the entire company was inspired by the great-grandfather of the founder, even lending his name to the brand. A loving and caring man, his life meant so much to the family, and so authenticity and depth were incredibly important from the outset.

And for us, authenticity always starts with understanding. So we listened to countless stories of who this man was, what he did for his family, and the inspiration that he gave to others. We carefully understood his life, so we could authentically bring his character and story into the brand.

The logo is then the first manifestation of how we went about achieving the 3 brand goals. A simple, clear, and honest presentation of the name, we have a mark that conveys a sense of calm and peace. Set in the Romie typeface, the logo allows H.D. Cleverdon to stand with confidence and sophistication, while remaining approachable. It communicates the craft that goes into their work, bringing associations of quality and distinction, without losing its warmth.

This typeface is then supported by Georgia, which gives the brand the ability to clearly communicate information and details, without drawing attention from Romie. It was also intentionally chosen for its suitability for screen displays because H.D. Cleverdon is an online-first, ecommerce company. So it was important for us to have a typeface specifically designed with digital in mind.

In the colours, the primary tones are black, brown, red, and white. These colours bring humility to the brand, and are also deeply tied to H.D. Cleverdon himself. He served as a padre in WWII, and so his Bible was always at his side. The browns and reds in the colour palette, therefore, take inspiration from the tactility and familiarity of how we might picture a traditional Bible.

The colours are also intentionally calming to reflect the moments of contemplation and peace that people will have when sitting with a candle. A candle is something that can de-stress and de-clutter our headspace, and our palette was carefully chosen to embody these very feelings.

In terms of messaging, the same inspirations were taken from Mr. Cleverdon to further add depth to the brand. Reflecting his character also meant borrowing some of his wit and warmth for the language we used, and this can be seen throughout the H.D. Cleverdon marketing materials. Even the product names themselves came from us poring over letters he sent to loved ones from the front lines, searching for words and phrases that allowed us to build a naming convention with real meaning.

What resulted from our process is a brand with real substance, personality, and a clear voice. Not only does it position H.D. Cleverdon as a purveyor of the highest quality candles, but it feels sincere and is a true reflection of the brand story.

With that branding now in place, and a beautifully consistent brand experience established (from the online store to the shipping packaging), we are now working with H.D. Cleverdon on a social media strategy to drive traffic to their ecommerce store, focusing on high quality photo and video content to grow their following and brand awareness.