May 19, 2020
Breathing life into the brand SYE [Start Your Engine]
We knew right from the start what we wanted to do with our brand and how: we wanted to ally strength and elegance, to dare to explore new types of product, to cultivate an eye for detail down to the tiniest elements, all while staying humble, honest and sincere, avoiding the typical marketing crap. Most importantly, though, we wanted to create strong sensations.
Embodying the brand : the story of an ambassadorThis vision, this identity, had to be shared in a way that was consistent, attractive, and that stood out from our future competitors. Our ideas on how to do this matured slowly at the beginning of the project before settling onto the one we wanted to keep. We would laugh at other brands that used ambassadors as part of their strategy – some of them jump unashamedly from brand to brand, constantly looking for more. The obvious answer came to us suddenly one day – or rather, one night. We needed an ambassador too. We didn’t want to do it like other brands, though – we wanted to create our own! Our ambassador would embody our brand with its values, its physical characteristics and its story. As we drew it, we would also be drawing the whole universe of the SYE brand.
A long questThe hunt for the artist who would draw our brand was long and frustrating. We needed the style to match perfectly with the brand’s DNA, but it also had to be immediately recognizable. Many months and artists passed by, but we never managed to hit the jackpot.
Comic worldI widened my net to the US, a comic culture par excellence. At the start of the project, I had come across some sketches for a future film-to-comic adaptation of John Wick. The style, lines and expressions in the sketches were amazingly close to what I had in mind, but it was impossible to get even a hint of a name for the artists working on the project. I retried almost a year later and this time, fortunately, FINALLY, I landed on a name: Giovanni Valletta. I emailed him straight away to tell him about SYE and what we wanted to create – in no time at all, he was in!
Giovanni VallettaGiovanni is a complete comic artist. Trained by the best, he first shot to success with PS Magazine, a US army comic, where he sharpened his pencils faithfully reproducing US army vehicles. After graduating from The Kubert School for cartoons and graphic art in New Jersey, Giovanni became part of the teaching staff. Alongside this, Giovanni collaborates widely with other big comic names – he has been published by Marvel with the X-Men Blue & Gold series and has worked with Dynamite on many different projects, including the John Wick adaptation.
More to come
I promise I’ll tell you more in a few days about how the SYE universe was created, but, in the meantime, you should definitely check out Giovanni Valletta’s Instagram so you can admire some of his other work.