“If Your Voice is a Knife, it Had Better Be Sharp.” Rico Lavender

We want to introduce the community to our friend, Rico Lavender!

Rico is a designer of minimalist watches and owner of his own personal brand. Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Rico’s passion is making products that support the styles of client. Rico came to our studio earlier last year with a very specific request: he wanted a voice for his brand. Rico felt that his current voice wasn’t communicating the heart of his message, so he reached out to us for help.

As we worked with Rico, we quickly became fascinated with how powerful his mission is. Rico wants his brand to be minimalist so that it doesn’t take over someone’s individual look; he wants to embody a supporting role.

Minimalism isn’t a new concept in the fashion industry. You’ll find (quite easily) other minimalist watch brands out there. What’s different about Rico Lavender is the way he uses minimalism in his designs. To many people, minimalism is a category for design. It’s a style. For Rico, however, minimalism is a standard. He chooses minimalist design as a way to ensure his brand doesn’t encompass his clients’ individual styles. Rather than seeking to create something that’s humble, Rico is humble in the process of designing. That doesn’t mean his voice isn’t powerful, however.

His vision to build a brand that supports individuals’ styles, rather than dictating them, is both inspiring and challenging to embody. This is in no small part due to how different his voice sounds. As we looked at his voice we realized that it had the potential to be a knife cutting through the clutter of his industry and offering his clients a different story. Our job then became taking that knife and making it as sharp as possible.

If you go and read something from Rico, ironically, you’ll find his voice doesn’t come off as very aggressive. He doesn’t sound edgy and he definitely doesn’t make punchy statements. Even so, his voice is very direct. Rico mission is full of passion, so we worked to bring that out in his voice guidelines. We felt that was extremely important, because a brand voice is at its best when it is speaking directly to the passion behind it. We were eventually inspired to write a piece about Rico Lavender, because we realized that there are many brands out there that have the potential to be knives- cutting through the clutter of their industry.

Sometimes it is more important to tell people why you do something, than simply what it is that you do. Rico realized that his voice wouldn’t "cut it" in his cluttered industry, so he set out on a mission to develop a voice that would. Like most the branding we do for our clients, we were simply bringing out what was already there.

We always have the option to start from scratch; starting from the beginning means you’ll have complete freedom to craft whatever you like. A voice that echoes the heart is always more powerful than one that doesn’t. Because of this, we encourage our clients to ask themselves what their voice sounds like. You may have a voice that likewise cuts through the clutter. And if like Rico Lavender, your voice is a knife, it had better be sharp.