Starting ten years ago as a project among friends and family, Poetic Collective is now one of the biggest skateboard brands in Europe with retailers all around the world.
The brands mix of street culture, classical art and Scandinavian design language has made it stand out in the skateboarding scene. With over twenty collections of skateboards and clothing released to date, the design of the products has moved through many different influences ranging from abstract expressionism to OP art and minimalism.
My role at Poetic Collective has primarily been in visual design and concept development. As one of two co-founders, I have been an active part of the entire production process from idea generation and prototyping to manufacturing and delivery.
Working with skateboarding is interesting in the sense that almost all major skateboard brands sell the exact same basic product, made in one of the few major skateboard factories around the world, meaning there is no real differentiator in terms of function. The only thing that makes one board different from the next is how it looks, and how you feel about the brand behind it. In this sense, making skateboards is purely a branding and visual design challenge.
The other big part of running a skateboarding business is video.
Just like in sports brands, a skateboard brands credibility is synonymous with the people representing it. To communicate the abilities and style of the skaters representing the brand, all skate brands make videos. These videos serve two purposes that are equally important – showing off the skills and style of the riders, and reinforcing the visual and sonic branding.
In collaboration with Moderna Museet, this video was shot in their main exhibition hall in Malmö.
Skateboarding is usually very much tied to its surroundings, the backdrop of the city and the rattling sound of the wheels against the pavement.
We wanted to see what happens if we strip away everything but the actual act of skateboarding, and put it in a space where we can highlight the expression and movement as any other artform.
The final part that any brand needs is obviously sales. While most of the industry still relies on spreadsheet-order forms for collecting orders, asking each shop or distributor to fill in product codes and amounts by hand, I wanted to create something more akin to a b2b web shop. These were our criteria:
- Show images of all the products
- Easily update the order form
- Give the customer instant cost and estimated return calculations
- Collect customer shipping and billing information at checkout
Since I could not find any solutions on the market that ticked all the boxes I decided to build my own.