Petit Phoque (Little Seal) is a French-Canadian-based clothing brand that plays on the word 'phoque' which is French for 'seal' but also happens to sound almost exactly like a very different word in English. We were tasked with creating their brand and designing their website but there was a catch. The client specifically wanted the site designed on Shopify using the Debut theme with minimal modifications. This forced us to stretch our creative capabilities.
The client had a very specific website in mind which would be optimal to convert his clientele based on substantial primary research. It was our job to turn the overtly bland 'Debut' theme by Shopify into something that would play to the hearts of the fun-loving audience that would be buying their cheeky merchandise.
The brief covered two major parts of the project. The first part involved creating the Petit Phoque brand. The client wanted something fun, light, playful, but also clean and fashionable. We were given full creative autonomy for this aspect of the project. The website was a whole different story. The client would be running and maintaining the site himself and required specific Shopify plugins to run his business. Furthermore, the client had already invested in a split testing process and found that Shopify's 'Debut' theme would be optimal for selling to his particular target market. This meant we could not use our usual web-building methods and would be limited in the experience that we could provide for the client's budget.
This was the fun part of the project. After playing with a handful of concepts and browsing some memes on the internet for inspiration, we arrived at what the client and our designer Luke believed to be the perfect outcome.
The brand idea fits far too well into meme culture to not take advantage of the viral trends potential. We decided this approach was fitting because the products would be marketed exclusively online via social media which is a breeding ground for viral marketing.
The French and English haven't always been best of friends but it was our job to make sure either language speaker could have a fluid and seamless experience with Petit Phoque. Primarily targeting the French Canadian market who speak both languages made it imperative that this experience worked without a hitch.
The only problem is, none of our team speak French. Our designer Luke fortunately had a trick up his sleeve. Using an advanced AI translation system, he was able to incorporate a function on the site to instantly and accurately translate the entire site and all 200 of its products. Paired with some minor manual tweaking, this worked like a charm.
Petit Phoque cannot take itself seriously. The casual, hand-written aesthetic was chosen for the clothing prints. Luke, our designer, simply wrote the print on a tablet and vectorised it to create what has now been printed on the majority of Petit Phoque items.
The client wanted the logo to have a neutral colour scheme as the clothing itself was to include almost every conceivable colour. This meant that the overall brand colour scheme had to be the entire rainbow. Instead of shying away from this concept, we embraced the idea of a bold, many-coloured branding scheme and turned it into a 'pick your flavour' experience.
Two-hundred-and-two. That is how many Mockups our designer Luke had to create for this brand. It may seem as though the website and branding process may have been the bulk of the work for this project, but that couldn't be further from the truth. As Petit Phoque is a print-on-demand business, no stock is required to sell the items on the site. This also means that there is no stock to shoot for content. It was deemed much cheaper and quicker to simply mock up every single item available on the site...and boy did we deliver.
When it comes to ecommerce, simplicity beats intricacy almost every time. The less distractions a prospective buyer has, the more likely they will be to complete the transaction. The goal of an ecommerce site is to hold the customer's hand through the shortest and most expedient route to the 'Thank You For Your Purchase' page whilst also providing a pleasant and enjoyable journey. It's like being the concierge at a fancy hotel. You need to get guests to their rooms as quickly as possible without making them feel rushed. With that in mind, our goal for this site was to deliver a simple but attractive ecommerce experience wrapped in lovable branding and products.
See the end result at petitphoque.com.