Masha Kontchakova & Emma Brante,
Creative directors & founders at Frontline Studio
La Chambre entrusted Emma et Masha with the creation of their global branding. The both worked closely on storytelling, visual identity, web design and photography to position the brand in a competitive e-commerce market.
Alison and Ian came to us with an idea for an e-commerce business that wanted to offer an excellent quality sheets at affordable prices. The original slogan was even considered: “Why should we wait for the sales?
It was our first e-commerce brand and also the first brand that has being created with us. It was very exciting to work from scratch on a concept that is very defined and rooted in French culture. We proposed from the start to change the initial brand name that we found too complicated and came up with a simple name with a very direct connotation, which is La Chambre (room in French). This word had the advantage of being easily remembered and above all opened a very wide field for communication. That was our starting point.
It was an 8-handed collaboration. I don’t think we’ve ever had so much coffee with a client! We see each other 2-3 times a week. It was intense and creative.
Also, we love working with foreigners as we are of foreign origin ourselves. Alison is American, Ian – British, we like this mix of cultural references.
Alison and Ian wanted a very French brand, rooted in French culture, with the idea of one day exporting it abroad. So our inspiration was France. We wanted to bring a vintage feel to the French countryside, so we immersed ourselves in the textiles of our grandmothers: the linen cloths with red lines, cross-stitching red lines, ribbons, buttons, stamps…
All of this is transcribed today in a rich graphic universe: the main logo with its characteristic red line, which recalls the linen towels but also the Hausmanian mouldings. This red line has become a leitmotif that runs through the entire graphic universe.
The second complementary logo is drawn more like a button with the points in a cross. And the design of the labels is conceived as a stamp that would be affixed directly to the fabric, as it was done at the time in laundries and dry cleaners.
Photography was very important in this project, because the only sales channel for the brand is the web. It was necessary through the screen not only to attract but also to make people feel the material, its quality and its texture.
We had two directions – the first was to immerse the customer directly in the bed! We worked on the sleek, nonchalant yet sophisticated design and the natural light which gave the beautiful part to the material. We also chose the timeless environment – contemporary but devoid of any reference. This allowed the client to easily project themselves and imagine these sheets in their own home.
The second direction was the inspiration of the Nabi and French painters of the late nineteenth century, such as Bonnard, Vallotton, Toulouse-Lautrec who painted the interiors and the everyday environment. This gave rise to some photos and especially a communication axis for social networks.
In addition to inspiration photos, there is also the challenge of presenting the products themselves. We worked on the artistic direction of the packshots. How do you “package pack well”? We relied on a very rigorous and graphic presentation that which allows us to play with lines and colors.
At Frontline Studio we believe that the more digital we become, the more relationship with the customer must be personalized and meticulous. That’s why we put a lot of emphasis on the moment the customer receives the sheets: the packaging, the little card, the bags that protect the sheets, all these elements create a mini event and delight the customer. It’s in moments like this that the relationship of affection is created with the brand.
We tried to create an identity that was as rich as possible by injecting several ideas and several cultural references.
It’s an identity that confirms people’s image of a quality product with traditional French charm.