Portfolio of Eli Kahn
A contract position with the REI Co-op Brands team, conducting an audit for competitor brand responsibility efforts, concept work around what an REI pop-up store would feel like, a kick-off deck for the Spring/Summer Season of 2021, and an identity concept exploration around a potential sub-brand existing within REI.
REI Co-op Brands Contract
Brand Audit, Presentation Design, Concept Work
The Responsibility Audit
This audit broke down the concept of greenwashing within design — cataloging certain trends to watch for, language and tropes to avoid in marketing, different metrics of success for measuring brand sustainability, and points of interest regarding brand responsibility for a selection of brands.
Pop-up Concepts
This concept work imagined different points in which REI could interact with consumers with a REI Co-op Brand-specific pop-up store, between physical locations and potential activations.
Explorations of a Co-op Sub-brand
This concept work was a sprint that lasted over the course of several days at the end of my contract position. REI Co-op Brands intends to create a system for describing the full story of a Co-op product, covering the design, manufacturing origins, maintenance, repair, and eventual responsible disposal of a product. This was an exercise in naming, icon design, and working within the parameters of an overarching brand system, while still remaining differentiated.
The name “Long Haul” describes a journey. Whether it's a physical distance, or a distance in time, a long-term relationship is implied between you and the Co-op — “We're in it for the long haul”.

The accompanying subtext “Going the distance, with the Co-op” better connects the name back to the idea of REI. The challenge was how to feel utilitarian and precise, while still communicating the warmth of the Co-op. This involved leaning into REI's use of Graphik (over the warm serif REI Stuart), and embracing gritty, atmospheric crops, as well as incorporating a human touch by the use of a neutral handwriting.
For example:

A Co-op “Urban Garage”, serving as a bike shop and hub for bike-led REI Experiences.

A general Co-op brick-and-mortar store, pulling qualities from landscapes around the U.S. (similar to Glossier's iconic pop-up, but intending to spark larger discussions  about conservation.)

The potential for REI-sponsored, community-led public discussions.