Mantra is a buy-one give-one eyewear social enterprise. We are launching in China soon with a line of fashionable sunglasses, and will move on to optical glasses and potentially other goods in the future.
The founders of Mantra started by founding a vision non-profit in China (visit our site at eis.vision) giving free vision screenings, eyeglasses and vision education to students in rural Yunnan. Mantra is being created as a separate project to help the non-profit accomplish its mission of providing glasses for every needy student in China. For every pair of glasses we sell to our urban, middle-class customers in China, we will donate a pair through our non-profit. Mantra will help the non-profit scale in a stable and sustainable way. Now, we are looking not just to help our non-profit, but also to impact all Chinese customers to shop and dress in a way that is both fashionable and socially responsible.
Our design inspiration comes from our non-profit work in Yunnan, China. Yunnan province is a beautiful part of China, with lots of diverse culture, food, clothing, colors, animal life, terrain, etc. (see our pinterest boards below). We draw the design inspiration for our glasses and our colors from the people (especially the ethnic minorities) of Yunnan and their high-contrast, boldly-colored fabrics.
Mantra is a social enterprise, but we are not a non-profit. Mantra is going to be cool, chic, and hip. Our mission is to make giving back and socially conscious consumption a trend in China. For this, we don't want to be seen as a charity, but rather a trendy fashion business with a social mission. The idea is that it is cool to be socially responsible and a good person.
Our target customer is in a top Chinese city like Beijing or Shanghai. They probably studied or traveled abroad, and have a cosmopolitan view of the world. They are passionate people excited about making a difference in the world. They are frustrated that there are not more opportunities to make a difference in the world today. They are 18-30, went to a good school, have at least some disposable income and a decent office job. They are not necessarily wealthy, but they are upwardly mobile.
The name Mantra:
At Mantra, we have a simple "mantra" of our own - Look good, do good. This drives us and centers us every day - give our customers product that will make them look awesome, and create benefit in the world with everything we do. We also want our customers to be mission-driven, purposeful people who have values and want to make the world a better place. So Mantra is all about doing things with meaning, with purpose, with altruism, and for the benefit of humanity and the world.
Bullet points for logo design:
1) We want something modern, clean, and fashionable. Relatively minimalistic. We do NOT want something that looks like a yoga studio, organic food store, amulet seller, etc. We do NOT want to play to the eastern religious connotation of "Mantra", but rather want a modern interpretation of altruism and personal mission. No peace signs, ohms, big cursive fonts, etc. Very important!
2) Also, we're looking to strike a balance between fun/youthful and serious/chic. Interpret this how you will. But I'd recommend against being too cartoonish or cutesy, or going too far the other direction and being overly dry and formal. Try to strike a balance.
3) We will be putting the logo on the temple of glasses, so there needs to be something that will transition well to the small canvas that a glasses leg allows us. It doesn't need to be super simple, though, but probably not extremely elaborate either.
4) We are selling glasses, but we plan to expand to other products. Do not make the logo look like a pair of glasses or resemble eyes unless you really really think you have a good idea.
5) Do we need a separate image for our logo, or is just the name "Mantra" done in a special typeface okay? (Zara or H&M: just typeface; Nike: Logo + typeface). Use your judgment, we are open to either option!
6) Please check out these Pinterest boards!
Colors we like: https://www.pinterest.com/samwaldo/…olor-hunt/
Style we like: https://www.pinterest.com/samwaldo/mantra-style/
7) Please BE CREATIVE! Go crazy, we don't have any set idea of what this will look like. In this brief, I've tried to describe the essence of our brand, but pretty much anything goes in terms of the actual design of our logo.
Thanks so much for reading, and we really look forward to seeing your designs!!