We are seeking new designs for our belts. This contest is highly likely to have more than one winner -- and we will pay $179 for every design we like and decide to use! We encourage you to submit several concepts.
>>OUR TARGET AUDIENCE: A PREPPY, MASCULINE, OUTDOOR ACTIVE MAN
There is a large, affluent customer base that wants practical, waterproof, yet fashionable belts for outdoor activities such as fly-fishing, hunting, and sailing – but such belts are hard to find.
Premium belts (needlepoint, leather, etc) aren’t practical for such purposes, especially water-related activities, and fabric belt companies (e.g.; Thomas Bates) typically have unfashionable, clip art-type designs.
Picture a preppy, well dressed, masculine, outdoor-oriented, 35-year old guy. He was in a fraternity during college. You can find him at the local country club.
>>OUR INDUSTRY & COMPETITORS
The high end of the men's belt market is occupied by the preppy companies, such as Smathers & Branson, Tucker Blair, and Vineyard Vines. They make great products, but the products are made of more expensive materials that are impractical for true outdoor activities. For example, they are not waterproof.
The low end of the market is the commondity polyester strap belts which are of no interest to our demographic.
The middle market is made up of companies like Thomas Bates, who use more functional fabrics but lack the attractive designs of the high players.
We play in the middle, combining great designs from the high end with the functional fabrics of the low and middle markets.
>>VALUES AND FEELINGS THE DESIGNS NEED TO COMMUNICATE
* Outdoor Active – Love to fly-fish, golf, sail, quail hunt, play lacrosse; tan skin; resorts and beaches
* Preppy, but not Pretty Boy – Sharp dressed; uniquely individual; professional; great taste; country club lifestyle
* Good Times – Cocktail in hand; life of the party; football tailgates; garden parties
* Practical – Great materials; durable; well made; comfortable
The brand straddles the line between “manly” and “preppy” – We don’t want to be too cute (like many of the patterns on Smathers & Branson) but we want to represent sharp style.
>>COLORS WE LIKE
(Note: most fabric straps are black but the printing process can effectively cover the entire strap, making a black strap whatever you like.)
Aim for conservative background strap colors. When our target audience goes to his belt drawer, he wants something that is unique yet masculine. Navy blue, burgancy, or hunter green are safe bets for the background colors.
For the designs on the strap, feel free to propose simple designs or detailed illustrations with many colors. The printing process can usually represent those well.
>>SPECIFIC IDEAS & IMAGERY WE WANT TO SEE
We want your designs to be specific images that convey one of the themes below, placed on a strap in a repeating manner for every 3-7".
You may choose to submit one, several, or all of the following themes (we're looking for all of these):
* Bobwhite quail hunting (with pointers)
* Pheasant hunting (with hunters, drinks)
* Dove hunting (khaki, lt olive green strap color)
* Trout flies (fly fishing)
* Trout grand slam (rainbow, brown, cutthroat)
* Saltwater flies (fly fishing)
* Saltwater grand slam (tarpon, bonefish, permit)
* Flats boat/poling skiff
* Yellowfin Tuna
* Offshore fishing boat
* Nautical flags
* Ship Anchor
* Racing Sailboats
* Jolly Roger (fun style)
* American Flags/Patriotic
* Martinis and Cocktails
* Mud flap ladies
>>EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE LIKE AND DON'T LIKE
We like several of the design concepts from Smathers & Branson, although some are a little too preppy for us:
Similarly, Tucker & Blair has been inspired by some of those designs:
(Note: These two companies produce needlepoint belts, which is a slightly different look than our intention.)
We don't like most of the designs we see at Thomas Bates, although some of the simplest ones are acceptable. Most of them look like clip art (ugly or too simplistic; low personality or style)
-- or, they're too detailed and not cool enough.
>>WHAT WE WILL NEED FROM YOU
For evaluation, please create a JPG of your belt design that shows 3 repeats of the design concept. Look at the competitors' links above to get a sense for overall spacing.
Upon award, we require an EPS file with colors and details specified.