ON3P Skis is a small handmade ski brand based out of Portland, Oregon. The brand focuses on no-frills craftsmanship, with the primary focus being on the selection of materials based on durability and quality.
Founded by Scott Andrus in Tacoma, Washington, in a garage in 2005, ON3P has since expanded into an 8000 square foot factory in NE Portland. Although the location and production numbers have changed, the construction and focus on durability haven’t. The idea to press a small number of skis for himself and his friends was nearly two years old by the time the first pair of skis came out of the press. Based on the standards of quality control that the skis are put up against today, the first pairs were rough. But, they didn’t fall apart. Better yet: they skied well. After two years, the first pair of skis was validation enough to keep going.
The factory is staffed by a small crew of skiers. None of them were business majors. They aren’t a marketing team that sells product with a logo on it that they have built for them in China, like most of the rest of the ski industry. ON3P believes that in order to call it their product, they have to build it themselves.
The targeted market for the skis does not fall between a specific age range, income level, or region of the country; instead, it can be defined very simply. The targeted market is those people, man or woman, who would define themselves in some way as “skiers”. It is a part of the person they consider themselves to be. ON3P does not build skis that are for the rental audience, nor for the once-a-winter recreational skier. They build skis for people who dwell in the mountains, even when they can only be there in spirit.
The logo needed to be simple – a touchstone test was the ease of “drawing the logo in the margins of your textbook / homework / meeting agenda”.
A lot of visual equity had been established with the ‘3’ logo that was being used before the branding effort was ever made, which was unfortunately nothing more than the stock numeral from the free typeface “freshbot”. Those shapes were taken into consideration while developing the new symbol.
The three shapes are placed at 60 degrees, with the curves and points reminiscent of a ridgeline and series of peaks where the skis might be used. The outline of the symbol references the framing of a photograph, with the diagonal shapes represented as negative space within that frame.
The logotype is based on Klavika. Several letterforms had to be redrawn in order to create a harmony between the logotype and the symbol.
Because of the heavy focus on the art created for the topsheets of the skis themselves, the brand guidelines were created to be extremely simple. The type and other branding would “frame” and therefore help to justify the complex and noisy graphics. Additionally, all type and paper choices were made while considering ON3P’s straightforward approach to their product, factory, and business. The nature of the typefaces, as well as the layout and setting considerations remind of the utilitarian graphics of industrial America.
Klavika was chosen as the typeface that would be used for headlines and important text. DIN was chosen for body text. The business cards, letterhead, and envelopes are printed on French papers. A combination of offset and stamping was used for printing the stationary package.