Jill Lang came to Matchbook with plans to open a bookstore in Los Alamos, NM. There is a lot of interesting history in Los Alamos that was really fun to work with. In the city’s center is a lab that engineers atomic bombs among other things; there is a strong connection to WWII and the Cold War era, with an emphasis on science and academia.
Jill chose the name Samizdat to tie into that history with her own progressive twist; “Samizdat” was the practice of creating and/or reproducing banned texts to distribute in the USSR, so the idea itself is revolutionary. She wanted a brand that pulled in all these elements but wasn’t overtly warlike or appropriative of Russian style or culture.
These conversations were fascinating, and we developed a brand that pulled in colors commonly associated with the Southwestern US to ground her geography, featuring a fountain pen lighting up a page with fiery ideas. The hard lines and font choice echoes the WWII lab vibe without overtly leaning into that.
After completing her branding we developed her IndieCommerce website, tying in additional imagery - this time having some fun with periodic table symbolism. With the new site, they will continue to change the world with revolutionary books.