The sports memorabilia industry can be intimidating. On the merchandise side some categories are plagued by forgery rates of up to 80%. On the signing events side, athletes are often exploited leading to a stressful environment for both the fan and athlete. True Autographs aims to create a beacon of trust in an industry where doubt is kind — through stringent verification standards, honest contracts, and genuine care for all parties involved. We were contacted to develop a visual identity that would convey these values.
While these values are paramount, we also had to considered the tastes and symbols important to True Autograph's key demographics. Our research showed an important division in audience in two key areas young/old and emotional/investment collectors.
The final requirement came from True Autographs' two-fold business model: selling merchandise and negotiating with celebrity agents. This meant the branding needed two very clear voices while sharing a common logo.
Our resulting design brief required us to balance a "golden days" symbol with modern aesthetics, speak to authority while remaining approachable, and easily be spun into two distinct sub-brands.
The result is a logomark and color palette that both harkens back to vintage lettering with design elements from modern brands.
The next step was to develop True Autograph's eCommerce platform. The client wanted to maintain their existing Shopify store, but to extend its abilities and aesthetic. We chose to use Next.js + Shopify Storefront API to allow for a fully custom and extendable frontend. Additionally, we used Sanity CMS to allow for fine-grain control over page structure and content.