The Creative Journey
of Vân Vân
The thought process behind our branding
With the intention to build a brand rooted in Vietnamese culture, we set out to have the cultural thread seamlessly woven into Vân Vân's identity. Our team of two was on a quest as we sat down to sift through different archives and childhood memories before starting the visual design. After multiple iterations and trials, we landed on something that we both love. Something that pays homage to the roots that nurtured us while embracing the future.
Storefronts in Sài Gòn during the 60s - 70s.
We wanted Vân Vân to be bursting with colors, vibrancy, and a sense of fun. That idea led us down a nostalgic path filled with hand-painted signs and vintage typography found in old printed documents. As proud Sài Gòn natives, Duy and I looked through hundreds of photos showcasing Sài Gòn's storefronts across different decades. After sorting through countless snapshots, we were drawn by the bold, chunky types of the 70s coupled with the graceful curves reminiscent of Vietnamese handwriting. You know, the kind of handwriting that we tirelessly practiced over and over again in elementary school. With that vision rooted in our minds, we dove deeper into Lưu Chữ to look for old Vietnamese typefaces. We stumbled upon a few gems. Duy, our co-founder and in-house designer, worked on several logo variations based on collected works. And we finally landed on the now official logo - adapted from a typeface published in Triển Vọng magazine back in 1974. It seems like a serendipitous coincidence as triển vọng is loosely translated to something with great potential and promise. Very fitting for our new venture Vân Vân!
Photos from @luuchuvietnam on Instagram. The last photo is from Duy's sketchbook.
Typography for our website and packaging was another crucial consideration. We often encountered websites that failed to support Vietnamese diacritics leading to disruptions in our native language. It was important for Vân Vân to have legible and readable Vietnamese texts on all digital and print materials. We turned to Donny Trương’s thesis on Vietnamese typography as a trusted resource. Duy diligently selected a font that now graces our packaging and website. Ensuring our writing is fully Việt when it needs to be.
Our final logo
Now, let's talk colors! In a way, our color palette reflects the Vietnamese natural landscape. In my mind, Việt Nam has always been a colorful and vibrant place pulsating with enchanting chaos (the good chaotic!). During my trip home in January 2023, this sentiment was reinforced. My eyes were once again filled with different shades of green and blue as we traveled through the southern regions and along the central coastline. The color blue stuck out to me the most. The kind of deep, mesmerizing ocean blue that followed us through our travel from Sài Gòn to Phú Yên. Duy paired the ocean blue with a rich shade of red, which resembles the fertile red soil of the Central Highland. It’s a delightful nod to the land where some of our products are sourced from. To complete the color palette, we added a touch of accent white mirroring the floating clouds drifting across the big blue sky. This choice brings the name Vân Vân to a full circle as Vân means cloud in Sino-Vietnamese.
Photos from our travels in Việt Nam.
And there you have it. Our thought process, the inspirations, and the elements that breathe life into Vân Vân. We hope that when you look at Vân Vân, you also see a piece of Vietnamese history.
Our gratitude to Lê Quốc Huy and the contributors at Lưu Chữ for all that they do. As well as Donny Trương for his work promoting Vietnamese typography.