First opened in 1987 in New Zealand, Kathmandu is a specialty retailer and manufacturer of clothing and equipment for the adventuresome, outdoorsy audience. Kathmandu has 116 stores across New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. Their sales are 95% of Kathmandu-branded products, but they also carry popular brands like Keen, Teva, and Salomon. In September Kathmandu introduced a new logo, identity, and packaging system designed by Strategy Design & Advertising.
The previous logo had that outdoor hippie vibe of a logo embroidered on a fleece vest. Not a bad approach. But it’s 2011 and hippies don’t go kayaking and camping and using GPS geegaws and hi-tech wicker clothing to navigate their outdoor environs. The new logo targets the young audience that goes out there trying to escape stock prices and meetings. The icon is simple and bold, referencing mountains or perhaps a camping tent. The typography is a little clumsy — a more contemporary choice would have given it a little more edge — and too tightly spaced — perhaps spaced so that it matched the cross points of the icon? — but I’ll admit these are just personal preferences and there isn’t anything particularly wrong about it. In application, the logo and identity work really well, using the always effective “Nutrition Facts” approach.