Established in San Francisco in 2002 by renown writer Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, 826 is a unique organization that tutors and provides workshops for kids ages six to eighteen on writing and ultimately on creative expression. The San Francisco building where the classes took place, located at 826 Valencia Street (hence the name 826), was zoned commercial and the logical thing to do was to set up a pirate supply storefront which, according to David Byrne, is “definitely one of the top five pirate stores.” And in that same spirit, the 826 chapters in New York and Los Angeles are flanked by retail stores like the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (designed by Sam Potts) and Echo Park Time Travel Mart (designed by Stefan Bucher), respectively. With a wide range of fictional products these stores have lent themselves to truly unique design experiences not just for the visitor but for the designers involved, as they are able to craft this made-up world encouraged by the sense of exploration that accompanies the centers.
Dave Eggers speaking at TED.
San Francisco-based Office is the latest design firm to take on this dreamy pro-bono project by designing a full-blown identity for the original 826 retail store in San Francisco. Office has designed a set of badges to act as identifiers for the store as well as nearly fifty products for the discerning pirate. As a non-pirate I have to say that this is absolutely stunning work, everything from the colors to the typographic choices — I just love all that swirly black letter — works to build up a deceptively vivid and plausible consumer brand. I will spare everyone of pirate puns, just enjoy the work.
You can click on any image to see bigger. All images courtesy of Office, please attribute properly if you plan on plundering these images.
The following four posters, silkscreened with white and gold inks on black paper, are available for purchase here. Proceeds flow into the center, so it’s a good cause, and they are pretty awesome.