After three decades in business and in the mountains, Mountain Hardwear, leader in performance equipment and apparel for climbers, mountaineers and outdoor athletes, introduces a brand evolution centered around its purpose: Seek Wilder Paths. Kicking off the rebrand is a campaign of the same namesake, defining Mountain Hardwear’s wild and wise identity, rooted in the brand it has always been with updates to the logo, brand colors, and brand expression that speak to their progression and innovation in the ever evolving industry.
“Over the last six years, our team has been dedicated to revitalizing Mountain Hardwear as a preeminent mountain sport brand laser focused on the consumer,” says Troy Sicotte, President of Mountain Hardwear. “These years have been concentrated on revitalizing our product line and a strategic return to an outdoor specialty distribution model. We’re proud of our progress and recognize the need to contemporize our brand, honoring our rich heritage while looking ahead with optimism. Our 30th year in business felt like the ideal time to accomplish this, heralding a newfound clarity reminiscent of our iconic presence in the 1990s.”
The Seek Wilder Paths campaign introduces a bold update to the brand’s look and feel, reinvigorating the mountain ethos of the brand. Mountain Hardwear partnered with New York-based branding studio Gretel to develop the new identity work which includes a modernized mission, vision, and purpose and also introduces new art direction, an evolution of the logo, brand color, and a custom typography family that is based on the iconic geometric elements of the Mountain Hardwear nut.
“The name Hardwear inhabits the spirit of people who are passionate about mountain sports and the details of engineering. We developed a custom typeface, named Hardwear, that combines the rugged precision of technical engineering with the comforting confidence one feels when geared up in Mountain Hardwear.” says Andrea Trabucco-Campos, Creative Director at Gretel. “The typeface is a visual extension of the company’s longstanding symbol, which has been part of its identity since the beginning. Its diverse range of styles allows us to convey a wide spectrum of attitudes, from straightforward and technical to vibrant and irreverent. Every design element conceptually and visually reinforces the next, all powered by the idea of wild engineering.”
Mountain Hardwear will launch the rebrand with a new take on visual and verbal tone, utilizing an awareness campaign rooted in the company’s purpose Seek Wilder Paths. The creative plays off the wild, gritty, optimistic -90’s vibe, and the relaunch not only nods to the heritage of the 30 year old brand but indicates the bold direction Mountain Hardwear is headed in the future.
“Thirty years ago, Mountain Hardwear was founded by people who valued exceptional products. Curiosity and durability were core building blocks of intentional design, as well as being immersed in the mountain cultures we served; and those values and attitudes haven’t changed,” says Matt Burbach, VP of Marketing at Mountain Hardwear. “These values are still the foundations of who Mountain Hardwear is and continues to be. What has evolved is the brand’s expression and honing that point to be consistent and authentic to our personality — wise enough to know better, wild enough to do it anyways, a gritty attitude, and optimism for the future. It was an incredibly rewarding and fun challenge working with Gretel on how we express those values through actions, not just words. Seek Wilder Paths isn’t just a campaign, it’s our past, present, and future foundation ”
Experience Mountain Hardwear’s new look and feel, including an updated website at www.mountainhardwear.com
About Mountain Hardwear: Mountain Hardwear, Inc., was founded in 1993 and is based in Richmond, CA. We exist to encourage and equip people to seek a wilder path in life. For 30 years, we’ve built essential equipment for climbers, mountaineers, and outdoor athletes and have supported expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. Relentless precision continues to inspire everything we do — our designers sweat every stitch and detail to continuously improve function, durability, and comfort.
Mountain Hardwear is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company that distributes its products through specialty outdoor retailers in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. www.mountainhardwear.com