Vacancy Apparel

How do you go about starting an apparel company from scratch? Eddy Munoz, an actor (HBO’s Ballers) and entrepreneur here in Los Angeles, came to us with an idea for a theme to launch his start-up T-shirt business. He wanted to appeal to a younger audience that felt disconnected and unfulfilled with today’s disposable social-media-dominated world, where likes are easy to come by but true connections are few and fleeting.


We consulted on the name for the venture, Vacancy Apparel, which its core is to inspire people to embrace that they are single and available, and let people know that they are ready to make deeper connections.

To get to know their would-be core customers, we led a discovery session focused on formulating a strategy to launch the brand. We facilitated the session that yielded in-depth customer personas to discover their wants, needs and tendencies. We discovered the brand’s attributes, which then led to the brand statement. And a marketing matrix helped us prioritize goals and devise a way for the apparel company to gain awareness and traction in a crowded apparel landscape. At the end of discovery, we had created a solid strategic blueprint for how to design a brand to appeal to their customers and turn them into raving fans.

Brand Identity Design

Our logo design process includes four rounds of development, starting with sketching and brainstorming to create Round 1 concepts. As you can see below, we typically sketch dozens upon dozens of ideas. But only three eventually make the cut to present to the client. We find presenting more than three choices in Round 1 leads to confusion and indecision, plus it’s possible for a weaker concept to be chosen. We want only a strong idea chosen that everyone on the team believes will make a stellar identity to stand the test of time.

Identity Concepts

A Fated Direction

Round 1 saw a clear favorite stand out, Cupid not with his typical bow and arrow, but a bazooka, a striking image to pierce through today’s dating app-saturated world with seemingly endless options.

The sketch pictured in this panel went through refinements in Round 2 and 3, including a tilting up to appear more optimistic, simplifications and more distinctive custom type treatment. A secondary mark of a bleeding heart shot through the middle was integrated into the identity system. We delivered final art with multiple color applications for printing and display across all mediums along with brand guidelines.

T-Shirt Concepts

Over the years, we’ve created apparel concepts for brands like Nike, Converse and Abercrombie. We dove into establishing fun, catchy concepts around the Vacancy theme that carried through to all of the T-Shirts designs.

Vacancy T-Shirt Early Designs

Creating Custom Type

To make the T-shirts instant hits, we custom-crafted type, including the “Big Huge Gigantic Lucky Rabbit’s Foot” concept seen here. Adorned in fur, the bespoke, handcrafted type gets across the idea of a fun lucky charm in a flash.

Vacancy Apparel Astronaut T-Shirt Design

Original Illustrations

We created original illustrations for other concepts, such as this space-seeking astronaut.

Vacancy Apparel T-Shirt Tag Design

Details and Direction

Details complete a brand. We designed brand assets like business cards and inside shirts tags, pictured here, for black-and-white premium screenprinting.

We also consulted on social-media strategies and the photoshoots, which included product and lifestyle shoots.

Time to shop

After writing all of the copy for the brand story and product descriptions on the site, we designed and developed the apparel company’s e-commerce website utilizing the Shopify platform. Bringing all of the branding elements together, customers have an easy and seamless shopping experience. In the future, new lines will be added and a community that brings people together will be enabled.

Dave took my idea and helped turn it into an entire brand. He is a well of creativity. Zookeeper is exceptional at taking your thought and making it a reality that has an identity and voice of its very own.

–Eddy Munoz, Vacancy Apparel

Vacancy Apparel Design by Zookeeper