Counterfeit clothing. It’s everywhere. The fashion industry has a pandemic on its hands. The counterfeit industry is worth $1.2 Trillion, this has costed European fashion houses around 10% of their profits year on year. As a result, 363,000 jobs losses across the manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors of the EU fashion industry. There are also estimated losses incurred by brands due purely to counterfeit amounting to $98 Billion in 2017.
So how can an app help cull the counterfeit culture in Europe?
Guardian is an all new app that uses revolutionary NFC technology woven into your favourite high end fashion garments. Using Neural Networks to create hyper complex patterns that are unique for every item of clothing, this pattern is then woven into the garment, and can only be seen in polarised light - think of it as your garments very own QR code, just not quite as jarring.
Guardian makes use of two major forms of technology. Both of which are prevelant in today's world. The first is NFC thread, the second is Generative Adversarial Networks.
For a brand like Guardian, the identity must reflect it's capability and the flexibility of the technology it wields, as well as employing a playful yet serious demeanor. Using patterns synonomous within fashion, bold colours and good typography the Guardian brands comes to life with thousands upon thousands of unique iterations, further cementing the rolling security feature the brand is built around.
The brand needed a name that could match the capability of it's future-facing product. Guardian has reassuring connotations – an intriguing yet comforting name that isn't too fashion centric, or corporate. Guardian strikes up a perfect level of professionalism, curiosity and confidence.
As part of a flexible identity, the typography of the logo and everything else moving forward must be adaptable. Choosing a font that would scale down and up while mainting legibility was key.
The name 'function' in some coding language is a section of a program that performs a specific task and returns a value. As the word 'fun' sits at the front of 'Function', the name lended itself to the informal, serious yet playful visual language and overall tone that 'Function' was all about.
In order to get the auto-generating pattern to work, coding had to be explored. For this I used P5.js in a browser window. Being a novice at coding, this was an exercise in my own capabilities as well as exploring the possibility of using code to create the generative visuals for the brand.
For the Neural Networks to do their job of replicating it's bank of images, a pattern system needed to be made. This pattern system takes inspiration from fabrics and patterns synonymous within the fasion industry, on top of that, they needed a grid to sit into that allowed for the creation of thousands of outcomes.
The outcome from the Neural Networks using the pattern system and the provided patterns yield these unique patterns which are unique for each garment that gets assigned one. Essentially, each garment has their own QR code that consumers can use to validate the authenticity of their clothing.
The app is designed for consumers to use so they can effortlessly authenticate their clothes. Simply by placing the phone near the NFC embedded thread in the garment, a unique pattern code is attributed to that garment. The app also gives additional information, for example where the garment was made, and how sustainable the material that it is made from is.