Kino Design Brief

Part I of a series documenting the design development of the Kino menswear brand.

Jonathan McCurdy
4 min readFeb 6, 2021

The following document is written as from the clothing company (client) with the intent of contracting or hiring a web/ui designer as the brand expands into the e-commerce sphere. It also serves as a need statement and initiating document for the project as a whole.

Kino —

We are an apparel company, inspired by the southwest and built to withstand the harsh conditions of blistering deserts and rugged ponderosa forests. We seek to provide (almost) timeless wardrobe essentials designed to perform for the intrepid explorer. We look to nature and clothing history for our garment details but aren’t afraid to introduce modern touches where they make sense. Think Pendleton meets Icebreaker meets TOPO Designs with a healthy infusion of the southwest.

Kino was started in 2014 when our founder was looking to streamline his closet between standard technical apparel and fashionable, but non-functional pieces. Everywhere he looked, “fashionable but functional” typically meant advanced nylon or cotton fabrics, cut just a tad slimmer, and in non-neon but otherwise uninspiring colors. Your uncle might be willing to be seen in them out at the brewery, but your cool kid cousin still wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

The name Kino comes from Father Eusebio Kino, also known as Padre Kino, who was a 17th century philosopher-scientist, a Jesuit priest responsible for the first accurate charting of the regions around what are now California, Baja California, Arizona and Sonora. He is remembered as an advocate for indigenous rights when few were, and also as a peacemaker between said people and the Spanish colonizers. He is credited with the establishment of numerous missions, and therefore several major cities in what is now the southwest United States, including Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is a home to world-class outdoor recreation, unique ecosystems and a unique blend of cultures like only a border city can.

Goal of Design Project

Until now, Kino has largely been a local brand, and we have done most of our business through retailers in the Tucson and Phoenix markets, and our online presence has been more or less limited to social media, with a very minimal actual website.

The goal is to scale up our brand to enter the e-commerce space, along with a brand new greatly expanded web presence. We want to ship our goods to fashion-conscious adventurers around the globe.

We want to communicate that we care about fashion, and we care about details. Our brand is about pieces that perform well in the wild and look good (like actually good) doing so. We want our web presence to reflect that marriage of function and form. Tasteful minimalism with flashes of creative flair.

Our goal is to grow from a brand with local pastiche to one with widespread recognition, at least among our particular niche.

Our main competitors might be TOPO Designs, Patagonia, Kavu, Nike ACG, Kitsbow, Filson and to some extent Woolrich and Pendleton. Most of these companies tackle the problem of style and function with some measure of success, but do while either compromising or leaning too heavily in one direction. Some do it well but simply have a different audience, or are priced higher than we’d like. Some do it well but could be updated for the 21st century.

Target Market Demographic

Male, 25–35y.o., 70k-150k USD income, lives generally in mountainous territory, active, outdoorsy, socialite, fashionable, wants to buy things that last more than a few seasons, but understand that styles will change, wears clothes til they are threadbare, buy and use faithfully for lifetime of the object, not lifetime of the wearer. Clothes should have specific functions for specific purposes, but looking good is a very valid purpose.

Works in engineering, tech or other white collar field that affords free time and expendable income.

Active in the city, rides his bike when he can, goes out for dinner and drinks on Fridays but goes camping and hiking on the weekends.

Provided Materials:

Copy will be provided by us (the client) for the designer to use, and can be collaboratively tweaked going forward if need be. Photographs of the products will be provided for the designer.


The Taylor Stitch website is a good example of the desired web aesthetic. Also see Everlane, New Market Goods,

We would like to heavily showcase our designs, and put forth an air of authenticity. We are not a big faceless corporate company, and we are not a questionable “Instagram-advertised” product trying to make a quick buck. Inherent to the DNA of our brand is appealing to a higher sense of fashion, quality and adventure.


We do want to ensure we are pleased with the finished product, so our budget is flexible to accommodate that, but with that said, maximum budget is $8000.

Deadline & Schedule

Launch by start of March 2021, ~5 months.

Wireframes — October 31

High Fidelity Comps — November 18

Interactive Prototype — December 10

High Fidelity Prototype — (should be close to final product) — December 22

User Testing — December 27-January 10

Final Design — February 7

Website Launch — March 1



Jonathan McCurdy

Seeing and tasting the world via bicycle. Designing fun and usable products and currently open to new work opportunities!