In Australia, when we tell a story, we call it a yarn. For thousands of years, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people have sat in yarning circles, using conversation to pass on culture through stories. At Sim & Mack, we love a good yarn and wanted to share a short one about our name and logo.
Naming the label
All along founder Andrew McKenna’s ambition was to create a new generation All-Australian made clothing label. A label that reflected the unique spirit of Australia, one that comes from a vibrant mix of migrants, some more recent, some much older and some indigenous, but all personifying Australian. Like any start-up founder, McKenna went through several rounds of trying to contrive a catchy name for his fledging brand. As he bounced each iteration off his lovely wife Simran, his enthusiasm frequently waned upon realising there was another similar brand name in market, or with trademark protection. How to ever contrive something original?
Step in McKenna’s mother Dorothy visiting Adelaide for the weekend, and after a decent bottle of South Australian red, the collective household creativity lifted a notch. While not a shareholder per se, Dorothy considered herself an important stakeholder in the business. So, when the family came up with Sim & Mack, it seemed like a perfect fit. Andrew is a 5th generation Australian, predominantly of Irish descent, married to Simran, a 3rd generation Singaporean of Indian (Punjabi) descent, who has long called Australia home. And Australians are known for their love of nicknames, even our Prime Ministers have one. So, we had to use ours too, not knowing at the time adopting Mack would land us in a trademark dispute with a major European corporation. But that’s history now, and as we say, never look back with Sim & Mack.
In the last national census, the proportion of Australians either born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas, increased to over 50 per cent. We are the most multi-cultural nation on earth and it’s not just a statistic, it’s the way the contribution of migration has enhanced our collective identity. Sim & Mack is emblematic of the country Australia has become, a beautiful mix of the new and the old where our diversity of origin, including indigenous Australians, only makes us stronger.
The colours & symbols of Australia
So how to choose the brand colours for an All-Australian brand? Well, that should be a more obvious choice, right? Simply go with Australia’s primary colours. But unfortunately, that wasn’t such an obvious choice. Go with the traditional red, white and blue? or the sporting colours of green and gold? But then how to incorporate the yellow, red and black of the Aboriginal flag, and the green, blue and white of the Torres Strait Islander flag? In an attempt to keep things simple, a vibrant republic blue was chosen to symbolise the magnificent waters surrounding the world’s only island continent, Australia; The Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans & the Coral, Timor, Arafura & Tasman Seas. Some love the tropical waters of the north, others embrace the cool and wild oceans of the south, but all are woven into the unique fabric of Australia.
And the blue fin in the water above the letters Sim and Mack in our logo? Well, being an Australian brand that symbolises all that is Australian, we had to include even her most fierce species.
We’re not a surf brand, we’re not an outback/country heritage brand, we are a brand for all who are captured by the spirit of our beautiful island nation home.
Sim & Mack may only be two words, but it stands for the best of Australia and living your best life, whatever that means to you.
Thanks to the logo designer
Sim & Mack engaged Lyndsay Swan Design to give life to our brand ethos and identity through an elegant logo which perfectly embodies everything our brand represents.
Photo source: Yarning Circle, University of Newcastle, Central Coast