1221 Wheels

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY BRANDING

1221 is a brand elevating the custom forged wheel industry with new designs, new materials, and superior machining technology.

luxury product branding

LUXURY PRODUCT BRANDING

CONTEXT

Made in California, 1221 Wheels is named for the melting point of aluminum. In 2016, Metal FX Motorsports, a machining facility known for superior wheel manufacturing, gathered a team of professionals with experience in the most influential aftermarket wheel companies to create a new brand.

Our involvement in 1221 Wheels is twofold. Tom designs and engineers the wheels. During early development meetings, he brought Wendy in for brand consulting.

The earliest concept was a lifestyle brand, targeting drivers in the Audi and BMW price range (with Porsche owners at the high end). The decision was later made to focus on luxury cars and exotics. Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, and even Bugatti owners fill this demographic.

Working together to create a look that would reflect both the technical and artistic natures of the design and manufacturing process, we set out to create a concept suitable for engraving, as well as print and digital applications.

ambigram logo palindrome

IDEATION & IDENTITY

AN AMBIGRAM LOGO & PALINDROME

Since designing and engineering wheels is simultaneously a technical and artistic process, we wanted a logo that reflected this in a unique way. The 1221 would primarily be engraved on wheel hubs and center caps, so legibility and visibility needed to lend themselves to instant brand recognition.

We wanted to emphasize the palindrome of the numbers 1221. (A palindrome is simply a word that can be read backwards and forwards.)

Rotating on a wheel, the name also offered the perfect opportunity to create an ambigram.

(An ambigram is a word or symbol that can be read from a different orientation or perspective.)
1221-wheels-logo-animation

Clean lines and modular styling gave the 1221 logo a technical style with an artistic nuance of rotational functionality.

palindrome luxury brand logo

BRAND DIFFERENTIATION

Innovate|d. Reformulate|d. Elevate|d.

In discussions surrounding the mission and goals of the brand, the emphasis primarily focused on pushing the limits of design and engineering. The company isn’t satisfied with simply being another option for wheels; they want to make wheels that are unquestionably the best on the market.

While that may seem a lofty goal, these brand promises were delivered with the very first set of wheels machined:

1221 BRAND PROMISES

  • Proprietary materials / new aluminum alloy
  • Unheard of runout tolerances
  • Innovative finishes
  • Fastest industry turnaround times

AN UNCONVENTIONAL TAGLINE

Pipelines! (Now you know the name of that straight line above the backslash on the keyboard.

The idea to utilize pipelines to differentiate the present and past tense forms of each verb was purposeful: it denotes what has been done (past tense) and what is being done (present tense.)

Here are a few of the tangible associations with each word:

Innovate|d.

creating-the-trend designs

use of new materials + finishes

6″ full-machined mini-wheels for marketing


Reformulate|d.

new, stronger aluminum alloys

proprietary manufacturing techniques

custom-built machinery

durable finishes that cut weight


Elevate|d.

demonstrably superior end product

about those runout tolerances (click + scroll)

philosophy of increasingly raising the bar

While the following are only a partial representation of the 1221 core values, they represent the team’s commitment to product perfection.

Check out what 1221 Wheels is up to.

Read about Tom’s work on 1221.