826 Valencia

Creating Stuff for Pirates

826 Valencia, named for its address in San Francisco’s Mission District, is the flagship location for 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for kids. When its founders learned that the center’s potential space was zoned for retail use, they met city regulations by opening a pirate supply store in the tutoring center. Since then, the unconventional storefront — a wildly imaginative, inspiring experience — has helped draw kids into its free educational programs.

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From beard extensions to bilge water

We helped 826’s co-founder Dave Eggers reinvigorate the store by creating an identity system, signage, posters, T-shirts and nearly 50 new pirate products — like Peg Leg Oil (which lends your leg an appearance that says, “I can walk quickly when necessary”), Captain Blackbeard’s Beard Extensions (French-forked), and an all-purpose Treasure Shining Kit (to remove tarnish grime, dirt, salt, blood and guilt).

We immersed ourselves in all things pirate — from scouring the public library to touring old wooden ships. And then we conjured up an 18th century pirate walking into a 21st century store to pick up a few things.

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Office has produced some of the most ravishing and funny buccaneer supplies yet known to man.
Dave Eggers, Founder, 826 Valencia and author
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Sharing the booty

Proceeds from sales of the products support 826 Valencia’s programs for kids. Following the launch of the new products, online sales quintupled, raising visibility and funds for the organization. (Buy yours here.)

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Project Scope

Visual identity system
Packaging
Product development
Retail environment