GR604 HUSTLER Visual Strategy Guide [student project]

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VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE



VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE


student project statement The HUSTLER Visual Strategy Guide and accompanying volumes (Visual Development Guide, Visual Standards Guide and Brand Extensions) were assembled as part of a student project for educational purposes only. The official HUSTLER brand can be accessed at hustlermagazine.com.




CONTENTS 1 // OUR HISTORY

4 // HOW WE LOOK

brand introduction

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hustler timeline

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2 // OUR FUTURE

brand grids

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5 // WHERE WE STAND

where we’re headed

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rebranding

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competitors

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keywords

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brand attributes

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3 // OUR AUDIENCE personas

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1 OUR HISTORY

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SECTION

“Because it pokes fun at everything, HUSTLER

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has become a danger to established order.” —LARRY FLYNT

HUSTLER FOUNDER & FORMER EDITOR

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Brand Introduction HARDCORE SINCE ’74

HUSTLER began as a two-page advertisement for Larry Flynt’s series of clubs in Ohio. Flynt’s entrepreneurial mindset soon expanded his portfolio of go-go bars and set the scene for a rags-to-riches story. After expanding to a full-print magazine in 1974, the brand was one of the first US-based publications to print explicit porn. HUSTLER printed satirical content such as edgy political cartoons and scathing publisher’s statements highlighting hypocrisy among American political leaders. Its top priorities were freedom, individual rights and unwavering support for the First Amendment through Flynt’s legal hurdles and presidential campaign. Today, HUSTLER is run by Liz Flynt, the late Larry Flynt’s wife. The magazine is still in distribution, while the company’s focus has shifted to retail and entertainment venues.

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OUR HISTORY

HUSTLER TIMELINE 1972–1974

1975

1977

Hustler Newsletter advertises Flynt’s Ohio go-go bars. It soon expands to a full magazine.

Leaked nude photos of Jackie Onassis Kennedy are published in the August issue. Millions of copies sell and the magazine is a success.

Flynt experiences bipolar episodes and converts to Christianity after befriending Ruth Carter Stapleton. His wife Althea Leasure Flynt assumes publishing responsibilities.

1996

1998

2000

The People Vs. Larry Flynt, directed by Miloš Forman, releases, detailing Flynt’s life and illustrating his legal battle with Reverand Falwell. Flynt appears in a cameo role as Judge Morrisey.

HUSTLER HOLLYWOOD opens in West Hollywood.

HUSTLER CASINO opens in Gardena, CA.

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1978

1983

1984

Flynt is shot outside Gwinnett County Courthouse (Georgia) where he was on trial for distribution of obscene materials. He is paralyzed from the waist down for life.

Flynt announces he will run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Flynt is sued by televangelist Jerry Falwell for a Campari ad parody. Flynt is convicted of one charge, but the Supreme Court later overturns the conviction.

2017

2021

TODAY

Hustler purchases a full print ad in Washington Post offering a $10 million reward for information that could lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Flynt dies of cardiac failure in Los Angeles, CA. His wife and publishing partner Liz Flynt assumes head position at Larry Flynt Publications.

After Larry Flynt’s death, HUSTLER rebrands to return to their roots of free expression without prosecution for all.

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AUDIENCE

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2 OUR FUTURE

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SECTION

“If I can leave any kind of legacy at all, it will be that I helped 12


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to expand the parameters of free speech.” —LARRY FLYNT

HUSTLER FOUNDER & FORMER EDITOR

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OUR FUTURE

Where We’re Headed BRAND SOUL Freedom to access and share information without fear of censorship or persecution

OUR MISSION We stabilize you with a supportive platform to exercise your freedom of expression, and help create a life that you run by your own rules.

UNIQUE SELLING POINT Standing up for your right to free expression and have access to new information.

FUTURE POSSIBILITIES Equal representation across industries; Legal advice and representation; Business education; Spaces and platforms for creatives; mentorship and assemblies

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OUR FUTURE

Rebranding Objective The new Hustler will evolve beyond creating erotic, imaginative content – we'll put the power in your hands to make and choose what you like and aligns with your freedoms. The new Hustler has products, services and educational opportunities for you to exercise your freedom of expression, so you can enjoy, explore and discover new methods and tools to connect to people like you. We will go beyond traditional content and help you put yourself out there.

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OUR FUTURE

Our Keywords FREE Freedom is the naked truth behind Hustler. Free to express, print, and distribute. Free to look, read, and pass it along.

BRAZEN Hustler does what we do despite censorship’s best tries. You can’t miss us. We say what we say and create what we create without shame, and believe you should be able to do the same.

UNORTHODOX We hear the music of the crowd, but we prefer to make our own rhythm.

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AUDIENCE

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3 AUDIENCE

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SECTION

“The issue isn’t if Larry Flynt has the right to sell his magazine, 22


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it’s whether John Smith has the right to buy it.” —LARRY FLYNT

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AUDIENCE

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Our Audience Our message can’t resound with no one to speak to. Developing personas puts a face and name to personality traits of people who are already within the brand ecosystem. Close attention to the audience’s wants and needs allows designers to better understand the target audience through empathy in storytelling. This is crucial for the future brand strategy and development. The following audience members have been developed based around these three areas of concern: A: How much they value freedom of expression B: How they stand up for what they believe in C: How much they value access to new information

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AUDIENCE

THE INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER

Brittany Adams 31 | Detroit, MI | Dancer / Influencer

A: Brittany uses social media to advertise her OnlyFans content because she makes an income with subscriptions to her photos and videos. A: Brittany attended the Women’s March in 2017 because she wanted to express her concern for the country’s future and freedom. A: Brittany runs multiple backup Instagram accounts because she disagrees with censorship on the platform. B: Brittany goes to Pride Walk with friends every year because she supports that everyone should be able to live as they are without judgement. B: Brittany runs a Discord group for OnlyFans members to help them develop an income strategy because she believes in supporting other content creators in her field. C: Brittany subscribes to digital magazines and newspapers because she enjoys staying up to date with current events. C: Brittany attends monthly meetups with other content creators dancers because she gets marketing tips and news about new platforms.

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A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information


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THE PODCASTER

Rami Patel 42 | Tucson, AZ | Indy Podcast Host

A: Rami is grateful that he doesn’t need to worry about his show being removed from Spotify just because he shares political opinions. A: Rami curates a separate Patreon group for his listeners to get exclusive episodes because he wants to share his uncensored beliefs with likeminded people. B: Rami donates to Planned Parenthood because he wants to support freedom of choice for all. B: Rami writes to his congressmen about issues in his community because he believes in sharing his dissatisfaction to change local politics. C: Rami follows VICE and Huffington Post on social media because he needs to stay up to date with current events for his podcast. C: Rami fact checks the articles he reads because he wants to share only the truth with his audience members. C: Rami checks the news on his phone every day because he wants to be the first to know about breaking news or the latest scandal.

A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information

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AUDIENCE

THE FEMINIST PROFESSOR

Dr. Claire Peltz 62 | Brooklyn, NY | NYU Gender Studies Professor

A: Claire encourages her students to write about their passions because she knows expressing yourself can create real change. A: Claire decided to self-publish a series of satirical essays because traditional publishers refused to accept them. B: Claire lets all of her students and fellow faculty know that her office is a safe space for all because she believes in removing judgement from the school setting. B: Claire attended Black Lives Matter assemblies and passed out water to protesters because she wanted to do her part in demanding change. B: Claire leads a student discussion group at NYU to give students a chance to raise issues about the school because she believes in letting people have their voices heard. C: Claire is getting ready to go on her sabbatical because she wants to research and publish a paper about third wave feminism. C: Claire attends discussions on campus featuring guest speakers because she enjoys learning as much as she can about a wide range of topics.

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A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information


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THE STUDIOUS JOB JUGGLER

Jordan Kashat 29 | Los Angeles, CA | Student and Bartender

A: Jordan considers themself lucky to be in the United States because their mother often talks about the persecution their family went through in Syria for speaking out. A: Jordan enjoys reading and watching social media content because they appreciate that everyone can share their opinions so easily. B: Jordan votes for liberal candidates each election because they believe casting their vote allows them to make their voice heard. B: Jordan chose to intern at a pro-bono law firm specializing in cases for immigrants because they want to make a difference in the lives of their community members. B: Jordan doesn’t back down from confronting people at the bar when they make other patrons uncomfortable because they refuse to stand by while people are bullied or coerced. C: Jordan reads different court cases every day because they need to study for classes and stay informed for their law internship.

A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information

C: Jordan keeps up with local news while bartending because they believe in remaining an informed citizen.

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AUDIENCE

THE PUNK ART ACTIVIST

Luke Yee 19 | Topeka, KS | Writer & Artist

A: Luke dislikes using Instagram to share his beliefs because he feels the algorithm doesn’t accurately distribute posts and hides what it considers to be offensive. A: Luke uses YouTube to post live painting videos because he enjoys sharing his expressive art. B: Luke donates 10% of his income from paintings and cartoons to the local food bank because he believes in helping his community. B: Luke once spray painted the side of City Hall to speak out against police violence because he was determined to show his stance. B: Luke started creating political cartoons because he wanted to find a creative way to speak out against government hypocrisy. C: Luke makes it a priority to stay up to date with current events because he believes information is power. C: Luke shares his sources of entertainment and news with friends because he wants to help them discover enjoyable content.

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A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information


HUSTLER VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE

THE JOURNALIST

Julian Harrison 55 | Boston, MA | Journalist

A: Julian is a supporter of the First Amendment because he depends on freedom of expression for his career. A: Julian feels censorship blocks innovative thinking and writing because he believes everyone should be able to share what they think honestly with others. B: Julian joined a group of journalists who are dedicated to protecting freedom of the press because he believes in preserving freedoms. B: Julian follows activists on social media and shares their content with his followers because he wants to be part of making a difference. C: Julian spends a lot of time researching his stories because he wants to only write the truth for his readers. C: Julian prioritizes reading other journalists’ articles because he believes in the sharing of important information.

A: Freedom of expression B: Standing up for beliefs C: Keeping up with new information

C: Julian often volunteers to take on stories that his coworkers shy away from because he wants to write about the truth, even if it’s offensive.

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BRAND GRIDS

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4 BRAND GRIDS

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Brand Grids

The “before” and “after” of the brand is important for the visual strategy of the project to tie in the here and now with aspiration for the future. With a solid understanding of the foundation already holding up the brand and what it means to its audience, the aspirational vision can begin to form.

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BRAND GRIDS

CURRENT BRAND

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HUSTLER

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BRAND GRIDS

ASPIRATIONAL BRAND

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H

t s u

r le

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OUR HISTORY SECTION

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5 COMPETITORS

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SECTION

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Competitors

Looking outside of the brand to competitors directly in the field and adjacent to HUSTLER helps to get a holistic perspective of what’s out there, and what fuels HUSTLER’s audiences.

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COMPETITORS

Current Competitors EROTIC MAGAZINES & MEDIA COMPANIES HUSTLER stands out from current competitors through the use of its own platform to share information and invite others to contribute their own thoughts on current issues. HUSTLER is more than an erotic medium—it’s a news source and a space to share and express.

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AVN is a leader in the adult entertainment industry with over 30 years of tenure, competing for notoriety and convenience via streaming.

Oui ended publication in 2007, but was previously purchased by Playboy to compete with HUSTLER’s explicit content.

For Him Magazine is a British publication that recently moved to a digital-only platform. Their portfolio includes international publications.

Penthouse founder Bob Guccione also explored casinos and video channels. The brand obtained Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s stolen sex tape.

Mayfair was founded in 1966 soon after Playboy. Like HUSTLER, it included erotic comics such as “Carrie.”

This men’s lifestyle magazine explored removing nudity in 2016. The magazine is no longer in print.

Perhaps the most well-known distributor of erotic content, Pornhub competes with HUSTLER in convenience and video variety.

First established as a magazine in Stockholm, Private Media Group Inc. distributes video content and award-winning erotic films.

This international men’s magazine is fairly newer, with a start in the mid 1990s. It has since expanded to video clips. Maxim looked into branded casinos, without success.

Home of the Kardashian sex tape, Vivid Entertainment, like HUSTLER, is based in Los Angeles. Founder Steven Hirsch penned an open letter to Los Angeles county against a plan requiring performers to wear condoms, stating intrusion of private decisions.

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COMPETITORS

Adjacent Competitors SOCIAL MEDIA // CONTENT PLATFORMS HUSTLER looks to adjacent competitors to inspire ways to share and distribute information that may not be available elsewhere. Spaces to share, connect and access new information are important for HUSTLER’s audience.

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This adult-friendly platform gives spaces for people to share and express themselves while connecting with fans.

OnlyFans’ stance on inclusion and support for nontraditional creators inspires a look at ways to stand up for free expression for the end user.

Fansly gives the option to join for free or subscribe to specific accounts/performers. The site gives creators the chance to promote their accounts.

Twitter’s support of the truth and work to remove fake news can inspire a platform or plan to account for sharing truth and blocking false information.

Holly Randall stands for the women’s gaze in erotic photography. She is a leader in the adult industry and contributes to adult magazines.

Youtube’s mission of giving a voice to everyone aligns with HUSTLER’s plans to provide opportunities to create and share diverse views.

Instagram’s social media platform inspires opportunities to give individuals a space to create, share, and interact with others on the platform.

Patreon’s membership platform helps creators make an income with their content. The focus on community building and connection is inspiring.

Founded by Bella French, ManyVids offers the ability to create adult content, but it is up to the user to do so. The company podcast offers an inside look to adult performers’ lives and take part in activism to promote sex positivity.

The Howard Stern Show’s evolution from nose-thumbing authority to standing by the importance of democracy during Trump’s years in office show how HUSTLER could evolve beyond explicit content.

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COMPETITORS

Aspirational Competitors FREE SPEECH ADVOCATES HUSTLER is determined to step into a leadership role that advocates for free expression without persecution. These organizations frame a future possibilities for HUSTLER.

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ACLU’s focus in protecting free speech, press and the democratic process inspires possible avenues that HUSTLER can take to reframe the brand.

James Madison Center for Free Speech defends political expression. Efforts to end political loopholes in elections inspire HUSTLER’s mission.

The nonpartisan organization is dedicated to defending rights in educational organizations, inspiring a focus on equality and freedom of speech.

FSU is a non-partisan organization working to support passionate yet courteous disagreements and organizes events for folks to debate.

Amnesty International’s bold tone, focus on the right to assembly and efforts to free individuals wrongfully imprisoned for exercising free speech.

Institute for Free Speech works to enact litigation to expand free speech, and inspires HUSTLER through education around the First Amendment.

A focus on defending the US constitution and democracy, plus calling out hypocritical leaders, fit this brand into HUSTLER’s aspirations.

NCAC is affiliated with the ACLU, and now runs a coalition of over 50 organizations. This look at collaboration inspires possibilities for HUSTLER.

This nonprofit law firm is dedicated to the protection and promotion of information through expression and petition. They offer pro bono representation to the media.

Pen America ’s membership includes artists and writers, inspiring a possibility for HUSTLER to expand and allow creative outlets of expression on the platforms.

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AUDIENCE SECTION

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6 BRAND ATTRIBUTES

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SECTION

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Brand Attributes

As a brand standing up for free expression and unlimited access to new information, HUSTLER leans on keywords that frame messaging and brand verve. Words to avoid are also identified.

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BRAND AT TRIBUTES

Relevant & Positive Words

Descriptive & Neutral Words

1. Provocative

1. Erotic

2. Comical

2. Bold

3. Progressive

3. Progressive

4. Rebellious

4. Shameless

5. Uninhibited

5. Disorderly

Stale & Negative Words

Words HUSTLER Hopes to Claim

1. Unconventional

1. Liberation

2. Revolutionary

2. Unorthodox

3. Illicit

3. Offbeat

4. Entertaining

4. Brazen

5. Divisive

5. Fearless

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Brand Development

After visual strategy exercises, the creative team sketched logo solutions and developed digital prototypes to explore the HUSTLER look and feel. The research conducted in the Visual Strategy Guide formed a direction to create the second guide of this series: the Visual Development Guide.

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SOURCES & REFERENCES

Sources & References

our history 6

AP // Harry Cabluck

our history: timeline 1972

HUSTLER Facebook

1975

HUSTLER August 1975 cover

1978

First Amendment Encyclopedia:“Larry Flynt” by Caryn E. Neumann

1996

Sidney Baldwin // Columbia Pictures

2017

Washington Post: “Have dirt that could impeach Trump? Larry Flynt will pay you $10 million.” by Amy B. Wang, October 17, 2017

remaining images Pexels Unsplash

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colophon Headline Typeface: Maxular Light Body & Captions Typeface: Tarzana Wide OT Regular