Wednesday, July 27, 2011

reaching the media

Last month I started a project with Maxwell PR for one of my long-time clients, Kettle Brand (yep, the folks in Salem who make the world's best all natural potato chip, yumm!).

Maxwell PR had a great idea on how to introduce the media to Kettle's newest product, their 40% reduced fat potato chips, and they asked me to help them make it come to life.

So I did!

The result is a cohesive visual theme inspired by classified government documents. We hinted at the new product inside the box by using the same green band found on the bags of reduced fat potato chips. The big "confirmed – it's real" graphic (mimicking a rubber stamp) added a touch of intrigue.

Besides the three different flavors of chips, the box contained a file folder with "confirmed findings" for the media, along with a "polaroid" for evidence.

I'm most impressed with the way it all turned out, especially given the fact that we printed directly onto pre-made boxes and folders. A big shoutout to B&B Print Source – great job!

And next time you're at your local super market, pick up a bag and confirm for yourself that the taste of these new Kettle Brand chips is so good, it's hard to believe they're reduced fat!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

party Texas-style!

I just picked up these samples from the printer today and just had to share right away:

My task was to create an invitation for the University of Oregon, who is hosting an event the evening before their football team plays the season opener vs. LSU at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The event takes place at Billy Bob's Texas, a local landmark offering the full honky tonk experience.

After taking a peek at the venue's website, I took the bull by its horns (sorry, couldn't resist the pun!) and used a Western cowboy concept as the visual theme.

Adding a ten gallon hat and state outline to the Oregon Fighting Duck and combining grungy "saloon" fonts with a gritty, rustic background texture resulted in the exact look I was after.

I love the way this invite turned out – cheery and fun yet no mistaking what this event is all about!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

diecut business cards

Business cards are often used to make a first impression. You meet someone, you exchange cards, and you may slip the card straight into your jacket pocket for later. If the design is striking and catches your eye, you may spend a few extra seconds with the card – and at that moment, your mind is forming an opinion about that person, their business.

Clients often want to fill that very small rectangle with as much information as possible but I recently finished a card design where we actually took away content and space, literally cutting out roughly a quarter of the card.

And the result is striking!

This card is for a new cooperative gallery and because each participating artist has his or her own visual style, we kept the design very simple: black ink on white paper with a splash of chartreuse.

In addition, we created a visual tool that artists often use in their work: a cropping mechanism, a way to see what a painting might look like framed in "artist black."

By diecutting this frame, we allow the recipient to actually change their perspective on the world around them, to look at things in a new way through this card. And how often does a humble little business card get to do that?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

trying something new

I'm always excited when I have the opportunity to try something new, as was the case with a recent project for the University of Oregon's Founders Societies.

The request was to design a suite of materials that was simple yet classy, elegant yet understated. No problem, I love doing just that.

Oh, but wait – did I mention that the request was also to include engraving and custom lined envelopes? Hmmm...I had not done either of those types of projects before but sure, no problem! It's all about pulling together the right team, and I knew exactly whom to ask.

The complete suite included executive letterhead, personalized flat cards, lined envelopes, a parking pass and a mailing enclosure for the parking pass.

Initially, it seemed like getting all these elements produced might be a bit of a challenge but after partnering with Brown Printing, we figured it all out. First we had to find the perfect paper that would stand up to the engraving, yet be just the right shade of creamy white, so we chose Crest paper in Natural from Crane, one of the country's oldest and most prestigious paper companies. For the envelope liner we chose a sparkly Stardream (Onyx color) to create a nice contrast and tie in with the black engravings.

Brown printed the taupe color and the watermark, which was a custom ink mix. The logo on the back of the envelope was blind embossed, then everything was shipped up to Washington to be engraved by a master engraver who actually used to work at Crane Paper – small world!

Back in Portland, everything then had to be die cut, converted into envelopes and then the paper liner inserted and glued. Phew, quite a few hands have touched this project but in the end, it looks absolutely gorgeous!