Happy Thanksgiving!

Pop Art Turkey Painting, Farm Animals Whimsical Art,  10x8 art print, abstract turkey art, pop art turkey, wild animal, wild bird

I just had to share some sort of turkey. This print is by artkunzelman on Etsy, and certainly fits the bill for the festivities.

To all who celebrate this holiday, Happy Thanksgiving. Now, get off the computer and spend some time being thankful with family and friends!

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Branding Campaign: Subliminal

Subliminal by Mauro Hernández

More branding, but that is what should be expected. When looking at design this past week, I found this example by Mauro Hernández. What especially caught my eye was the use of the logo. Instead of having it completely visible on every piece, it is used as a wrap and design element. This took the simple logo and made it more of a conceptual representation of the brand, yet held onto it’s integrity as a vessel for sharing the brand with others. I enjoy how the system has two colors, and that they aren’t used together on each piece. This helps free up the opportunity for more brand expansion in the future. Sometimes a system needs to break a few boundaries, and this certainly does some of that.

Illustration: Treebeard

Treebeard by Eiko Ojala

Some pieces have more than what is at face value. Treebeard by Eiko Ojala is one of those pieces. At first glance, you see a face, yet there is depth and feeling. On closer inspection, however, there is so much more. The attention to detail is stunning, and the depth of the color that is used is done with amazing quality. Using paper cutouts, this piece makes anything else using that technique look like child’s play. In the end, my favorite part is the eyes. They have a an essence of life that is hard to put into any figure. When placed into this piece, the effect is breathtaking. Regardless of the character reference, this piece has history from technique and artistry.

Packaging: Karamelleriet

Karamelleriet by Bessermachen Design Studio

It seems that I am drawn to packaging for sweets as of late, so why break the chain? I stumbled upon this branding system and packaging by Bessermachen Design Studio while looking for inspiration for an ongoing branding project and a packaging redesign project. I love the two different styles of packaging, jar and bag, and that each one is handled in a unique way while still holding to the brand’s character. In all honesty though, what got my attention and kept it there was the beginning of the hand lettered logo. It caught my eye and added an additional human element that so often gets lost in the fray. The staging for the photographs of the brand also help highlight and elevate the brand. The simple patterning is elegant, but almost isn’t needed in several of the photos. Even the caramels align to the packaging with their pastel sugar dusting. Everything is thought out with this system, and even though some things aren’t as catchy as other brands I have seen, it resonates with my work and is definitely a great example of what can happen when every aspect of a brand comes into a cohesive whole.

Branding Campaign: Mallard

tea packaging

What can I say, I love tea packaging just about as much as I love tea, if not more. This system for Mallard by Sarah Walsh is a wonderful example of the many possibilities of branding tea. The simple use of the teapot is common among tea brands, but this takes it one step further with the pattern showing through the silhouette. The teapot also has a slightly non-standard shape that helps make the brand stand out. In addition to the simple form and a plethora of complex patterns, the type face helps to add personality and elegance. To complete the piece, the white block helps to even out all the complexity to a simple, elegant solution. I enjoy all the different components to the system such as the bags and insulated cups. A brand’s job it to elevate the experience of the viewer or user, and Mallard has most definitely achieved that.

Design Perspective: The Gift Basket

früute by Ferroconcrete

It’s that time of year again, and everyone is starting to get crazy. Christmas carols abound (good in my opinion, but not in many others’) and holiday gift shopping begins. This is the time of year when graphic designers realize just how bad so much packaging can be, but it is also a time of year when many brands step it up and make their packaging shine amongst the masses (sometimes literally). This packaging by Ferroconcrete takes the normal gift basket and redefines it. The wicker knockoff is replaced by a specially designed felt bag, and the small wire and wooden creatures get people thinking of Schwibbogen (candle arches for those of you not into German). In the end, however, what got my attention was the packaging for the cookies. It was simple, elegant, and yet snarky and fun. The sayings on the bags made a higher end package more personable, and yet the quality of design was not sacrificed. Each piece speaks for itself in this gift basket, but as a whole, this set redefines what can be done with a gift package. The focus is clear, and I can almost here the penguins, snowmen, and reindeer singing “deck the halls.”

Illustration: “Herd” by Monica Ramos

"Herd" by Monica Ramos

It was an interesting week, and such weeks need a cheerful bit of inspiration to lead the way into the weekend. This illustration by Monica Ramos definitely fit the bill. I really enjoy the cheery atmosphere of the alpacas in this image. The composition is well done, and each alpaca has a different personality. The fact that this is a watercolor illustration is very impressive, because I have been struggling to work with watercolor recently, and understand that it takes a different type of control, if you can even call it that. The use of color and the way certain emphasized qualities are included all hold together nicely in a complete composition. An added bonus is the connection to the fiber world, which I occasionally dabble in as well. Design, painting, and fiber inspiration all in one!

The Packaging: Matthew Hilton Watch

11 3 13 MatthewHiltonWatch 8

While looking for more inspiration, I found this packaging design by Spin for Matthew Hilton Watches. What caught my attention was the way that the series of photographs representing this system showed every step when unpacking the watch. I found this fascinating and really enjoyed the little extras such as unexpected design elements inside of the cardboard and the wood case for the watch. The color pallet is very simple yet effective and keeps the company from looking too boring while holding onto that element of sophistication and high quality. Creative use of materials really makes this design stand out.

Branding Campaign: Alex Hines Self Promotion

Alex Hines Self Promotion

Building a personal identity is no easy task. That being said, I always enjoy finding examples of personal branding campaigns done well. This system by Alex Hines is a wonderful example of what can be done beside the typical stationary components of a branding system. I like the way she has utilized a small box to create a simple takeaway that explains the brand and all it has to offer. The idea of using a Prismacolor pencil in the main color of the branding system is ingenious. I especially like the customized flash drive; a necessity for any graphic designer. The logo is well thought out, with the script A flowing into the outer circle. Everything is clean and simple, yet elegant and professional. This is a wonderful example of what a personal brand can be.

Who You Gonna Call?

Ghostbusters Poster

Sometimes things just need to be lighthearted fun. This poster most certainly put a smile on my face as the music cued in my head. I really enjoy how the imagery encapsulates the highlights of the first Ghostbusters movie. The simplicity of the color scheme and the choice of what elements from the movie should be included create a tight, well thought out composition. The small details in the building and car contrast well with the large block forms of the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. This is a simple, silly poster that certainly refreshes my creativity and hopefully other’s as well.