Archive for the ‘branding’ Category

Cuppa corporate delight

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Here at the credit union we just launched an internal site for employees. It’s called the Hub. Hopefully it will be the first place employees will go to find office forms, see photos from company events, learn about company news and find lots more things—sorta be at the center of things…get it?

To promote the launch of this site, we used a guerrilla marketing technique to create buzz. For three days leading up to the launch we posted tons of flyers in the shared areas of our office suites. There was a different design for each day. At night we took down the old one and put up the new one, so each morning employees were greeted with a different humorous, and somewhat vague, message about the Hub. Without going into details, it sure did create buzz! People wanted to know what the Hub was.

I think my favorite is one with an employee’s photograph that had been censored; black bar over the eyes type of censorship, though it was still clear who the person was, with a graphic of a koala hanging on the side of the photo. The copy teased that you could find out who secretly wants a koala as a pet by reading the employee spotlight on the Hub. Just fun stuff there.

On the morning the site launched, employees came into work and found a black mug with M&Ms waiting for them on their desks, and an email in their inbox letting them know the Hub was alive!

To give the mugs some flair and go outside the curling ribbon norm, I came up with a paper insert that looked like the Hub’s logo was in some cappuccino foam, and a “spoon” gave it some vertical dimension. There were several messages on the spoons, “There’s a latte going on,” “Stir things up at the Hub,” and “Your new daily fix.”

Each insert was cut out by hand and kept in place by a tube of paper nestled among the M&Ms in the mug. As I worked on the prototypes, I kept fooling myself and reaching for a sip of coffee that was really just paper. Friend and coworker, Ed took some pretty nice shots of it, which he allowed me to use. (Thank you, Ed!)

Everyone seems pretty pleased with their mugs of candy. I’m calling this launch a success.

Carolina on my mind

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Designing logos is one of my favorite things to do. It’s the type of project I can really sink my teeth into. I can put on my headphones and listen to my 12-hour long playlist and just sit there for hours at a time exploring…in an ideal world.

In the real world we have clients. Last year, at the company where I work, we took on a client who wanted to redo their logo. After many rounds of explorations with three designers working on options, they realized it was smarter for their business not to change their logo. That’s how it is sometimes. But that doesn’t mean the work you did on it wasn’t good work. So after sitting in a long-forgotten computer folder, I thought I’d dust off a few and put them out there for the world to see.

The client has a close tie to North Carolina (it’s even a part of their name) and requested a flag be involved. I’ll admit the prospect of incorporating a flag into a logo was sort of scary for me. A flag is a symbol unto itself and carries a lot of meaning. North Carolina’s flag has a lot of detail, unlike the flag of Texas or Japan, so stylizing it was a challenge. I also worked up a hand-drawn calligraphic treatment for the words North Carolina, in an attempt to give it a little historical feel.

There are many more ideas that I worked on, but here are just a few elements.

Illustrating Dinos and Stress

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I added some new images today to the Illustration section. Clicking on the thumbs will show you the whole thing in all their glorious glory.

My latest favorite thing is the dino party. These little guys were designed for a birthday card that was supposed to be way off-base for teenagers, to the point it’s just funny. As I was drawing them and refining them, I was cracking myself up, especially when I added the little straps on the birthday hats. For the final art, I took the little pink guy in the middle, made him blue, and used him alone. The card will look like one of those “You’re 3!” kind of cards, but with things scratched out with marker, as if we found a used card and recycled it. Hopefully the recipients will get the joke. Meanwhile, I have a lot of adorable dinos hanging out that won’t necessarily get used. Hmm…what to do?

Personally, I hate most greeting cards. Going to the store to buy one is one of the most stressful things that shouldn’t be stressful. I wish more of them were just blank. It’s those sappy messages that I get caught up on. That’s just not my style. So it’s not that unusual for me to buy a childish card for someone’s birthday, cross through the “wrong” parts and sign it.

I also added a little stressed-out boy with his parents sluggishly napping behind him. This went with an article for kids about helping out more around the house. I really enjoy the detail on the dad’s socks, and of course, the retro mustache and sideburns. It’s like it’s my dad back there from my own childhood. Except that couch would need to be navy blue with little white dots all over.

A similar, though unrelated image, is the stress meter. This is just a little graphic I made that I stumbled across the other day and said, “Hey, I really like that. And I totally forgot about it.” It was part of the graphics for an article about stressing out over finances. The cartoony sweat drops make me happy. And the color palette feels very…fresh? Balanced? Well, I like it. I’ll leave it at that.