Our newest client, CharmedBar, has given us one of the most rare opportunities in the graphic design business: full creative control. The founders of CharmedBar, Jen and Debbi, had created a very unique product and name, but not much else. They didn’t have any logos, colors, or packaging, so this gave us, the green light to get really creative.
Upon meeting with Jen and Debbi, we were given two design suggestions: chandeliers and Tiffany blue. This unique project gave Bevel the chance to work with a client from start to launch, including logos, illustration, packaging, branding, and web design. This introductory meeting resulted in the opportunity to work with everything Bevel offers as a full service graphic design firm.
We’ll Know If You Get Us Or Not
In April 2013, we began on our journey with CharmedBar. We started by building the imagery of the brand in the logo. Now we knew they liked Tiffany blue and chandeliers but you can’t just draw a dinky little chandelier, paint it Tiffany blue and there ya go, here’s your logo ladies!
As we talked about in our logo post, the logo should really be the personality of the company as a whole and for CharmedBar this means a lot of personality. This is a very unique brand that wants its customers to know about the nutritional benefits of their bars (without gluten, grain, dairy, soy, and refined sugars), but it should not be the reason you’re drawn to the product. We knew this as “toward pleasure, away from pain”. So we decided to combine the logo design, corporate ID, and packaging into one step. It may seem like we really complicated things, but when you’re starting from scratch you want to make sure your design can work with the packaging so you won’t have to redesign later. It’s always better to make sure your illustrations can work with multiple packages and displays rather than have to go back and adjust for every new package.
The trade shows circuit is somewhat of an untapped goldmine in the world of business-to-business expansion and development. Of course companies that are selling a physical product such as foods, drinks, or clothing have been monopolizing on trade shows for years, but how can a B2B company really benefit? Start voluntarily giving away your trade secrets. That’s right; expose everything you know at no cost. Now this might seem like the exact opposite of what you would think was “selling” at a trade show, but in fact, volunteering your industry advice is one of the best ways to get your name out there.
Playing Tag Along
One of the initial ways to get involved in trade shows is to tag along (or act as a guide) for your companies. For instance, this year we will be attending the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. We will be joining our two clients, Flax USA and Charmed Bar, on a whirlwind tour of how to really push their products. Along with helping in the design and set-up of their display booths, we will really help them in the marketing push. Placing the big sellers up front with our most attractive box displays and talking up how easy it would be for retailers to carry and sell the products is just the beginning.
This expo is one of our favorites every year because of its specific focus on the East Coast market and its’ organizer’s ability to bring in some really great buyers. In the past, we have had the opportunity to boost not only current client products, but launch new ones. The expo has provided a great test market to really see how the newest products will fare in the marketplace. And surprisingly, buyers are refreshingly honest with their reactions to new products.
It’s no secret around these parts that Bevel Design is passionate about two things: great design and great beer. In 2003, we started working with Clipper City Brewing Company on launching a new brand line Heavy Seas Beer. In the beginning, this line was set to stay under the parent company, but the Heavy Seas brand started to grow exponentially with its national popularity. So in 2009, Clipper City asked Bevel to help redesign the entire brand and bring it all under the Heavy Seas brand name. As the company has grown, we have managed the progress of the company logo, labels, and packaging.
Flash Forward to Present Day (we get better with age, obviously)….
When Hugh Sisson, managing partner of Clipper City Brewing Company — maker of Heavy Seas Beer, paid us a visit to discuss his new product line, Uncharted Waters, we couldn’t help but salivate. The Uncharted Water Series is the breweries highest ABV% beer, sold seasonally in 22oz bottles.
These premium small batch beers are rich, robust and aged in wood barrels to draw out a wide range of complex palate-pleasing flavors. We may not have asked Hugh to bring in some samples, but they definitely helped spark our creative process. Having already designed his line of Heavy Seas Beers with great success, Sisson left the creative direction up to Bevel with one stipulation: visually push the wood barrel messaging.
Step Away From the Screen
How many hours a day do you think you spend staring at a screen? Let’s start adding it all up. Where do you get your news in the morning? Over your morning coffee, or maybe even before you get out of bed, you probably turn on CNN to get the top stories, scroll through Twitter to get the latest headlines, or use one of your favorite apps on your iPad. Then you head off to work, check any traffic problems on your phone (even though you definitely never use your phone and drive at the same time). You spend 8 plus hours at the office in front of your computer, checking your Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed, and newest Instagram pictures every once in a while for a break, and then head back home for an ounce of relaxation in front of the television.
You’ve now spent over 12 hours in front of a screen, even when you’re trying to take a break from the daily grind. But when is the last time you actually took the time to break away from the screen and disengage? Do you read books, magazines, or newspapers anymore or is it all through the Kindle and iPad? Walk away from the iPad. Yes, you heard me, put down the device. Print articles and ads have now become the way for people to give their eyes and brains much needed time off.