Whether it’s in our fridge at home or it’s a project at the office, we take beer very seriously here at Bevel. When scanning the aisles for a tasty brew, packaging is the first thing that draws you in. It might be the box, can, bottle label, or logo, but they all play an important role in getting a beer off the shelves and into your hands. We have helped build a craft look from the ground up for 2 clients in particular, both in the ever-growing beer industry.
But of course, it all starts with a logo: the identity of a brand. Here is a glimpse at our process.
First off, we’d like to apologize for our lack of social interaction. For the past couple of months, Bevel has been doing some self-reflection, some soul searching. Maybe it was the copious amounts of snow, ice and cold Baltimore has seen this winter, but no worries, we’re back and better than ever.
Spring is about to…well, “spring” and the Bevel Design website has blossomed. Cabin fever had set in and now it’s time for this site to see the light of day. Just as the caterpillar blossoms into a beautiful butterfly, our online home has also had a major metamorphosis. Our web development and design team has been working like crazy to shed our old skin and make room for some necessary changes. And although caterpillars are kind of cute, we wanted to be that beautiful butterfly.
As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 is just around the corner, we wanted to see what we could look forward to in the New Year in the world of packaging. Packaging design sounds so exciting, doesn’t it?
You know those plastic, childproof boxes that even you can’t break through with scissors? People actually spend hours of research in labs with white coats, testing out different materials, shapes, and sizes just for you to end up yelling at a box that you can’t open. Well we can’t promise that you won’t break a sweat opening your kids’ toys on Christmas morning, but there will definitely be some changes in how those toys are packaged.
So if you’ve been an avid reader of the Bevel Blog, you may recall that we’ve covered almost every type of work we do here at Bevel, including logo design, packaging, branding, and illustrations. But our lead web designer, Matt, pointed out one of our most important capabilities we’ve left out: Ecommerce. This is probably one of the most notable features that a site can have (besides all the fancy pictures, colors, and fonts) because it makes our customer the all-important moo-lah!
Today, we stumbled upon this great blog post from Designer-Daily.com that sparked our interests in more than one way. The post displays seven unique environments that people call their “desks”. Who knew so many people were spending precious hours on designing all these different desk ideas? We’ve all seen the epic fails facing the treadmill desk (video above from The Ellen Show) but how about really taking advantage of your workspace?
For those of you in the business world, you’ve probably seen every variation of the work environment: The OCD Master with everything in its’ right place (no touching!), The Dump where nothing has a place and they can never find anything, The Inspiring Atmosphere loaded with motivational quotes and of course your office Over-Sharer with pictures of their cats, dogs, children, grandparents, etc.…
As Bevel Design has embarked on our newest venture in social media, we’ve noticed how useful working with our competition can be to the growth of our web presence. By liking competitors on Facebook, following them on Twitter and Google+, and scanning their profile on LinkedIn, we can see what’s out there and where we need to be moving forward.
Sharing is Caring, My Friends
This got us thinking, how can B2C (business to customer) companies use this theory to help their business? An ancient theory of business used to be the thought that you should keep everything behind closed doors. Never show your hand to the competitors because they’ll copy you right away and they’ll know your next move. Nowadays, why can’t we just share everything?
Starting a new company or even revamping a mature company is a creature not to be messed with. When you start from scratch, your mind is overflowing like a witch’s cauldron with ideas and you don’t know where to edit. And when you’re trying to rebrand an existing business, a lot of the times the new ideas cover up the old ones like a mask. Oh yes, we’re taking that Halloween metaphor and running with it.
Here at Bevel, we take brand development and brand makeovers pretty seriously, especially when it comes to the visuals. Our web team has seen some pretty scary websites in the past and know how hard it is for many clients to see how much change needs to be made. With new businesses we like to have initial “getting to know you” meeting so we can get all of your super creative ideas on paper.
That works, right? Well, what’s a better way to grab your attention than talking about your cans? We’re talking about beer cans; get your head out of the gutter! As we talked about in our Navigating Uncharted Seas post, we know good design and good beer. But what’s with all the cans hitting the market?
In the early 2000s, craft beer really began to gain notice in the mainstream markets. Was it the product design or just some damn good beer that helped the beverages from small breweries get noticed? We like to think a little bit of both. In 2002, Oskar Blues Brewery of Colorado made the first big entrance into the market with Dale’s Pale Ale. The brewers have been tirelessly quoted on their initial struggles. Of course, many people had their misconceptions about the quality of beers in cans. What most people don’t realize is, with the new changes in production technology, canned beer reigns supreme.
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.