Thursday, January 2, 2014

Looking back at 2013, The House Project

I have always had a knack for getting my hands dirty and I love projects. So my husband and I took on a very large project in 2013, a house. We closed in December 2012 and just finished everything we said we would, last week. It took us one year and one day to finish the whole house and I am so proud.

Above is a before and after picture of my kitchen. Although my husband and I updated everything in the entire house, you can see our results best in the kitchen. See that white flying saucer sitting on the far left counter within the top photo? That was the only light source to the kitchen and it was on a motion sensor, which was just creepy. Also, if you can see the line above the cabinets, that is the line from the drop ceiling that ran throughout the whole first floor which we ripped down. Yup, we did serious overhaul.

I'm a planner, hard worker and a dreamer. Completing this house was just one of the many things that I can check off my bucket list in 2013. I am most impressed with our diligence and teamwork. Even under the worse stress my husband and I kept our cool. We took turns being the leader, decision maker and budget keeper which says a lot about who we are as team players. The experience to update a house is hard and not for everyone, but if you are a goal oriented person and pace yourself room by room it shouldn't get too overwhelming.

At this point the house just needs interior design like curtains and knick knacks that I hope to collect and display as we grow old. I would like to design a garden outside one spring or summer and get a better understanding of soil, sun, and planting zones. But that is for another day. Today and for awhile I will be grateful for this lasting design accomplishment. As a graphic designer most of my work has a short shelf life, but this house project has provided me an opportunity to live within my design and appreciate it every day and that feels good. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Local Love, Merry Christmas Baldwinsville

I went into my local library to pick up the books I had on hold and to my surprise Christmas was at the front door. My local library decorated for Christmas with, what else, books! 
Happy holidays everyone. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Marketing Small Potatoes

Martin Butts is a local entrepreneur helping CNY producers plant their seeds in medias that where once hard to sow. Martin founded this business idea while working as the Merchandising Manager at Syracuse's Real Food Co-op. He found that local producers that would bring their produce into the store in Ziplock bags had a hard time competing with producers, such as Kashi, that came dress and suited up in commercially designed packages.

So in 2009 Martin started Small Potatoes, a "boutique marketing, advocacy, and consulting firm that specializes in working with small-scale and start-up food product companies to launch and grow their businesses." Small Potatoes, fuelled by Recess Coffee, is introducing local farmers to local chefs, writing up press releases or social media posts, and getting them into the community through farmer's markets and community events.

In October Martin spoke at an independent TED event in Utica. And although you see most entrepreneurs out to sell their product or advertise their business at an event such as this, Martin didn't mention anything about Small Potatoes. Martin spoke about the bigger goal, Refining our Food Culture; see what he had to say in the video below.

Redefining our food culture: Martin Butts at TEDxUtica 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Disney Princess Engagement Rings

Disney has realized that it is not only children that love there brand and characters, but adults as well. I know my mother-in-law loves Disney and fits this demographic. She goes to Disney World every year, has a Minnie bathroom, and accessories purchased, such as her iPhone case, follow in the love of Disney. So I was pleased to see these engagement rings hit the market and I'm sure there are plenty of single ladies dieing to get the question popped with one of these rings.

What I think also what have worked is to create these rings using fake diamonds for the little princess fans as well. As a small girl I got a purple stone ring for my communion and it met the world to me. I think if I got one of these rings designed for my favorite Disney princesses, Ariel at the time, it would have made me melt.

This ring designs are lovely and truly communicate the princess they were designed for. These sparkling product designs will be around for years to come, for Disney merchandising and on fingers of dreamy fans everywhere.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Freeman Formula Complete Meals

Four pack exterior packaging for Orange Creamsicle.

Freeman Formula is a local health and fitness faculty located in East Syracuse, NY.  They have fitness programs and supplements to help their clients succeed faster results. In September 2012 I had the opportunity to work with the owners Jeramy & Kim Freeman while working at Seaboard Graphics in Liverpool, NY.

 The Freeman's already successful Complete Meals where going to get packaged smaller so their product could be made for women's serving sizes. This was a great opportunity for them to re-brand. Their current identity is shimmery highlights of gold on black with sexy images that span cookbooks, training guides, and their website. But for this project the Freemans where looking for the product ingredients to shine. They wanted pops of flavor with a feminine organic feel to coincide with there exceptional recipe of pure and simple ingredients. Four flavors have been released internationally selling in the GNC website: Orange Creamsicle, Peach-Mango, Caramel Caffe, and Chocolate.

And if your looking for more designs from me visit my website:

Peach-Mango bottle wrap

Beak & Skiff Apple Farms

Living is Syracuse we have a tradition each fall to travel down to Lafayette, NY and go apple picking. But this year our apple farm looked drastically different. They redesigned the whole thing, I mean everything. Beak and Skiff got new branding, a new building, and even new parking layout; and it was genius!

The new barn; cafe is on the right, bar is on the left.

Looking back, the farm was so congested people were always standing in long lines waiting to get around the shop or get to the apple fritter stand. Beak and Skiff took everything into consideration and refined. They put the play area in the orchard, they moved every display in the store and made room for not only walking but for a relaxed shopping experience. And the biggest change, building a new barn that held a foyer like connection between a cafe and the apple "bar" where they sell glasses of their hard ciders, spirits, and wines on tap.

Inside the bar distressed crates create that 100 year feel.

Beak and Skiff was founded in 1911 by Andrew Beak & George Skiff and their 100 year anniversary was their inspiration for the new branding of spirits, which currently consists of vodka and gin, as well as various flavored ciders. The agency behind the new branding is Intwine Marketing, a San Francisco based agency that specializes in wine and spirit industry marketing.

1911 Hard Ciders come is a variety of flavors like blueberry, raspberry, sweet apple, light and crisp, and their classic 1911.

McDonalds McWrap Bag

Good wrap, cute bag.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Great Divide Brewery

Great Divide is a brewery located in Denver, CO. Their product is well-known, and their eye-catching brand identity I think has a lot to do with it. Below are pictures of there in-house beer menu. At 2201 Arapahoe Street they have a small tasting room where you can purchase pints and sit around to enjoy loud music and being elbow to elbow with the locals.

Their design radiates through a thick and bold sans serif type face that is apparent on the front of almost every product they sell. This design is a favorite of my husbands and gets him interested every time. But design is not only what is cool about Great Divide, concept is key with fun names like YETI and HOSS who wouldn't try these brews?

Architectural beauty

Fishy in a box

Cole's trout  has a beautiful package design! If I only knew what to do with Trout. Cole's trouts are raised incorporating a semi-intensive farming method using a natural, closed-in stream that uses actual mountain spring waters. They try their best to farm friendly and create a delicious product that you can purchase at your local grocery store. Cole's sells two favors: Trout in Escabeche (which is trout in a traditional herb Portuguese sauce) and Applewood Smoked Trout, both flavored fish packs are boneless.