A Mighty Big Harvest Packaging Design

Design, Illustration, New Piece, Packaging, Print

As a freelancer, it’s a fun treat when I get the opportunity to bid on a project, win that bid, and then work on that project from concept to completion with a team of other creatives (versus working solo or only on one facet of a campaign’s design).

I presented ideas to Applied Underwriters (a workman’s comp insurance agency (which has a GIANT St. Bernard for a logo)) for their annual wine promotion, an incentive program for sales reps to get more quotes and deals through their company. They have been doing these pretty elaborate direct mail campaigns for a number of years, so have a history of high quality, thoughtful designs under their belt.

The conceptualization process starts out many months in advance of when the program starts (technically, I think they are already thinking about the next year’s as soon as the program is just finishing up for the current year). I was given an overview of what the mandatory requirements for the promotion were, samples of things they’ve done in the past, and a brief idea of what “might be cool” this year. Amusingly, the initial concept was about pairing wine with chocolate, which is the concept I presented for, and then won the bid for, but as so many things go, issues with that concept arose afterwards, and we all had to then pivot and create a new concept after a few weeks worth of work had already gone into plan A.

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My pitch for chocolate/wine pairing

Unfortunately, this promotion would be mailed out in August, which for most of the non-fog-bound-San Francisco parts of the country means melty times for chocolate.

But that’s ok, we played with a few other ideas but then eventually moved on to a concept of sending custom Govino glasses (those plastic ones with the little notch for your thumb) for the first mailer, and then a wine tasting game for the second mailer (basically, magnet poetry for your wine). Because it’s fun to look back on how things evolved, here are 2 of the very initial sketches for both of those pieces.

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Initial box design

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Magnet Poetry meets wine tasting design idea

Over the course of a couple more months, we refined, rewrote, reimagined, and then finally designed the 2 final pieces. I worked with the team up until almost the very end when their in-house design team took my files and cleaned them up for print production. A few more changes were made that likely were the result of seeing in-person mock ups and working out issues or cleaning up the design (like the outside of the box was supposed to be a scene from Napa, but I think it must have been a technical nightmare to line up AND looked very busy compared to the toned down, no image option they ran with for the final).

Fun to have played a big part in that process and guided the overall design work, and then see the final product turn out so well. A very great experience! Shout out to a very great art director and creative writer who were both so thoughtful and detail oriented throughout the whole process. It’s always a pleasure to work with such smart people. Also, a shout out to the highly technically scratchboard illustrator, Steven Noble, whom they have been working with for ages, for his contributions to the piece.

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box open with reward chart insert removed

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auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-5-3rd-open

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auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-8-no-glasses-deep

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-9-glass-mbh

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-10-glass-costello

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-11-reward-chart-front

reward chart

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auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-box-13-reward-chart-full-open

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Second Mailer in its plastic mailing sleeve

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auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-3-gate-flap-opened

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-4-opened

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-5-opened-contents-coming-out

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-6-coaster-detail

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-7-sheet-detail

auw-mighty-big-harvest-2016-magnet-8-words-and-glass-on-sheet

In the Wilderness for a Week

About Me, Illustration, Interests, Places

Backpacking 2015

Just a note that I’ll be off in the wilderness for a much anticipated week of backpacking the Rae Lakes Loop Trail from the 21st-29th. I’ll be back in action (in this case “action” is ironic since I will simply be back in front a computer instead of hiking all day) and filling your feed with more infographics and illustrations upon my return.

Family Greetings in Retro Travel Postcard Style

Cards, Design, Illustration, New Piece, Print

Day Care Project final web

I worked on a project recently that was a lot of fun. A mother whose child attends a small daycare center wanted to pull together a unique thank you gift for the class’s teachers. She found a board she really liked on Etsy, and thought it would be fun to have pictures of the families to pin onto it. We got to talking and the idea expanded to be not just family photos, but vintage inspired travel postcard themed cards with a greeting of their choice on it. Each family had a fun story or background that we could highlight, so I whipped up a textured template (working with a limited palette that went well with the board she’d found) and I made a bunch of fun graphics to include on each family’s card. I also aged the photos a bit to make them fit in with the retro style a bit more.

Day Care Photos Lutz

Father came from Hawaii, and they love to surf!

They love to be outdoors, especially their garden.

They love to be outdoors, especially their garden.

Mom is from Trinidad and Father is from Norway, so they can never decide between skiing and surfing.

Mom is from Trinidad and Father is from Norway, so they can never decide between skiing and surfing.

Parents are from Taiwan and New Jersey - their love met in the middle. Can't forget the dog!

Parents are from Taiwan and New Jersey – their love met in the middle. They love biking and hiking, too.

All their love, from Switzerland.

All their love, from Switzerland.

We have a rivalry on our hands! Also, can't forget the dog.

We have a rivalry on our hands! Also, can’t forget the dog.

Both parents are basically professional dancers, both ballroom and swing.

Both parents are basically professional dancers, both ballroom and swing.

Can't forget the Frozen fans. (image blurred by family's request).

Can’t forget the Frozen fans. (image blurred by family’s request).

A very fun, personalized gift for the teachers. They loved it so much they plan on keeping it in the classroom even after the current class has moved on.

It was a lot of fun coming up with graphics for each family and having it work with the theme. I liked the color palette a lot, too. Would be fun to make more graphics like this.

Oh, here’s the backside, where the family’s wrote their personalized messages. Complete with custom stamp and post office marker.

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Measles Comeback

Design, Illustration, Interests, New Piece

In light of recent measles news, I decided to make a little PSA regarding the history of measles, including the reasons why it seems to have made a comeback in the U.S.

I happily used the article Matt Pearce of the LA Times wrote last week as my guide. In fact, I recommend reading it in full if you’re interested in some of the extra details he writes that I didn’t have room to include here.

California Wine Infographic

Design, Illustration, New Piece, Posters, Print

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Made another fun infographic, this time all about the Wine Industry in California (spoiler alert: it’s big). From production to consumption, California is a big winner. Prints are also available at Society 6.

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Here’s a peek at the full scale, poster version.

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Plein Air Paintings, Central California

New Piece, Painting, Places

This past weekend I attended WooCamp, near San Lucas, California. I took the opportunity to be off the grid to give oil painting another go. I hadn’t touched the stuff in probably 5 years, mostly on account of it being extremely messy and me having no where in my humble apartments to work on it without destroying every piece of clothing I own, or the apartment itself.

But it was nice to get my hand back in it (yeah, literally, I’m such a messy painter), and no better place than spring in central California. This is the off highway 101 Central, not off Highway 5 or 99 Central, to be specific. And yeah, there’s a difference. While both are pretty rural/agricultural, the hills along this side of the state make all the difference. It’s definitely a part of California that doesn’t see much play in tour books, but definitely the sweeping chaparral that I strongly associate with this state and my childhood. Golden hills, purple and blue shadows, bright yellow mustard plants popping up every where, and the quintessential gnarly oak trees, which are so impressive to look at, but SO difficult for me to paint.

I make no promises to have many more of these posted in any near future, but in an ideal world, I’d have time (and space) to paint more often.