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Kombucha-ching!

Lovely Woods Packaging. Rob Metke

Don’t try to make sense of the title. I was trying to be clever but you know how it is when you have to explain the joke… it just loses something. I’ve been keeping myself busy working on this personal identity/packaging project for our home brewed Kombucha. In a nut shell, Kombucha is a fermented tea but could also pass for an at home science experiment. Its good stuff though and very tasty. If you want to learn more about it click here. You can buy this stuff in the stores but making it at home is fun and you can get creative with your flavors. Since we share our brew with friends I thought it would be nice to have something that felt gift-ready so that was my motivation for thins. I’m sure this project will for grow and evolve over time but I thought I would share my initial progress. The identity draws inspiration from the earthy, organic, natural essence of Kombucha and is meant to feel like an old fashioned apothecary ad for  tonic or elixir so you’ll see those elements in the design as well.

Lovely Woods Kobucha Identity. Rob Metke

Lovely Woods Kobucha Identity. Rob Metke

Lovely Woods Kobucha Identity. Rob Metke

Lovely Woods Kobucha Packaging. Rob Metke

As always I welcome your feedback and opinions. If you want to see more click here.

You Win Some, You Lose Some. A Designer’s Job Search Insight.

For anyone looking for a design job, you know the task at times can seem like a daunting one. Not only do you need to create a resume that gets you noticed for your skills but it’s also important that graphically your resume stand out from the rest without being overtly “designy” and that can be a difficult line to straddle. As a designer, we also have the portfolio piece. Oh ya, that little thing. We want our work to show an aesthetic and point of view while still demonstrating that we’re capable of working within different styles. If we’ve played our cards right, these two pieces might be enough to get us noticed and get the interview. Whew! Once we’ve got our foot in the door all we have to do is convince them that our work is the best, our experience is exactly what they’re looking for and make everyone love us. No pressure at all!

Say everything up to this point goes perfectly and you get yourself a second interview. Great! Now, you might be asked to do a design test. I think in many design jobs this piece is fairly common but obviously, the scope of the test can vary. I think it’s valuable for the organization to see what kind of work you do in a real world situation but I also think it makes it tough not to become emotionally invested when you’ve put a lot of work in and you want the gig.  I know this is a fairly lengthy post but it was a valuable experience for me and that’s why I want to share. Below is the creative brief I was given as part of a design test for a job I recently interviewed for. Seeing the brief will help you understand why I made the design decisions I did. I chose to create a full identity system and the creative solution was a direct mailer and follow up email.

CREATIVE BRIEF:

Business Objectives: One of our business units is transitioning its name from X to Y. It is critical that we communicate to our existing customers that our name is changing but not our commitment to the industry or them. This event is sure to increase visibility for the brand creating an ideal opportunity to restate to potential customers what makes us different.

Top Things to Communicate:

• The name change reflects our transformative growth and is symbolic of our commitment to providing greater access to a broader range of world-class systems, software, products, facilities and expertise.

• We strive to position ourselves as a companion in furthering the practice of animal health care.

• This new identity is a (bolder/vibrant), fun, more personal one that elevates experiences over things.

• Companionship is synonyms with one of our core brand attributes…partnership. Identify classic animal companion archetypes and relate with how we are delivering on our promise of helping build healthier businesses and furthering the practice of animal health care.

• Ideation Keywords: Loyal (Man’s Best Friend), Friendly, Shared Interests, Part of the Family

• Potentially include slight image modifications to theme based on Practice focus (Companion vs. Equine

IDENTITY SYSTEM & EMAIL:

MyVetSupply Identity Suite

MyVetSupply Identity Suite

DIRECT MAILER:

MyVetSupply Direct Mailer

MyVetSupply Direct Mailer

Ultimately, the organization chose to go with another candidate. But, as I said this was a valuable experience. In the end, you win some and you lose some and you have to pick yourself up and move on. As I’m learning, patience is ultimately the best skill you can possess when you’re looking for work. If you know anyone in the Minneapolis area who is looking for a graphic designer let me know. My contact information is here. I’m also available for freelance work. Thanks for reading and as always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

So Say We All

If you’re a fan of Battlestar Galactica (I know, nerd alert) then you might recognize this phrase. All joking aside, Battlestar Galactica is the best show ever and its not nerdy in at all. All the episodes are on Netflix streaming. Check it out. For this hand lettering exercise I went the route of very precise, laying out everything on graph paper to ensure consistency amongst the forms of each letter. It makes me want to create my own font. Even if I’m not qualified. Here is the in-progress sketch:

And here is the final product. I was trying to achieve the look of letterpress using photoshop, since sadly I don’t own a letterpress. The end result is clean and simple, not over designed.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Hand Lettering. An Exercise in Patience and Determination.

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time scouring the web high and low for design inspiration. Click here to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’ve dug up along the way. One thing that’s been peaking my interest as of late is hand lettering. In the age of computers we’ve all been taught that to get it done better and faster we should employ technology. While this is true to a point, it’s not always the case. On my quest for new and different projects I stumbled across artist Jay Roeder’s Flicker Photostream. His work has a quality that simply cannot be replicated solely using a machine. While the process of creating type and lettering by hand is more time consuming, the process is rewarding and the end product, in my opinion is more authentic.

I know it seems like a given that a graphic designer should always start with a traditional sketch. But, because so much of what I create in terms of graphics is intended for the web I normally skip this step. For this exercise, I was going old school. To kick this project off I bought two pads of tracing paper and a stack of sharpies. 30 sheets of paper and a lot of hours later I ended up with something that I’m relatively happy with, at least for my first time out the gate. Here is the “in-progress” initial sketch.

And here is the final product after it was taken into Illustrator and then Photoshop.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

Love Notes

Love notes with a twist. Graphically, drawing inspiration from old, warn love letters but also pulling updated elements in for visual interest. Much like things said between two people, you have to do a little deciphering to figure out exactly what these are saying. Life is too short. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Hope you enjoyed. As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s ideas become tomorrow realities.

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