Bocek Bros. Brand and Product Launch

You have to love working for clients that really feel your creative work on their bottom line. Clients that see the impact of your ideas and designs very directly. That’s the case in spades with Bocek Bros., a charcuterie start-up here in Missouri that I recently branded. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have always had a deep love for great charcuterie and let me tell you, the product Bocek Bros. is selling is great. Smoky, authentic and artisanal, this stuff is the real deal.

I was involved in all aspects of this one, from naming, to positioning to brand design and packaging (even copywriting and tagline development in the mix for me here as well). Self-performing isn’t something I do everyday with my role as VP / Creative Director; most of the time I’m trying to give the best creative opportunities to my team. I don’t say that solely altruistically, it’s just a great way to keep them motivated and engaged as an integral part of the agency. HOWEVER, this one was too much in my sweet spot on a variety of levels to pass up. LOL!

The goal was to create something that was hip and irreverent, but that retained a high-end “Napa Valley” artisanal sense to it. From the tagline and copy attitude to the mark and wordmark themselves to the site and packaging designs, I think that balance was conveyed.

Shown Here: Identity and Tagline, Brand Colors, Packaging Designs (with Detail), Photography Style (THANKS to Vince on my team for shooting), and Site

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Wilburn’s Glen Brand Package

These brand launch materials for boutique natural spring water bottling start-up, Wilburn’s Glen, convey the natural sense of authenticity inherent in the Llano, Texas brand. Based around design principles expressed the Deco, Moderne and WPA architectural jewels studded throughout the Texas Hill Country region, the brand style has a classic modern strength with a hip twist. I created custom typography for the name “GLEN,” giving an ownable center to the identity. Geometric angled lines update and leverage forward classic deco graphic design thematics and symmetry while creating subtle “W”elements throughout the designs. Fun and elegant with a touch of whimsey, this was a joy to work on.

Shown Here: Brand Identity Elements, Packaging and Advertising Samples

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Propper Tactical Brand Launch

I’m pleased to share the final result of the Propper Tactical brand launch. In an earlier post, I shared a colorful and engaging exploratory concept for this assignment. In contrast, the selected approach shown here is rich, textural and “engineered” with a clear lifestyle focus. It was paramount with this brand launch to do something genuinely different; something real for a real, savvy consumer target audience. The iconography and brand elements here speak to the concept of a “tactical system” with integrated imagery and clarity of purpose. Sleek, tactile textures bring touch and a decided sense of quality to the piece while the white graphic bar overlays underscore the central concept of the rank of “officer.” This is a bold, smart brand for well-engineered gear for today’s intelligent tactical law enforcement professionals.

Again, I was the hands-on designer for all of this, a co-concept lead and wrote the line descriptors (“Be Cool.,” Blend.,” “Perform.,” and “Move.”) for the brand.

Shown Here: Teaser Videos, Brand Identity Elements, Hangtags, Sample Advertising, Site Design

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Propper Tactical Brand Concept

Sometimes I showcase here the concepts that aren’t selected. I believe strongly in presenting only options to clients that are both artful and viable. However, of everything presented, only one can make it. This concept for military and tactical icon Propper International is a great example of something that was not selected, but that retains a strength and beauty that makes it worth sharing.

Let me just say, I love these guys. This assignment was a hell of a lot of fun to create and trust me when I tell you that though I really did love the work featured in this post, the concept they selected (and I have since executed) was the right choice and is VERY compelling. Frankly, I can’t wait to show you that work. We’re all very excited for the official launch.

This concept brings a heavy infusion of lifestyle to a powerful new tactical line of gear Propper is bringing to market. Colorful, iconoclastic and real, the work treats the target audience here with both the intelligence and consumer savvy so often absent in this sector. I was the hands-on designer for all of this, a co-concept lead and wrote the line descriptors (“Be Cool.,” Blend.,” “Perform.,” and “Move.”) for the brand.

Shown Here: Sample Advertising, Brand Identity Elements and Site Design

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Pear Tree Dressing Packaging Suite

Carrying forward the packaging redesign I started for gourmet brand The Pear Tree, I recently created a new packaging suite for their signature dressing selections. Fresh, clean, contemporary and eye-catching, these designs capture the spirit of the brand while generating new interest in the product among a sea of sameness in the supermarket refrigerated dressing section — see in-store photos below to get a sense of the “pop” inherent in this graphic approach.

Shown Here: Flat Label Designs and In-Store Photos of Packaging

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The Salvagery Brand Package

Portland, OR improv jazz trio The Salvagery’s July 2011 release “Triage” is a triumph of experimental work. At once contemporary and exuberant, “Triage” builds on the heritage of great albums in the improv tradition. The work is pure fun.

These designs built around the album build on that iconoclastic spirit and birthright. The look and feel here balances personal, custom-created typography and illustrations with rich color to create a bold approach that captures the essence of vintage 40’s -60’s  jazz album covers from great labels like Columbia and Blue Note. I loved working on this one!

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UPBrand Brand Package

Recently, I started my tenure as the Vice President / Creative Director of UPBrand, a St. Louis-based agency focused on building brands through storytelling. I’ve already been having fun with great design and concept and one part of that has been establishing the aesthetic and visual brand for the agency itself. A good friend and talented independent designer Ben Franklin had started the proceedings with identity work before I arrived. I have taken the mark that Ben established and created a look and feel for digital assets, packaging, presentation materials, apparel and motion / video.

The work strikes a balance between a very clean, linear, type-driven, Bauhaus-inspired approach and found ephemera and organic, hand-wrought design elements used both metaphorically and to bring a human touch to the designs. It’s always very rewarding to bring a brand that I am close to like this to life.

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Pear Tree Packaging

The Pear Tree Restaurant is a jewel of fine dining in Bevier, Missouri with a national reputation for food excellence and peerless service. When the Pear Tree does something, it does it right. That’s the central theme behind a new line of packaged foods from The Pear Tree. This packaging for fine croutons made from the best ingredients and artisan breads captures this central belief while introducing a new, more contemporary flavor to the restaurant’s face to the world. At once modern, bold and approachable this design communicates the exciting new feeling of this new chapter for The Pear Tree brand. This is the first of a series of packaging assignments including a flight of salad dressings and BBQ sauces. I will post those as developed and roll this into a single case study.

Also shown: Two additional concepts for the package that we’re not selected but were compelling in their own right.

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Hardee’s 50th Anniversary Campaign + Tour

50 years of great Thickburgers, beautiful girls and good times, now that’s something to celebrate. When Hardee’s was looking for a unique way to spread the word about it’s 50th anniversary, 4ORCE got the call. This concept incorporates a heavy brand push into a buzz-generating tour and social media campaign. The central idea: building the ultimate girl country band for a national Hardee’s 50th birthday party — “Electra Starr and the Heartstrings” (and then “Stealing Angels”). The campaign is a home run for Hardee’s midwestern values with a mildly sexy wink and builds on existing brand sentiment while providing bold new texture to Hardee ’s reputation in the marketplace. I lead the development of all aspects of this brand campaign. From co-development of the campaign’s central theme and brand integration down to design of all touchpoints personally, I had a ton of fun with this one. Sadly, a merger left this campaign unfinished.

I’ve included just a few selected examples of my design work for the campaign for flavor below. Shown here :: Posters, Vehicle Wrap, Apparel and Digital Assets

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MOZO Shoes Brand Package + Site

With brands like UGGS and Simple on their roster, the Deckers Corporation had a PROVEN track record for bringing great “brands on the verge” into their brand family. MOZO was no exception.

Designed with the belief that chefs are lateral athletes — moving fast on their feet for grueling 14 hour shifts, MOZO delivers unequaled comfort. Like a Kershaw Shun knife or an Imperial gas range, a MOZO shoe is an essential tool for the professional chef.

I led a full rebrand of MOZO. It started with a rework of the mark and wordmark, progressed to packaging, business papers, collateral and a complete relaunch of the MOZO site. In this case, all of the work was my personal positioning and design work.

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