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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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 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.

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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Blood Moon Records Identity System and Digital Design

This ID system for an indie label, complete with digital assets, was pure fun. I loved bringing the juxtaposition of elements here, from the clean mark and type to the vintage etching style to the clearly edgy attitude.

Shown Here :: Identity, Colors, Illustration Style, Apparel Designs, Responsive Web Designs

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The Goddard School Rebrand

In this business, we all have projects that are as rewarding as they are challenging. This rebrand for peerless early childhood educational leader The Goddard School falls directly into that category.

At once contemporary, approachable, bold and authentic, this new approach to the brand breathes a very fresh wind into the sails of the 25+-year-old franchise education provider. I was a creative lead on the project, filling the roles of Creative Director, Lead Designer, On-Set Director, Producer, Motionographer and (in some cases) Copywriter. Operating on a tight timeline, we executed a full rebrand plus campaign-driven materials to better tell the Goddard story. I was very blessed to work with a very talented crew internally at UPBrand that brought the signature style established here to a variety of additional projects not pictured here, a totally first-class DP and shooting crew, a really great editor / video team and a savvy and very hip client on this as well and I wanted to give props.

When the brand was rolled-out to both internal and franchisee stakeholders at an annual event in Florida, I am gratified to say that the work actually inspired some tears from those closest to the brand. A rarity, but always fun to see.

Shown Here: Sample Television Advertising, Brand Identity Elements, Responsive Site Design, Collateral, Print Advertising

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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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Flying R Mopeds Brand Exploration

Warm, chewy pizza, soft velvety gelato, the very beautiful Monica Bellucci… The Italians have given us so much that makes our lives rich and rewarding. And very few things maintain the cosmopolitain, outsider sense of cool that the Italian moped does. That’s exactly what fledgeling Flying R Mopeds of Menlo Park, CA thinks, too.

This brand package exploration draws its inspiration from all of that history and savvy sense of cool. Fun and quirky with a clear nod to the classic moto Euro style of yesterday, the package brings a whimsical elegance and pop to the brand and communicates its essence. I also created custom, hand-done typography for the “R” and “FLYING R” portions of the identity. The other elements in the mix add up to a collection with both a classic flair and a sly wink. Fun.

Shown Here: Sample Advertising, Brand Identity Elements, Business Card (Front and Back), Apparel and Site Design

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Ready + Willing Site

The St. Louis-based not-for-profit “ready+willing” represents an amazing idea — ready+willing forms mentorship teams in the creative industry (experienced creatives with those at a lower experience level) and connects them with non-profit organizations to help them with their marketing needs. A wonderful and timely concept.

This site for the organization strikes a great balance between a clean, easy-to-understand typographic approach and organic, dimensional hand-wrought elements. Engaging and engaged people shots representing the young, diverse St. Louis creative community that is the lifeblood of r+w are included throughout the designs and in a rotating home page animation. The doodle patterns in the designs bring a sense of fun and personality to the site as well — each section has a unique pattern integrated into the page.

Overall, something very fun and engaging that I was proud to be a part of. The site is currently in development.

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Connexio Media Presentation Materials

Connexio Media offers college and university campuses a new way to reach students, faculty and visitors with information and alerts. Each campus gets its own network of state-of-the-art outdoor digital displays to connect the campus community with vital information — providing both safety and better engagement.

On this project, the client came up UPBrand with a logo and nothing more. As part of our storytelling approach, we took Connexio through a full discovery process, giving them a complete brand platform to work from. These presentation materials came out of that.

Bold, engaging, dimensional and textured, the visual “signature style” I developed was devised to convey a strong sense of movement and inter-connectivity. Coupled with a system of iconography, the overall approach balanced clarity with excitement and engagement. This rich style was a natural fit for a motion graphics piece and the animation I created leverages the dimensional overlays and shapes to interesting effect.

Shown here: sample presentation screens, iconography samples and motion graphics company overview

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Children’s Home Society of Missouri Site

Another recent launch I was very pleased to see was the site for the Children’s Home Society of Missouri (CHSMO).

CHSMO is a treasure on the Missouri non-profit scene. Founded in 1891, the Society has been focused on providing children with safe, loving and happy homes. Strong families, counseling, education and advocacy have also become hallmarks of CHSMO.

The site dovetails with an identity evolution being explored by Heidi Jost and leverages the brand’s central colors while building interest through simple use of type, graphics and bold, evocative and immersive imagery. Both this and the recently posted Trailnet site (see below this post) demonstrate the proverbial “Holy Grail” of web design for me — a mix of informative and organized information design, typographic hierarchy, supporting graphics and beautiful photography. For me, that’s a perfect mix and I think this site does a great job of illustrating the elegant power of those elements. Who says great usability, system fonts and information-oriented sites can’t be beautiful?

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Trailnet Site

I was thrilled to see the recent launch of a project I provided the design and digital brand for.

Trailnet is a great Missouri organization that focuses on building healthy, vibrant communities through activity and community connections. I led and creative directed the team that established new brand standards and messaging for the organization and was pleased to be able to personally design all of the digital extensions of that brand, breathing life to a great platform for the print world created by Rob Hutti, a team member.

The result is clean and evocative, bringing both an approachable feel and a sense of simple honesty through scale, clarity and organization of design and typography. Shown here: homepage (original design), second level page (as launched) and sample interior page detail.

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