BoyDog Design
Design and more…

photo by Campbell Soup Company

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s 1962 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans piece, Campbell’s released a limited edition collection of soup cans featuring pop art labels from original Warhol artwork. It’s amazing to see a well-known product take on a new persona with the addition of some new colors and a bit of tweaking to the type.

If you’d like to read a little more about it Laughing Squid posted an article with more photos and links to check out.

 

photo from Soulsight/Projects page

Have you noticed the recent updates and new package designs lately? Seems like crisp, cropped and to the point design is trending. I just came across this article, Less Calories, More Crop/via Brand New, and it is a perfect example of the “less is more” concept.

As you can see, the new design continues to promote the brand’s identity, but in a more modern way. If you’ve been a fan of Miller beer prior to this redesign you surely will continue to recognize your favorite beer. For those who have not been introduced to Miller beer, this new design is a refreshing alternative to the old logo and package design.

Give both six-packs a quick glance. Which one was the easier read? The new design will easily stand out in the beer aisle. Its bold use of a cropped logo is sure to catch your eye. In a world of some very creative beer labels, I know that a giant red “Miller 64″ will get your attention.

If this new branding can gain some traction with an established audience and bring in a new dimension to their target market , I would say they’ve met a goal or two. It will be interesting to see how future ad campaigns help develop this new image.

 


Ron Paul's "What If?" speech - Remastered

I came across this video via a Rachel Maddow post on Facebook. All politics aside – I find this video interesting. In an odd way. There is something just a little bit off with this video. Typographically, it’s a masterful design. The music adds an additional layer. The speech flows to match the ever-changing typographic design. But, there’s something here that bugs me and I can’t explain it just yet.

First off, let me give you some background information about this speech. It was given February 12, 2009 on the House Floor. The actual speech can be viewed on YouTube. As for this video, the font used is Bleeding Cowboys and the music used is Metallica’s “To Live Is To Die”.

I think I’m going to explain my immediate feelings about this video and then come back and add to this post… as I stated up front, I’m not sure how to explain what’s “off” to me yet. But in the interim I would love to hear some commentary. What do you think?

Let’s get started — As a fan of typography, this video caught my eye from the instant I clicked it on. It wasn’t the music or the speech that I was paying attention to, it was the black, white, and red type. Using a very ornate font and putting it through its paces. Using every angle. Smooth movement. Precise timing with the speech. I think I would have been totally satisfied with the typographic experience without the speech included. Just dancing type with a musical accompaniment. Oh, I think I’m hitting on something here… let me run this around in my head a bit more…

Added on top of this typographic ballet is the speech given by Ron Paul. I have no commentary to offer about its content and prefer to view the speech only as an integral part of a designed piece. Do you think the added typographic display makes it easier to understand the contents of this speech? I think I’m at a “which came first” moment. Did the speech inspire the type? Or, did the type inspire the inclusion of the speech? (Duh, I know the speech is the source for the words used, but perhaps any words would have worked as well for this typographic ballet.) When you are concentrating on the type does the content of the speech truly resonate? Do you get its full meaning? Are you able to walk away and remember the speech for its content? Right now, I’m thinking – no. I think this video works more as performance art than political ad.

In order for this video to be considered an ad it would have to be somewhat apparent who it was being marketed to. I find it difficult to come up with a singular target market that includes people who would be compelled to engage in the design, musical background, and of course, the message. Is it possible that a singular market exists for this video? More likely, the piece is an attempt to hit all the buttons at once. Something that rarely proves successful. And if it is not an ad at all then there is no concern for the message in and of itself. What matters then is the perfect balance of each design element. The result being a pleasing display of type as it dances across the screen aided by the tempo of a musical layer. If you happen to engage in parts of the message as well, that is a bonus. I would then say the main focus is to catch your attention and provoke a conversation afterwards. Just as I’m doing here…

My apologies as this is not a typical post. A bit rambling perhaps. I did warn you upfront that I have not formed my thoughts fully. I rarely come across examples like this video and would love to hear some feedback. What do you think?

 

 

Sept 29, 2011: New packaging for Ivory soap brands on display at Procter & Gamble's Cincinnati headquarters. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

What does this brand’s evolution mean to you?

Seriously,  I’m curious – what do you think about this new packaging? Obviously, it gave me pause and that is why I’ve decided to explore it in this post. The more I think about it – more levels of consideration come to mind. Let’s reflect on a few now:

Brand Recognition

Few products have enjoyed widespread recognition as Ivory soap. It is iconic in that it represents soap in it purest and basic form. No fuss – just soap. Years of positive consumer feedback have secured Ivory soap’s place among its competitors.  As long as Ivory can continue these branding benchmarks it should expect continued success based on its marketing strategy.

With the introduction of new package design, do you think Ivory will suffer a change in brand recognition?

Package design today requires the use of color, type, and shape that will bring attention to your specific item. Anyone who walks down the aisle of a supermarket quickly sees that package design has evolved into a rainbow spectacle of products vying for your attention.  There are two ways to look at Ivory’s new packaging. In one way they have joined the masses to compete using the same media. I’m wondering though if their product would stand out from the crowd even more if it had retained it’s white (as in pure) packaging? Speaking for myself, I have often overlooked a product with a new package design simply because it was new. I was not aware of the change and my eye simply overlooked the product. Even items that I use regularly I have overlooked and assumed it was out of stock on the shelf at that time. Eventually I’d discover that it was there, right in front of my nose. Will that be the case for Ivory?

Below are some examples of how Ivory packaging has changed over time. If you’d like to see more examples they can be found on Photobucket and Google.

New packaging for Ivory soap

Demographics

Without any knowledge of the specifics of Ivory’s marketing plan, I will presume (based on my personal perspective) that the market reach is for any age group that wishes to use soap in its purest form, at a competitive price, and that is easily accessible for purchase. No bells or whistles. No fancy claims. Just soap – use it and it successfully cleans what it is applied to.

Will the new package design negatively affect a current user’s opinion of Ivory soap? Conversely, will the new package design positively entice a non-user to give it a try? Will the new colorful package bring it to the attention of a new customer base? Will the new package design imply a change in the product’s performance to both past and potential consumers? Does a change in the use of color, type, and package shape wield that much power in the minds of a consumer?

It’s a battle between “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” and “out with the old and in with the new”.

Economics

Let’s face it, the economy is a tough nut right now. People are more aware than ever of how far their dollar goes. I know that some pricey product lines establish their identity with the use of specific fonts and colors and the materials they use for packaging and the product itself. Things that shine give off the aura of expense. There is a certain luxury attached to the softness of fur, fine leather, cashmere, etc. We can all tell the difference in the package design of a brand name product when compared to a knock off sample or even a dollar store brand. Most likely it doesn’t have the same presentation and impact. It is in fact a step down from the originating brand.

So how will the public perceive a product that evolves from a predominantly white package to one that incorporates color? Will there be any perceived change in the brand’s value? Will there be a change in the perceived return on investment when buying Ivory soap? I  must admit I’ve never contemplated the repercussions of a change like this before. I would be interested to know if any metrics become available that give us a answer.

So what do you think?

I’m confident that hours and hours of discussion were involved in this package design change. It was accomplished by utilizing the skills of the highly acclaimed agency Wieden+Kennedy of Portland, OR. Time will tell if this new package design will enhance or detract from Ivory’s brand. I will continue to monitor my media sources for more information. If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to share.

If you’d like to read more about the roll out of this new package design, here is a recent post on Yahoo.

http://www.delicious.com/BoyDogDesign

I continue to be impressed with the willingness of the design community to share information. Links, tutorials, books, samples, templates, fonts – you name it and it can be found online. I’d like to contribute to this stash of information by making my www.delicious.com bookmarks available to anyone who browses my blog.

Delicious offers bookmarks collected by its members. The range of interests are vast. For me, you will find that my bookmarks coincide with my interest in graphic design, advertising, web design, marketing, industrial design, and the range of software used in those pursuits.

Please, feel free to browse the bookmarks. You just might find the information you need. I would also like to encourage you to add to my bookmark list via email, posting to my blog, or sharing via your delicious account.

The best thing about delicious bookmarks is that they are always available to you as long as you have access to a computer with an internet connection. I started using delicious because I wanted to have my bookmarks available to me wherever I was and on whichever computer I might be working on at the time.

Give delicious.com a try. Browse my bookmarks. I hope you find something of interest. Maybe you’ll find some answers for things that have you stumped. Enjoy!

http://www.delicious.com/BoyDogDesign

 

I’ve always found it fascinating how effective it can be to simply repackage a product and generate a new response to the same item. Take a generic cereal for example and put it in a new brightly colored and illustrated box and watch it jump off the shelf as you walk down the aisle in a supermarket. I love to check out the various labels for wines and beer. Some are beautiful and inspiring. Mostly I walk away wondering who came up with the design. I always wonder if I could do work like that.

A new “Legacy” bottle is being rolled out across the country for Dr. Pepper Snapple products. What do you think – Hit? or Miss? It will be interesting to hear the feedback as the design hits the shelves.

To learn more about the bottle redesign you can check out this article in Media Bistro or read the press release introducing the design.

 

I just discovered thumbtack.com and added BoyDog Design to their directory of businesses. Unlike some other online directories,  managing the information you want to post was a snap. If you’re interested in spreading the word about your product or service, list your business on www.thumbtack.com.

If you’d like, you can View BoyDog Design’s listing.

 

Good news for those of you who have struggled with the decision to add social media to your marketing mix. According to the Small Business Success Index small business adopted the use of social media at twice the rate of 2008 in 2009. These businesses are finding that social media offers them access to their market – enabling them to build their brand, engage their current customers, and attract new customers as well.

Here’s a link to useful information summarizing these finding: http://www.bit.ly/ceSbFP

It’s never too late to add social media to your marketing plan. BoyDog Design can assist you in sorting through the various social media sites, blogging options, directories, and more. Is it time to hone the social media persona of your business?

I just came across these links and thought I’d share…

2010 Online Marketing Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters by Trendsspotting http://bit.ly/876UgL

TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Consumer Trends Influencers http://bit.ly/7JPMmg

TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Social Media Influencers – Trend Predictions http://bit.ly/4OWZgV


Part of any marketing agenda is the need to create and measure awareness of your brand. One of the current media outlets that you can employ is a blog. A blog created to promote your product or service can benefit your business in a number of ways.

1. Search Engine Marketing – Your online presence via your blog will increase search engine activity and ultimately should result in higher rankings on search engine return pages.

2. Direct Communications – Your postings allow you to speak directly to your potential market. If you speak honestly, openly, and with authority you will instill the perception that you are an authority within your product or service category.

3. Brand Building – Blogs are another media outlet to promote your brand’s core values and how they will positively impact a potential customer.

4. Competitive Differentiation – How you present your brand in your blog in comparison to your competition will help you promote the ways in which your product or service is different and more relevant to a consumer’s needs.

5. Building a Relationship – By presenting your brand with an honest approach to your target market and promoting trust in the benefits you are offering you can eventually build a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

6. Niche Marketing – Tap into an underdeveloped niche for your brand category by using your blog to reach a niche market you may otherwise be missing.

7. Media & Public Relations – Blogs offer a free opportunity to spread the news about your brand. Regular press releases reinforce your brands accomplishments and place within your category.

8. Position Yourself as an Expert – Your blog will enable you to establish your level of knowledge and expertise pertaining to your brand category. It helps in demonstrating to your market that you are a source of information they can benefit from.

9. Reputation Management – A blog allows you to build on the perceived image of your brand. It also allows you to state your position if your brand is perceived negatively.

10. Low cost – It doesn’t get any better than FREE. Most blogs can be set up using existing online publishing platforms.

I routinely suggest the creation of a blog for a client. More often than not I receive a lukewarm response to my suggestion because there is a false assumption that blogging requires extra special skills. If you know enough about your product or service to offer it to the public you should have the required knowledge to write about it. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of creating and operating a blog there are professionals to help you. I admit that most likely includes a fee, but the potential benefits should outweigh the initial cost.

Don’t lose out on a wonderful opportunity to promote your brand by eliminating a blog from your marketing mix. With some thoughtful preparation and a little practice anyone can master the art of posting on a blog. If the thought of doing it yourself is still something you prefer not to tackle remember that you can always hire a blogger to promote your brand for you. By educating a blogger about the benefits of your brand and setting boundaries for the blog’s performance you never have to give up control of your brand’s voice. Ultimately, isn’t that what your crave for your brand? At the forefront you want to establish a dialogue with your target market that allows you to build trust and brand loyalty for the present and into the future.