creative inspiration: expand your brand touchpoints

i’ve been looking at some beautiful brand systems lately and i’m really itching to create one with all kinds of tools, gifts and clever industry aids. we fetishize these lovely spreads, but they don’t have to be designed from the ground up. if it’s time for a brand refresh, revising a list of touchpoints and applying a theme in-line with your mission is a great next project. we’ve written about how to brainstorm and build a list of brand touchpoints before, but i thought i’d post some selections that i think really carry a strong theme, and have potential for great add-ons.


device stationery

image: designworklife.com
image: designworklife.com

a simple example to start with, device creative collaborative’s stationery set. aside from a really bold design, this set is also rather interactive, with some nice surprises like a printed envelope liner for recipients of mailed items. they also have a designed worksheet with a custom punch, which looks like it might use some nice industrial binder. some of these items are clearly props, but it’s a starter set for so much more! we see everything together here, but in the client experience, they might get a business card upon first meeting, a nice mailer follow-up, project notes on the custom worksheets, and custom invoices in these awesome envelopes. see the full set at designworklife.com.


idlewild books

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

this spread for idlewild books is a great rendition of library and vintage office ephemera with a travel twist. the stationery is full of surprises with color blocks on the back of the first sheet, a stripe down the 2nd sheet, and a converted envelope which allows for a topographic texture inside. little add-ons of date and logo stamps give the materials a handled and worn look. custom bookmarks and tickets with inspirational quotes about travel are a great connection point. see more at thedieline.com.


litchy guitars

image: designworklife.com
image: designworklife.com

a classy collection for litchy guitars in cream with brown, craft paper and wood themes is a great example of style and simplicity. they have a few working logos that are used sparsely, and they’ve created all paperwork associated with sales in the same style. there are many tools in the music trade where these materials could expand into gifts or utility sets. similarly, they could create ink or emboss stamps for customizing secondary subsequent materials.


so, how do you get started? think about the tools of your own trade. can you make something useful that tells the story of what you do? think about the people in your target markets, can you make something that bridges what you do to what they do?

if you’ve been thinking about expanding your brand and you’re ready to take the plunge, let’s talk about the possibilities!

creative inspiration: illustrated beer packaging

crooked fence

crooked-fence-trio
[images: ohbeautifulbeer.com]

a few of my favorites from idaho brewery, crooked fence, illustrated by kelly knopp. i love the heavy-hand style and texture blends. these pieces have both modern and vintage qualities to them. see the whole set at ohbeautifulbeer.com.


great raft

great-raft-southern-drawl
[image: ohbeautifulbeer.com]

great raft boasts a design-forward approach of researching their target market and how to stand out in an ever-growing sea of craft beer—bravo! their work packaging is both bold and detailed, quite endearing to the vintage eye. see more at ohbeautifulbeer.com.


lift bridge brewing

getaway-3
[image: thedieline.com

this packaging for getaway from lift bridge brewing immediately looks relaxing and refreshing. their goal was to communicate the local culture, described as relaxed and a bit of a throwback, and it looks like they did just that. read more at thedieline.com.

creative inspiration: big design for small markets

this week we’re looking at 3 small specialty shops that have big brand ideas, leaving no touchpoint unturned. these suites bring taste and flavor to the forefront with striking packaging and multi-use labels and stickers, leaving no question as to where you picked up these fine food finds.


the dirty apron

the dirty apron
image: lovelypackage.com

the dirty apron delicatessen uses a clever system of branded bags, hang tags and package closure tape with various versatile fill-in labels for an identity system that appears much bigger than it is. the branded items allow for multiple placements, and the labels allow for one collection of shapes to serve as fill-ins for every item in the store. see the whole collection at lovelypackage.com.


grazia

grazia
image: thedieline.com

grazia, specializing in sweet and savory delicacies, uses a wonderful system of branded boxes, bags and stickers, all in their signature 2-color palette, featuring cross-sections of raw ingredients. i find this system to be stunning in versatility and simplicity. see more at thedieline.com.


f. ménard

f. menard
image: lovelypackage.com

this family-owned butcher specializing in ethically-raised pork products has an identity system that pays special respect to the art of the craft. soft duotone photography is paired with a strong color palette and bold type, mostly using a label system for products in the store, and branded bags for your groceries. see more at lovelypackage.com.

creative inspiration: type-driven beer labels

there’s nothing like a strong typographic treatment over a simple color palette. this week we’re looking at 3 label series that make bold statements with type and color front and center.


great divide: yeti

great divide: yeti
image: thedieline.com

great divide’s yeti series uses a standardized-yet-versatile type treatment that allows them to include the minimal graphic elements that indicates the yeti line while making room for longer titles or alternate treatments for barrel aged brews. see the whole collection at thedieline.com


private brewery: bob

private brewery: bob
image: lovelypackage.com

the bob [best of british] line from private brewery uses unconventional colors and unique brew names to draw interest and curiosity. each bottle is easily identifiable, with a nice 3-word descriptor. see more at lovelypackage.com


turkey mountain brewhaus

turkey mountain brewhaus
image: ohbeautifulbeer.com

this collection from turkey mountain brewhaus uses a series of 2-color stamp-finish designs that allow for clear and prominent logo placement and brew name, relegating the brewery name to the neck label. nice, strong presentation. see more at ohbeautifulbeer.com

creative inspiration: wine wraps

it seems like wine wraps are popping up everywhere—whether as packaging for a product, decorative wrap for personal gift-giving, or branded overlays for client gifts, wine is getting wrapped up everywhere!


waddeson wine wraps

waddeson wine wraps
image: designworklife.com

just one component of the rothschild’s wine distribution company, waddeson wine, these wraps manage to show a modern take on the map of the estate, blending historic and contemporary influences. see the whole brand package at designworklife.com.


truett-hurst wine wraps

truett-hurst wine wraps
image: psfk.com

truett-hurst takes a different approach with these buyer-themed wraps, studying reasons and seasons when buyers buy, and designing wraps in the strongest themes. the wraps add an engaging and image-heavy narrative that allows the brand to communicate in a new way with potential shoppers. see more at psfk.com.


filirea gi wine wraps

filirea gi wraps
image: thedieline.com

great for home brewers giving client gifts or short production runs, this 1-color wrap is budget-conscious while still adding a layer of interest. this piece illustrates the home winemaking process. see more at thedieline.com


design am chiemsee wine wraps

design am chiemsee wraps
image: underconsideration.com

a very nice collection of wine wrapping papers from design am chiemsee, these wraps are reversible and offer decorative surprises for the recipient. see the collection at underconsideration.com.

creative inspiration: thai-inspired branding

in my never-ending design research, i saw a few pieces of thai-inspired design that caught my attention. i say thai-inspired because these 3 products and places are far from thailand, but each are borrowing their own elements from the design landscape and making them their own with great results.


my thai

my thai cordials
image: thedieline.com

this series of brightly flavored and colored cordials are just one aspect of the branding for brazillian restaurant, my thai. the color palettes are outstanding, and a lovely contrast from the cordials inside. see more at thedieline.com.


pak pao

pak pao branding
image: underconsideration.com

dallas-based pak pao has a lovely logo & wordmark with shapes that echo each other in a uniquely satisfying way. they have done a great job of mounting clean & simple menus to painted boards with lots of orange-over-orange reverberations. see more at underconsideration.com


sway

sway branding
image: identitydesigned.com

austin-based sway is a very extensive environment brand experience right down to the last detail. starting with the wordmark, the voice of sway is bilingual from the wayfinding to the menu. the stark and clean design of both print and environment is accented with bright color in coasters, placemats and matchbooks. see the whole profile at identitydesigned.com

creative inspiration: artisan food shops

small, specialized food stores don’t have to skip out on big, fun identity & brand systems. these three examples use tags, stickers, string and printed wraps for multiple placements that really get their brand noticed.


the cheese shop

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

stamps, stickers, and printed wrappers—oh my! the cheese shop goes all out on letting onlookers know where you got your cheese! a very nice monochromatic use of type, simple design and copious touchpoints for a very complete suite. see more at thedieline.com.


the bread house

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

i really like the identity system of the bread house, using a simple mark that translates directly into packaging and versatile labels that allow for fresh products to be marked and dated. see more at thedieline.com


real food botanica

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

real food botanica is a deli with the concept of whole foods to go. a simple system of sustainable packaging and stickers for the type-forward brand placement, paired with craft paper identity materials. very sharp. see more at thedieline.com.

creative inspiration: fruit-forward spirits

set your usual drinks aside and try out some artisan spirits. all of these are made with fresh fruits using traditional recipes.


slamsey’s fruit gins

image: lovelypackage.com
image: lovelypackage.com

slamsey’s is both a distillery and a farm, specializing in small production of fruit gins. the branding, showing detailed drawings of natural specimens, is a nod to naturalist john ray, who also lived in the area. the bigger story of artisan production comes through in the simplicity of this packaging. see more at lovelypackage.com


gioia luisa

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

student work redesigning gioia luisa limoncellos in 3 flavors, this branding is inspired by italian countryside tile and landscape. a very vibrant palate indeed! see more at thedieline.com


art in the age

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

art in the age spirits revive historical recipes, celebrating the time when liquors were considered health elixirs, a mix of botanicals and spices. the branding is straightforward yet modern, with references to science and handicraft. see more at thedieline.com.

creative inspiration: summer’s bounty

it’s the end of summer, which means there are fresh fruits & veggies everywhere! let’s look at 3 brands making the most of the super-fresh.


ugly fruit

image: lovelypackage.com
image: lovelypackage.com

maybe the ultimate in upcycling, ugly fruit saves the slightly distressed from the landfill: fruit that may not make the superficial cut for market shelves, but is still nutritious and delicious enough to juice, preserve and dry. the packaging showcases cute little animated fruits, each with a black eye—aww. great brand story and nice treatment of subject matter. see more at lovelypackage.com


thise

image: lovelypackage.com
image: lovelypackage.com

a student assignment to redesign thise mejeri turns out more great student work in this modern, colorful twist on classic milk bottles. the logo is strong, and the series looks delicious! see more at lovelypackage.com


wellbar

image: thedieline.com
image: thedieline.com

beautiful branding for wellbar combining 1-color show-through packaging with bright, fresh juice, and craft paper bags and boxes for dry goods. everything is clean, tight, and clearly labeled so you can see just what you’re getting. see more at thedieline.com