The first week of July marked the beginning of Back to School season for 2011. Naturally, I have been counting down the months for this ever since spring of 2010: mostly because I can finally share with you all that I worked on last year. This week, I scouted out the lunchbox section at my local Toys’R’Us and was able to find these goodies all sitting on the shelves.
News about current projects
Thanks to Chris, the comment counts are back up and running! Which means I can continue uploading projects and tweaking the design a bit. We also noticed that some of the photos still aren’t loading on the blog page. Plus, I can’t seem to find the background color on the Post Comment button. If you notice anything else that seems broken or know of a fix for either of these, please let me know!
In the meantime, head over the portfolio page and check out the new projects I added over the holiday weekend.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the site is live once again! Stay tuned as I add the projects back in to the Portfolio page. Also, please bear with me while I troubleshoot some of the issues I have currently having…namely the lack of sub-navigation and absence of accurate comment counts. I’m not quite sure what the issues are there, but hope to have those working in due time. Please let me know if you see anything odd. Finally, the design will continue to evolve once I am able to get back to tweaking things.
December 26th marked the launch of Thermos’ partnership with Threadless: finally! I have been dying to share news of this product line since we began developing it this past summer. Preparing for the after-Christmas debut kept us extremely busy right up until the holiday break, so you can imagine how great it feels to finally see them out in store. The products, which are exclusive to Target, include bottles and lunchboxes…with more to come later this year. Get excited.
To introduce the line, this video was produced.
We were also lucky enough to have one of the artists fly in from London to share his design philosophy and process.
Continuing the theme of long-overdue recaps, (and certainly not the least of them) is today’s review of the inaugural Two Night Stand event. At the end of September, Bright Bright Great and friends hosted 20 designers for a weekend charette. Honestly, I have been meaning to post this event recap ever since, but that weekend ended up kicking off a busy month and a half for me. I’d say it’s a testament to just how inspiring of an event it was that I ended up putting blogging on hold to instead work on numerous side projects. (more on this to come later…)
The premise to 2NS is pretty similar to Camp Firebelly: throw a handful of designers together in order to tackle a common project under limited time constraints. However, with 2NS the designers were mostly professionals, and the client this time was a start-up brewery. Circumventing any objections to spec work, no files were released to the clients: rather, the clients were free to contact any of the teams should they decide to pursue their design/strategy.
As someone who is still new to Chicago, I loved the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderfully talented people for a weekend. There is something so energizing about working under these kinds of constraints that force you to look at a problem from an entirely new direction. In addition, it was great working for a small brewery who is as passionate about beer as I am. (Think “connoisseur” when you read that last statement…not “alcoholic”!) In the end, each of the three teams came up with vastly different approaches to Trenchermann’s branding and initial grassroots marketing strategy. It’s amazing what options are available to start-ups operating on a shoe-string production budget. Below are some of the branding materials we (Team Horseplay) came up with over the two days:
Logo was created to invoke a bottle cap silhouette. The brand name is capped by an abbreviated wordmark with a slightly industrial flair.
Bottling and labeling system was designed to be inexpensive, multipurpose, and reusable, as well as easily applied by hand to small batches.
If I have one criticism of the event, it is that I would have liked to work with more of the people there. Although it wasn’t really possible with the direction the group went with, I would have liked mixing it up even further. However, I suppose that isn’t really a criticism so much as wishful thinking. If you are in Chicago or the surrounding area, I highly recommend applying for the second 2NS event that will take place after the first of the year.
If you follow me on twitter, chances are that you’ve probably already heard me talking about the archival project I was working on all summer at work. To continue with the theme of posting news I missed sharing while I was out, this week’s Weekly Reader is about Thermos’ Lunchbox Memories Site. The microsite, which went live at the end of the summer, is the digital archive of many of our most popular lunchboxes since the 1950’s. I love antiques and animation, so of course I had a blast cataloging all of our images from the 50’s through the 80’s (my coworker had the second half of the archives) for our interactive agency. It brought back great memories of playing with my best friend growing up (she had the Rainbow Brite lunchbox below from ’85) and watching The Snorks and Smurfs with my cousins during the summer.
Thermos’ Lunchbox Memories
What lunchbox did you have growing up? Mine was the Tiny Toons one…
USA Today Reviews Site
Incidentally, this past week I found out that USA Today reviewed the microsite. The write-up is worth it for the comments…made me really excited to be designing lunchboxes.
One of the first products I worked on last December has finally hit the shelves at Target stores nationwide. It’s always great to see your concepts finally be produced, but it’s even More exciting when it’s your first! I still remember the thrill of opening the box of my first printed piece for a client, and the smell of freshly printed paper that came with it. So you can imagine how excited I was last week to walk through my local Target store and see the above on a shelf!
The lunch cooler went through several rounds of revisions, which I may or may not be able to post…but in the meantime, watch for the finished piece at an endcap near you!
I can’t believe it has already been a year since I finished participating in Firebelly Design’s 2nd Annual Camp Firebelly. Last night was the End of Camp party for this year’s charrette, and I am amazed at how much my life has changed in the last 12 months. I’ll be back later this week with a proper event recap, but thought I’d make this week’s Weekly Reader a special Camp Firebelly-themed edition in honor of the occasion…and the really awesome news I learned last night.
Last night, I learned the news that Starbucks is featuring our pro bono client, Radio Arte, in a special video right on their home page. I knew that the signage and space we designed for them would be featured in shots of the studio, but I had no idea that the teaser image for the video would be a close-up on MY contribution to the environmental design group’s outdoor signage! What a surprise! Anyways, congrats to Radio Arte on the feature, and a huge thanks once again to the rest of the group for including my sketch!
2010 Camp Firebelly Blog
Miss all of this year’s Camp action? Catch up on the past 10 days by reading up on their blog!
I Love Rosa Loves
Last night, t-shirts designed by campers were raffled off hot off of the press, and Mike Fretto of Rosa Loves was on hand to print them. Sweet T-shirts + using your powers for good: what more is there to love?
I had planned on posting an event recap of last Friday’s We Are Family opening at Post Family, but then decided that I should post this before the Lost fever dies down. When a good friend of mine invited me over to watch this past Sunday’s series finale for Lost, I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to give her a housewarming gift to celebrate her new apartment.
What better way to say “congrats on your new place,” than with a food basket from the Dharma Initiative? I found us some island themed snacks (pineapple, Mudslide drink mix, and her favorite macadamia nut mix), and then rebranded them with Dharma Initiative packaging from the show. The basket was actually a bamboo drawer organizer that I knew she had been eyeing…added bonus points for it being sustainable And island-themed.
The Dharma logo was easily found on Brands of the World, and I started recreating the packaging from production stills I found online. That is, until Craig sent me a link to this site…which I then used as a style guide to create labels that fit the snacks I had bought. All in all, a quick, fun (and tasty!) little project that was a big hit at the watch-party.