Exhibit A: Design Group

Redgees Legacy Award Honourable Mention

Boutique – BC/Yukon

Jack and Lily

Baby Shoes Brand Design, rx 2005

When we started working with Jack and Lily, the company was a somewhat well-known manufacturer whose soft-soled baby shoes were sold in 200 retail stores across Canada. Today, they are a leading baby footwear brand worldwide.

In what evolved into a six-year creative partnership, we collaborated with Jack and Lily to create a focused, emotional brand position that would establish the company as a fashionable sought-after baby shoes brand.

We outlined a brand strategy focused on enhancing the product’s aesthetic appeal so Jack and Lily could excel at telling its story and living up to its brand promise of quality and softness in a meaningful and memorable way.

The goal was to enhance the customer experience of the product and position Jack and Lily as a lifestyle brand of baby shoes with maximum physical, intellectual and emotional appeal. Our focus was on appearance, feel and character, as well as improved product appeal and in-store presence.

We built a brand strategy around the brand character terms soft, fashionable, classic, sophisticated, and approachable. We measured everything we created against these terms. This included background textures for photoshoots, fabric appliqué illustrations, paper stock for communications and product development. Our goal was to ensure each visual cue expressed the intended brand personality.

To better understand how Jack and Lily could appeal to its target consumers, we studied their buying behaviours and the products they perceived as appealing and valuable. We sought a classic aesthetic for the overall packaging design, gathering inspiration from high-end perfume boxes, expensive hosiery, fashionable women’s footwear, and a range of colours and textures including stripes, ornate fringe and the application of foil stamping.

From developing product names and styles and curating colour for both the ‘My Shoes’ and ‘My Boots’ product lines to designing its ecommerce website, Exhibit A: Design Group collaborated with Jack and Lily to evolve its entire consumer experience through emotionally inspired interactions across multiple channels and environments.

The completed brand platform clearly elevates our client’s product beyond a commodity, transforming its distinct features and appeal into a unique, intangible brand experience difficult for its competitors to duplicate. Within two years of the of the initial rebrand launch, financial benefits to the client included a successful positive financial return of over 300% with an overall increased interest in the entire product value chain from agents, wholesalers, retailers and customers.

Parade Organics

Baby Clothing Brand Design, 2007

Parade Organics is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of babies and toddler clothing made from environmentally-conscious natural and sustainable fabrics and materials.

Parade Organics was one of the first baby and toddler clothing companies in North America committed to using only pesticide and chemical-free certified organic cotton and sustainable materials. Since 2004, all of their products have been made with the finest quality organic cotton under fair trade practices in India, where organic cotton farming has a long history.

The company experienced early success with organic cotton clothing adorned with playful and colourful character nickname prints (pickle, bunny, pumpkin, etc.). The products were sold in limited retail boutiques across Canada.

Looking to expand its reach, Parade Organics engaged Exhibit A: Design Group to develop a brand strategy and execute a complete rebrand that would elevate its meaning and value to a level beyond the actual merit of their products. Our studio set out to discover Parade Organics’ distinct brand story to strengthen and solidify their market position, and to develop a roadmap for expansion of the company’s wholesale business across North America.

After completing a comprehensive brand audit, we developed a simple, clear and consistent brand character that embodies and expresses the company’s personality and set of values. We eliminated the old logo and wordmark which lacked distinctiveness, character and visual weight for varied product applications and illustrated a bold and memorable brandmark that works seamlessly across all mediums. The brandmark succinctly communicates the product’s softness and the clean air and healthy environment supported by the company’s sustainability practices. It also triggers nostalgia for those long summer days of childhood and balloons, high up in a blue sky among fluffy clouds. A parade day. The proposition tagline supports the brand story and product benefits, simply stating ‘always organic.’

After completing the development of the product line and packaging system, we were ready to confidently move forward. The new brand platform allowed us to focus on expanding Parade Organics’ wholesale business through the implementation of various direct mail marketing campaigns delivered across North America. The direct mail catalogues embody the brand’s overall attitude and culture by showcasing the complete product range, with lifestyle photography featuring the products in context. The highly targeted twice-annual campaign produced very high response rates and resulted in hundreds of new wholesale accounts.

Within four years, Parade Organics expanded its wholesale business to almost 500 select shops and dealers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as internationally. The company continually increases its monthly online sales, shipping products to new and loyal customers around the world. The brand was also voted Best Organic Line by Canadian Family Magazine.

Sapadilla Soap Co

Eco-Cleaning Products Brand Design, 2007

Sapadilla Soap Co. is dedicated to creating ethical products using high quality ingredients and the freshest blends of pure essential oils that are great for the environment.

Established in 2007, Sapadilla Soap Co. is the brainchild of an advertising copywriter and an environmental science graduate with a shared passion for creating cleaning products that make peoples’ lives better, and the planet healthier. The company’s complete line of products are all plant-based and biodegradable, made with nontoxic ingredients and scented using 100% pure essential oil aromas.

During our research phase we discovered a key market trend: due to shrinking living spaces consumers are increasingly looking for products that allow them to accessorize or ‘counterscape’ their homes—especially in high-density cities like Vancouver. The new demand is for distinct and visually appealing products that also offer real truth in character and corporate ideology.

Sapadilla Soap Co.’s brand design had to be stylish, simple and informative, expressing the company’s unique personality while also demonstrating distinct product benefits.

Our client’s copywriting background initiated the creative direction and set the overall tone. The typographic solution discloses the product benefits while furthering the overall brand narrative. A hierarchical system is patterned with the brandmark, product type and aromas contrasting other copy that helps define the brand’s personality, ideology, and culture. The text treatment is intellectual and emotional while creating dimension and texture. The colour system differentiates distinct essential oil blends. The overall brand design is simple, logical and cost effective, and is easily extended to future applications.

As an extension of the original brand platform, Exhibit A: Design Group was tasked with the packaging design for a line of liquid hand soap made with the same plant-based, biodegradable ingredients and 100% pure essential oil aromas. The positioning challenge was that the hand soap had to feel more like bath and beauty products, rather than home-cleaning products, and fit under Sapadilla Soap Co.’s already established brand design. The final design solution appeals to both men and women, and blend into any bathroom, modern or traditional, no matter which essential oil blend (colour) the consumer chose. The simple yet vibrant aesthetic communicates a fresh, pure and high-quality product, reflecting the product’s ingredients.

Sapadilla Soup Co.’s product launch has more than exceeded expectations. Within the first year, the product line emerged as a leading local brand challenging more established products in the competitive home cleaning category at retail stores with discerning clientele, including Vancouver’s Whole Foods locations. Even during the economic downturn, sales continued to exceed projections. Today, Sapadilla Soap Co.’s products are available at both well-established grocery chains and specialty retail stores across Canada and throughout the Western US.

Left Field Cider

Cider Brand Design, 2011

Left Field Cider Co. is a family owned and operated business that produces artisanal handcrafted small-batch premium hard cider in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada.

Our market research and trend analysis revealed an underground surge in artisan producers interested in the centuries-old tradition and techniques of craft cider production. Sales increases of up to 20% each year in Canada show hard cider popularity has the potential to mirror the success of the craft beer movement. More long-term growth is forecasted as real hard cider is discovered by the mainstream.

Demographic research showed that women are more likely to purchase and drink cider, leaving untapped market potential to better connect with male consumers. Collaborating closely with the company founders, we were all in agreement to develop a marketing platform that would appeal to both genders, greatly expanding the scope of the potential market. We set out to lure the curious craft beer drinker and designed a more masculine aesthetic, knowing that it was highly unlikely to alienate female consumers.

Exhibit A: Design Group’s concept direction plays off of the company name and tagline, ‘Left Field Cider Co. – From Outta Nowhere.’ Our visual storytelling approach engages consumers through an amusing narrative of a deer (and a moose) with a colourful apple stuck on its antler. The whimsical illustrations capture the consumer’s imagination, encouraging them to envision the unique and distinct setting of an apple orchard nestled along the side of a mountain.

Despite receiving approval for our concept direction from the client early on, our studio underestimated the overall complexity of the project. The biggest challenge was developing the appropriate brand expression: positioning, identity and personality. At the time, there was no other cider brand that set out to appeal to the type of consumer we were striving to influence. Added challenges included positioning the brand so that it was immediately recognized as cider and not craft beer, and achieving the appropriate unit price perception (the 500ml bottle retails for as high as $14).

During our design exploration phase, the bottle label was our blank canvas to explore aesthetic possibilities, evaluate the emotional appeal of the visual language, and measure against our objectives in the design brief. Throughout our design process, we analyzed and iterated close to 100 label combinations, sketching various illustration styles and testing multiple typographic solutions. In the end, a more rugged illustration and woodcut typographic style suited our client best. This is essentially a family of farmers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty if need be. Truly handcrafted cider.

Salt Spring Coffee

Coffee Brand Design, 2011

Salt Spring Coffee is a well-established coffee roasting company founded on Salt Spring Island in 1996 by a family of doers, artisans, farmers and craftsmen.

After relocating its roasting facility from its original namesake location to Richmond, British Columbia, Salt Spring Coffee sought a brand strategy and packaging design that better communicates its overall brand story.

Our studio initiated the project by thoroughly researching and evaluating Salt Spring Coffee’s history, communications and consumer touchpoints. The comprehensive and systematic approach included completing customer intercept surveys at point-of-purchase within varied grocery stores across BC’s lower mainland. The feedback provided insight into the buying behaviours of coffee consumers including their perceptions of Salt Spring Coffee, and several other leading and non-leading coffee brands. Additional information demystified the purchasing influence and importance of organic farming, fair-trade practices, coffee origin, tasting profiles, farmer fairness program certifications and general sustainability.

After our complete brand audit, we identified qualities and characteristics of a distinct brand position that celebrates Salt Spring Coffee’s authoritative voice and pioneering spirit. The positioning comes to life through new packaging design delivering the story of a distinct corporate culture while expressing the handcrafted individuality of each type of coffee. Background textures reveal the company’s rich history through a visual timeline of layered photographs of Salt Spring Island, coffee origin, and the company’s first roaster.

The bold type treatment applied on the packaging—and brand applications throughout—is inspired by a combination of varied text styles that references wood type, travel tags, coffee sacks, industrial shipping signage and West Coast island boat culture. The typographic hierarchy clearly displays blend type, coffee name and other information as it flows over the sides of the bag, creating intrigue and inviting consumer engagement. To completely satisfy Canadian packaging requirements, English and French are equally prominent on opposite sides of the bag. The colour palette is a combination of lively, rich, earthy and edible.

As Salt Spring Coffee’s long-term creative partner, Exhibit A: Design Group applied the new brand strategy to all areas of Salt Spring Coffee’s business. The creative platform adds to Salt Spring Coffee’s story at every brand touchpoint, confirming distinction and adding depth while contributing to the goal of building long-term brand equity, increasing sales distribution, and growing café partnerships.

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