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Four Different Ways to Showcase One Wine Brand

I dug this one up from deep in the archives and re-rendered it using the latest methods.  I thought it worthwhile because this particular project shows how it is possible to go in some very different directions creatively in spite of the fairly strict parameters that must be followed on these kinds of projects.  All of these concepts are very different, but they all capture the brand essence well by remaining faithful to the clean, simple, premium-looking logo treatment that was used on the bottles.  Providing a few disparate options can really help clients to more precisely define the aesthetic they want their brand to present to consumers at retail.  

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Beautiful Beer Branding Raises the Bar

Major brands know there's a high marketing value in the art of establishing a consumer presence wherever and whenever possible, including (and perhaps especially) locations they may not consciously acknowledge it.  This was our task on this project, specifically targeting restaurant and bar accessories.  Since we're passionate about good design in all forms, we did our best to create pieces which we felt expressed the brand as beautifully and cleanly as possible, while also being a little clever and faithful to their intended function.

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3 Varietals, 4 Ideas

The challenge of visual merchandising design is to take an existing two-dimensional brand identity and translate it into three dimensions in such a way that it will command attention in store.  For this particular brand it was particularly rewarding, because it is defined by brilliant color and sweeping curves, which are automatically eye-catching.  Thinking up four completely different ways to interpret the identity was not easy, but the client was very happy with the results.  What do you think?

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Smokin' Display Concepts

This was an enjoyable project because the brand identity was simple and clean, the scale was small, and we were asked to explore the use of edge-lit acrylic to add interest.  After a round of sketches, we settled on a few directions and rendered them to scale.  Here are a couple of our favorites, along with some examples from the sketch round.

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All of Summer in a Display

In the spirit of July 4th I thought I'd share this concept we designed back in 2008.  It's purpose was to create a single in-store destination for the good old American backyard barbecue.  You got yer beer, yer briquettes, yer grillin' tools, yer chips, and yer condiments (other side) all in one big screaming rotationally molded endcap of freedom!!  Booyah!  

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2 renderings, 13 years.

This is a cooler concept I created for a beverage company 13 years ago.  I thought it might be interesting and fun to bring it into 2018 to illustrate the staggering improvement in realism that is now achievable because of the advances in software and hardware over that time.  The older image was rendered in 2005 using Cinema 4D v.8.  The new one is rendered in 2018 using Cinema 4D v.18.  This clearly represents a pretty profound difference, but current advancements in modeling and rendering technology hold even greater promise.  In a few years, it's quite likely designers will be abandoning the current way of working entirely, swapping a flat screen and mouse for a VR headset and handheld controllers.  We will be manipulating fully rendered objects like these in realtime instead of in wireframe, and the days of waiting minutes or hours for renderings to finish will become a thing of the past.  

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Standing Out in a Sea of Tablets

Back in 2011 a loyal client of ours approached us with an opportunity to design a series of displays for a new Android-based tablet that was designed just for kids.  Fortunately a lot of legwork had already been done to create a playful graphic identity for the product, so our task was to interpret that identity into a three-dimensional form which, we hoped, would do it justice.  The end result is pictured below.  What do you think?  Many thanks to Reed Crawford for his help on this.

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Taking a Trip in the Industrial Design Time Machine

My grandfather, C. Hatfield Bills, was in industrial designer whose career inspired my own.  Born in 1890 and essentially self-taught, he designed cars for Chrysler and Chevrolet, wooden speedboats for Century, and elevators for Otis during the Great Depression.  He designed this scooter (below) in 1945 and rendered it in gouache on Canson Mi-Teintes paper.  I still have the original illustration and it's always been a favorite of mine.  I've often wondered what he would think of the effect computers have had on his profession.  With that in mind, I decided to bring his scooter concept into the 21st century by building it in Cinema 4D and rendering it in Keyshot to see how it might look if he had had access to the amazing design tools we take for granted today.  If you'd like to see more of his work, I posted more examples on my Behance profile.  Clicking this text will take you there.  

A couple of years ago I decided to attempt a portrait of him in oil (below).  He enjoyed oil painting, too.  Clicking this text will take you to some examples of his paintings and pastels.

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C. Hatfield Bills working away at his drawing board, below.

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A Toast to Modularity

How do you design a wine display that can expand or contract to accommodate almost any store environment?  That was the question we answered with this design for Toasted Head wine back in 2009.  This very simple and inexpensive shelf module comprised of wood panels and sheet metal will easily stack vertically and nest horizontally to grow from a small counter display up to a huge mass display.  The flexibility of this design was a big hit, not just because of it's flexibility, but because it also effectively evoked the identity of the brand, the name of which refers to a process whereby fermenting barrels are charred with fire to impart toasty flavors to the wine during the fermentation process.  What do you think?

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Wine with an industrial edge

Back in 2012, we were thrilled to have a chance to come up with some looks for a new floor display for Don & Sons wines.  Being fans of the modern industrial movement in architecture, we viewed the project as a great opportunity to see how its associated forms and finishes might be applied to a simple 3 or 4 case floor stand.  The fruits of our labor are below.  The version with the cellared bottles was ultimately selected for production.  What do you think?  

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Making a Stand for Gnarly Head

Back in 2008 we had a chance to generate some ideas for a small footprint floor display for Gnarly Head wines.  The colorful, rustic logo evoked a rustic but premium feel, so we did our best to interpret it into a three dimensional form that would meet their budget, bear the significant weight of 3 cases of wine, knock down flat for easy shipping and assemble with minimal tools.  We took special care to give the logo some dimension using die cuts, screened transparent panels and distortion-printed vac-forms.  The resulting designs are below.

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Premium Coffee Deserves a Nice Rack

Illy is the kind of brand that designers love to work with.  Their brand identity adheres well to the essential principles of good design that we're trained to uphold:  Simple, clean, bold, clear, functional, instantly identifiable.  That doesn't mean, however, that in designing a floor display for the brand that you shouldn't inject a dose of whimsy just to tone down the austerity a little in a ploy for better visibility in the visual chaos of the average store.   The trick here is to apply a measured approach so that the brand identity is maintained.  That was our aim in presenting the following concepts.  What do you think?

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how to sell Wine with Sports

It's long been a standard marketing practice for brands to temporarily align themselves with a team or event to create programs with the goal of increasing awareness.  This was the case when Mouton Cadet wines hooked up with the Tour de France back in 2010 and we were consulted to provide creative tie-ins between their wines and the wildly popular bicycle race. An agency provided us with some graphic elements, desired footprints were defined, and we went to town creating some big, dimensional, die-cut corrugated displays to show off the alliance as boldly as possible.  We provided a lot of work on this one.  The images below only comprise a portion of the project.

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Beer, Branding, and a Battery Boost

Heineken was looking for a bold presence at the bar, but they didn't want to just stick a sign in a frame or print up thousands of fragile table tents that would just get ignored and destroyed in a few days.  They wanted something with longevity that would attract attention and encourage some kind of engagement with the consumer and/or bartender by providing utility.  Collaborating with a long-time display company client company, we designed and illustrated several ideas which showcased the brand with LED lighting while integrating both existing bar accessories like napkin and straw holders as well as providing USB charging ports as a free convenience for bar patrons.  

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