Mason Cellars Press Check

Napa Press Check

I just returned from a few beautiful days in the lovely Napa Valley. I was on press with Randy & Megan Mason of Mason Cellars and Herdell Printing, a fabulous family owned print shop in the area that specializes in wine label printing. The Mason’s are getting ready to release a new wine, this will be the fourth label they’ve commissioned with me. This label, like the others I’ve done for them (Pomelo, Three Pears and Mason Sauvignon Blanc), will have it’s own unique identity. We added a few embellishments on this design, like a clear foil and an emboss. The embossing plate is made from a half an inch sheet of brass, it will last longer than any of us!

The first release of this new wine will only be 5000 cases, so I’m sure it will be in high demand once the word gets out. Stay tuned for another presumably fabulous wine from the Mason’s the end of June 2013.

Top 6 Reasons You Need a Logo in a Vector Format!

Vector Sample

 

1. Do you even know what a vector format is? A vector format is an outline of text or of an image.

2. How can my logo become a vector image if it isn’t already? Redraw the logo image with an outline, using a digital illustration tool. You can also use the auto trace tool in Adobe Illustrator. For text, you can simply use the command “convert to outlines” in Adobe InDesign. You may need to hire a designer to do this if you don’t have the technical skills or the correct programs.

3. Once the logo image is outlined, you can resize it to any size you want and it will always look good.

4. Why is this a good thing? If your logo is not a vector image and you try to resize it the image may become pixelated. Which means it will get zigzagged edges and won’t look clear. Which means your logo will look bad and your business will look unprofessional.

5. But those photographic images look so sleek. Yes, they do. But if your logo will not reproduce when and where you need it to, it’s not doing you any good.

6. Your logo is your professional image to the world, treat it with care and use it wisely.

Change Your FaceBook Page Name

facebook icon.hires

Yes, it really is easy to change your FaceBook page name and get rid of all those pesky numbers after it.

Here’s how in 4 easy steps:
1. From the top of the page you’d like to change, click on “Edit Page”
2. Select “Update Public Info”
3. Click on “Username” 
4. It will show you the current page name. In the box next to it,  enter the name you would like to have. A box will show up that you click on, to see  if that name is available. If it is, you’re set! If it’s not, enter a different name until you select one that is available for you to use.

Tacoma Concert Band CD Design

TCB2.small

Had a fun opportunity to work on a CD Cover Design for Tacoma Concert Band this past Christmas season. They were working with funds from a special grant, so they  had the resources to get something special designed. I gave them some special pricing and they gave something back to the community, donating 50% from the sales of their holiday music to Lakewood’s Caring for Kids.

Hotel Murano T-shirts, Jackets & Banners

Murano

I had the opportunity to work with our very own Hotel Murano on a few projects recently. They won the prestigious  Forbes 4 Star Award, which is an honor that goes to only the best in the industry. The Murano is the first hotel in Tacoma to receive such an honor.

To celebrate the win they hired me to design t-shirts, jackets and  a huge banner to honor the hotel and the employees in their great achievement.

Keeping the branding consistent while adapting their look to different applications and working with an awesome local screen printer, we turned out some great products.

Branding “Singing Cedars Healing Touch & Health Coaching”

SCE Branding

This was a great project for a very interesting business: Singing Cedars Healing Touch & Health Coaching. The client, Martha McMahon, was very clear about the “look & feel” she wanted for her branding. She wanted to focus on the natural elements of water & trees to help convey the power of water & nature on health. We also used calm & cool colors to reflect the healing energies of water and the stability of being healthy.

Since this profession is still considered an alternative, or more modern, mode of healing the materials needed to have a modern look & feel.

Ford Figo for the Male Ego

JWT Ads

I have to say that I am utterly stunned at learning about these Ford Figo ads by JWT India.

Being a woman in the United States is definitely the best place in the world to be a woman. We have an equal say in legislation complete with voting rights. We also have amazing educational and professional opportunities. We can say and do whatever we want. We get everything the guys do, right? Well I would like to say yes, but anyone who is actually a woman in the US knows that it’s not really true. We need to think about personal safety – ALL THE TIME. Freedom only goes so far. We constantly have the running commentary in our head: “Should I run out to the grocery store at night? How is the lighting? Will I be safe? Should I go out hiking alone? Will I be safe? Can I go walk around my neighborhood at night? Will I be safe? Is there some suspicious guy lurking around? Is he following me?” As women, we are trained (hopefully) to have these concerns. We always have to look over our shoulder, trying to be aware of the dangers of predatory men. Violent crime against women is a real and perpetual issue – both nationally and globally.

In this day and age where women are STILL experiencing sexual bias in a very big way, these ads disgust me.  For some reason Ford decided that the JWT India company was the creative team for them. I would be interested to know how they decided to work with this creative “team”. I bet one of their guys went out to the strip club with one of the Ford guys and – bam! – a business relationship was born. I don’t buy the argument that these ads were developed as part of the normal creative process by the JWT creative team. As a female creative I would never create this sort of imagery. Abusing women (or anyone for that matter) isn’t funny or entertaining and I can’t imagine it would appeal to a mass market. I believe that creative people have a responsibility to use their skills for the greater good.

Any global brand that relies on marketing to drive sales needs to be ultra sensitive with their advertising. Did Ford expect that the JWT India would have the same cultural sensitivities as a US company would? Isn’t Ford supposed to be one of the great American companies known as the “Big Three”? Or maybe Ford is soley marketing to wealthy, sexist white guys. Which is fine – but it just might impact their sales. Does Ford understand that women control more than 65% of global spending and  more than 80% of US spending?

I hope women take a stand on this inexcusable incident and rally against Ford and companies like them that continue to perpetuate this tremendous gender inequality  and sexual bias that continues on in a national and global capacity.

Marketing Materials for Mason Cellars

We recently completed a round of redesigns on several marketing materials for Mason Cellars in Napa. We rolled out business cards, tasting cards, tasting notes, case cards and shelf talkers.

It always amazes my clients how much better everything looks when it’s done! Branding is so important to the success of your business, whether you’re making wine or doing someone’s taxes. I would love to work with more winemakers, funny how my attempts at connecting with them has not gone too far YET. Any winemakers out there looking for design help, don’t be shy about connecting!

My work with Mason has produced fantastic results, Pomelo has been a very strong seller. Everyone loves the new business cards. The client loves the idea of showing their product line up…what else does anyone need to know when looking for a Mason wine other than what the labels look like?

Creating an Icon

I think this process is interesting, so I thought I’d publish an example for people to view.

Since I love illustration, I’m always looking for ways to do more of it. I recently had a request for an icon design that will also be also be used as a logo. I do lots of work with new businesses, so I’m not always at liberty to say who the client is, as in this case.

The client wanted an icon of a bloodhound. So of course I started with a line drawing of an actual bloodhound. After I had done the initial illustration, I went through the process of simplifying. Icons are really just representations of an object in it’s most simple form. The challenge is to maintain the integrity of the subject matter, so at the end of the process it’s still recognizable.