When we first saw the Craft Beer Branding Guide by the guys at CODO Design, we knew it was one for our keeper file. Born out of the website bearing its name, CODO teamed up with our pals at Neenah to produce a print version in pocket guide format. While the subject may be about craft beer, the strategy behind branding craft beer can be applied to many verticals. Especially those who have a physical product as part of their business. We shared the piece in the spring issue of The Parcel, it was an instant subscriber favorite. So we partnered up with our friends at AIGA to bring the team from CODO to Cleveland to share a bit about their business, their work and their love of craft beer and branding. It was a packed house at Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland for Craft Beer Branding with CODO Design & AIGA. Cody and Isaac dug deep and shared some really great insights into how they doubled down on a niche market to take their design firm national.
By definition, the word classic means “serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value.” In other words something that stands the test of time. Neenah’s CLASSIC® Brands have been around for 55 years. And that’s saying something in an industry that’s pretty fickle when it comes to paper grades with staying power. To give you some context, I started in the industry around the same time Survivor first aired. I’ve seen more papers come and go than torches snuffed out by Jeff Probst. So yes, it’s safe to say the CLASSIC® Papers live up to their name. But how exactly does a brand that is so iconic and classic undertake a refresh? Well, that was a collaborative process between Neenah Paper and Design Army that was a year in the making. I say it was well worth the wait because the results are stellar.
I start my workday pretty much the same way, by grabbing a sheet of paper and scrawling out all the things I want to accomplish. My method is to write down everything in my head. Once it’s on paper I can stop obsessing and start working. Of course I am overly ambitious, and by Friday my desk is cluttered with piles of half completed lists. I needed a better way to plan my workday and projects. I tried tons of analog options. After spending a small fortune on pretty, but non-functional planners, I was at a loss. Nothing worked for what I needed. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and am so excited to share Parse & Parcel’s very first stationery endeavor – The Planner.
With one new brewery opening every day, craft beer has to be one of the hottest markets for design. From logo design to website to product packaging, each element plays an important role in the success of any startup. And craft beer is no different. But the key to standing out in a crowded market comes down to one important aspect, branding. To insure success, a new brewery must define critical elements like its core values, messaging and positioning. But knowing how to do it all can be overwhelming for any startup. Luckily there’s this great new resource, the Craft Beer Branding Guide from CODO Design & Neenah Packaging.
What form of media does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rely on to welcome new members to the club? Print, of course. And why not? After all print has been proven to form some of the most personal, intimate connections with its audience. The team at Design Army created an experience around becoming a new member to this elite group. See how Design Army used the power of print and packaging to create a special experience for each new member.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – packaging design is all about the details. It has to be, especially when it’s geared towards the B2C market. The whole point is to get noticed enough that the consumer actually picks up the product. It’s not enough to merely have an attractive color palette and a standout logo mark – while those are critical elements of branding, they’re table-stakes in the world of packaging design. If you really want a product to get noticed, one needs to create an experience filled with excitement and the promise of delight for the buyer/recipient. And that’s exactly how I felt from the moment I first laid eyes on the Wondermade packaging.
Image via Studio of Christine Wisnieski
Starting a business is hard. Really hard. I can’t tell you the countless hours I’ve spent developing the concept behind Parse & Parcel. There are so many details and a ton of planning involved. And no matter how much you plan, things are always changing. The tough part is how to plan for change without knowing exactly how things will change. This is a problem every business faces, but it’s especially difficult when you’ve got a physical product and you’re trying to find the perfect packaging solution – and you’re a start-up.
Get the Free Guide with our Top Tips for Creating Memorable Packaging
I have a thing for little blue boxes.
Of course, the ubiquitous blue box of Tiffany & Co. makes me swoon. I’ve saved every one I’ve ever gotten. Every. Single. One. (Which is currently four, btw).
Every once in a while I’ll peek inside the drawer I stash them in for safe keeping. Just looking at them makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
But this isn’t anything unusual.
When I was a kid I couldn’t wait until I turned 18. I was so annoyed by adults telling me what to do all the time – clean your room, practice the clarinet, be nice to your sister. Sheesh. To me, turning 18 meant freedom. After all, I would technically be an adult and that meant I could do what I want, right? Yeah, I know. But the one thing about turning 18 that remains as true today as it was all those years ago is the right to vote. Given the state of today’s politics, I can think of no greater privilege. So when Parse & Parcel was asked to participate in the AIGA Get Out the Vote exhibit, I leapt at the chance to be a part of it.
AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign calls on the power of design to motivate the American public to register and show up to vote on election day. Designers are encouraged to join the campaign by designing and sharing a poster. AIGA has partnered with the League of Women Voters to present an online gallery of non-partisan posters for printing and public distribution. In addition there are two exhibitions that coincide with both the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (July 18 – 21) and Democratic National Conventions in Philadelphia (July 25-28), as well as the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas this fall (October 17 – 19).
But how does it feel?
That’s the one key question I ask before I make any decision. That one word – feel, applies to so much. If you think about it, it can mean the actual texture of a thing, the mood or emotion something evokes, the way something looks, smells, sounds or tastes. Thoughts are cerebral but feeling is existential. Feeling provides us with context that is imprinted on us long after the thought is gone. For example, I had not thought about my grandmother’s kitchen in decades, then last weekend I was cooking chicken soup. I’ve had chicken soup hundreds of times since I was last in that kitchen (she passed away over 25 years ago), and never once did I think about that space. But as I was stirring the soup and got a whiff, I instantly felt like I was 8 years old, standing on a stool in that tiny, brown and gold kitchen waiting for the soup to be done. I love that feeling. Every time I experience one of those moments is priceless.