Good Design vs. Good Branding: Tropicana Case Study

You’ve probably heard by now that Tropicana redesigned their orange juice cartons, but then received so much negative feedback they’ve decided to revert to their old design. This is an example of how design in a vacuum can lead to terrible branding decisions. The design changes For years, Tropicana used their image of the straw in the orange to suggest a fresh-from-the-orchard taste. That image was backed up by a package design that had a sense of old-time farm stand signage while still being clean and modern looking. On the other hand, their new design shows orange juice poured into a wine glass sort of goblet. The placement of the glass is off-center in a way that abstracts the image. The typography changed from featuring the brand name top & center, to rotating it 90-degrees. The remaining type is sans serif and set in a modern and minimalist way. Personally I favor the old version because the colors are richer, […]

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The Power of Color in Branding

Most companies have a “corporate color” or color palette. This is generally the color or colors used in the logo. The designer usually picks a Pantone (PMS) color, and also selects CMYK and RGB equivalents. But why stop with just a splash of color on your logo? Consider using more color to create an impact beyond the logo. A classic example: Tiffany & Co Blue Box Tiffany & Co introduced their signature blue box in 1837, the year they opened. While their logotype is elegant and well-design, it is their blue color that is far more memorable and eye-catching. Looking at the photo here, most Americans would know it’s a box from Tiffany’s even without seeing the name. What makes it effective? Consistency, first of all. They’ve been using the same branding scheme for over 170 years. Distinctiveness is second. It’s a very unique color of blue. Not your basic royal or sky blue, but a robin’s egg, sort of […]

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The Farm Report: Markets Are Up!

I read with pleasure that small specialty farms are a growing business in Maine. There were three reasons this story interested me: first I’m a foodie; secondly, any business news that’s upbeat is welcome; and finally, I thought there were good lessons for all types of small business owners. Highlights of the report The story I read in the Portland Press Herald was a re-cap of The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s five-year Census of Agriculture. And the statistics for Maine are showing growth and an optimistic future. Some highlights include: The number of farms in Maine increased by 13 percent, to 8,136, from 2002 to 2007 Maine farms recorded $617 million in sales in 2007, up 33 percent from 2002 More farmers are selling directly to consumers, via farm stands and farmers’ markets, and direct to restaurants—these numbers increased by 17 percent These direct-to-consumer sales totaled $18 million, up 50 percent when adjusted for inflation What is driving this change? […]

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4 Branding Tips for Solopreneurs

If you’re really ready to start your business consider these four branding tips: 1. Consider a name other than your own. Many people starting their own businesses are setting up one-person consulting companies. In this context they will be getting most of their work based on their own reputations. In fact, they may even get work from their previous employers. However, it’s best to start thinking of your business as something more than just yourself. When I started my design firm I didn’t just say Emily Brackett, Graphic Designer. I even went beyond Brackett Design. I came up with a name of an entity—Visible Logic—that is more than me (even though it started as a sole propietorship). Your business name allows you to built a brand that is bigger than just you, and gives you more room to grow. This can be especially helpful when you make sales calls. Rather than saying “This is Amy Smith” you can say “This […]

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Use Your Microsoft Word Docs To Build your Brand

Your brand should be apparent in as many places as possible. Considering that most businesses frequently use Microsoft Word to write proposals, reports, estimates, memos etc. You need to make sure that your Word files are continuing your brand as much as possible. Electronic Letterhead Template When you have your letterhead designed, also have an electronic version developed. This will put the graphic elements (logo, contact information, company name, etc.) into the Word file. These should be placed graphics, not typeset in Word itself. This will assure that the typographic treatment exactly matches your printed letterhead. Depending on the layout of your letterhead, these elements can be placed into the header & footer areas of the page, or pulled into art boxes. Font choices When your designer established your corporate identity, one or more corporate typefaces should have been selected. Many times, these are fonts that a design firm owns and uses on their Mac but may not be installed […]

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