Applehead City Pet

Applehead City Pet

Packaging + Signage + Staging

Ethical Pet Products for Mindful Pet Parents

My work with Applehead City Pet has been a consistently engaging, stressful, and rewarding experience. Applehead’s previous designer had an overfull plate, and I happened to appear at just the right point in time.

With convention season on the horizon, labels and packaging needed to be be brought up to snuff, and new designs needed to be created. I was unfamiliar with the product lines, I had very little experience with packaging design, but I was eager to pounce on the projects.

After a few stumbles, I eventually caught my stride and started to recreate all of the designs with InDesign rather than Illustrator. Time was of the essence, and I knew that properly built InDesign files would allows projects to come in and go out more expediently than their Illustrator counterparts. The work was engaging, and learning how to use the vinyl printer & die-cutter at the Cincinnati Public Library’s Makerspace was a lot of fun.

In addition to the labels, I was also tasked with creating signage for a few of the holiday shows. This bit wasn’t so new to me. I’ve created signage and tags for my own art openings, and knew that simplicity would be the key to success. All of this needed to be kept on-brand, but I put a fresh spin on things by utilising the brand typefaces & colours.

Maestro

Maestro

Music is Everything.

Stark. Modern. Minimal. Maestro.

Maestro is a documentary that follows one of the greatest conductors of our time – Paavo Jarvi. I was tasked with creating booklets for the premiere, as well as various odds and ends such as a checkerboard for the red carpet. The ultimate goal was to create an aesthetic befitting the classical scene. No frills, no frou frou. The website came first, and I kept on brand by using the same colors and typefaces.

Constella Festival

Constella Festival

Classy as classical can be.

Like Music to Your Eyes

My experience with Constella was my first real foray into the non-profit world. Despite coming on as a graphic designer, I quickly learned that any talents I had would be put to good use. I helped redesign the website, and cross-promoted with social media, print media, and the occasional e-blast. I was also responsible for technical administrative tasks: web hosting, domain name registration, Google Suite, and analytics.

On the design side, what was especially important was keeping things legible for a slightly older crowd. It was a fine line balancing designs for a classical music festival with something more modern; I pared down something traditionally geared towards older folks into a modern, streamlined aesthetic.

While the festival has since dissipated,  I imagine Constella will be reinvigorated at some point in the future. Its founder, Tatiana Berman, is a classically trained violinist and still active in the classical music scene.

Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Enquirer

Point-of-Purchase Advertisements

Five seconds or less to capture their attention.

Point-of-Purchase (PoP) design is meant to be eye-catching and convey easily digestible snippets of information. The rule I was taught is “five seconds or less.” Essentially, if the design can’t be understood in five seconds or less, it’s not effective.

My time at the Cincinnati Enquirer involved a lot of split-second decisions. Designs needed to be completed on same-day deadlines a lot of the time, which required reusing previous designs with slight alterations. Due to the time constraints, there was very little conceptualizing outside of short meetings in the morning. Most advertisements were completed in a matter of a few hours. Occasionally, the design briefs would allow for some creative freedom, which is visible in the more illustrative pieces.

Samhain Publishing

Samhain Publishing

A mixture of demographics with differing aesthetics.

Consistency Across Multiple Brands

Working at Samhain was an interesting experience. Although the majority of their readers were women, Samhain also catered to fans of horror. Each respective brand had its own guidelines which I was required to follow. Pink for “retro romance,” purple for “romance,” and maroon for “horror.”

I designed and developed newsletter templates for Mailchimp. I created the company’s first-ever print catalog with InDesign, giving customers a physical way to browse through upcoming titles.

In terms of marketing collateral, I was responsible for re-designing cover sheet templates, which helped increase interest of potential buyers and brought more exposure to back catalog titles.