What is this site about ?

pull up a stool and stay a bit....

pull up a stool and stay a bit….

This site is a mashup of personal work: primarily its home to a Business/ New Business blog, where I pick at issues relevant to Marketing Co’s.

There are also links to: leatherwork, motorcycle editorial work and abandoned industrial site photography.

 

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Followers of Fashion

image: stephen berner
When the United States Postal Service creates content that addresses packaging design, we can’t help but take notice and peruse it immediately. This was the case this week and what we found was this:
UNWRAPPING PRODUCT PACKAGING DESIGN: 3 BIG TRENDS IN 2016

Now mind you, we were pretty psyched to see that the USPS was shining its light on Packaging Design. But as we began reading we became a little disappointed – it was reading fluffy, simplistic and seemingly targeted at having to explain Packaging Design to someone coming out of the jungle after 100 years.

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Rethinking Packaging Design Methodology

marketing, design, sales, new business, clients, content, business strategy, communications, product packaging branding, brand identity,

image: stephen berner

originally written for the Biondo Group


In this read we 
begin to take a look at the manner in which packaging design firms work.

Important considerations for a Client company looking for a packaging design firm are work style and process.

Design for business is a creative pursuit; it’s an iterative, process driven activity. One of the challenges every Design firm faces is in parsing its services into neat, clear, billable units. Design for business can be by its very “collaborative” nature – messy, with design and production activities, decisions, strategy, budget and thinking, all bleeding into one another.

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3 Keys to Design Success: Orientation & Analysis

Electronics-in-meeting-iStock_000050413412_Medium1-686x350(originally written for the Biondo Group)

It’s a good idea to start a design program like you want to finish: informed and strong

Starting a packaging design program with a proper orientation and analysis phase of activity is a smart, but often glossed over and a wee bit dismissed step in the development of a successful design project.

Kicking-off a project is a critical moment and it’s important that all of the excitement and good vibes from an “approval” are leveraged to get events, actions and people all headed in the best direction possible – at the outset.

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Opportunity lost?

Death_to_stock_kinckerbocker_photography_4-copy-1080x675(originally written for the Biondo Group)

Many Biondo Group clients have in-house design departments, or, at the very least a hands-on designer. These creative professionals often have a wide range of responsibilities: from web design and maintenance, developing collateral and trade materials, packaging design to branding. It’s tough to be a master of more than one or two of these areas of specialty, and its not too long until even a seasoned designer bumps against the limits of their experience and ability.

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In Response…..

DeathtoStock_Desk7-1080x675(originally written for the Biondo Group)

At the Biondo Group we submit quite a few RFP responses to active and prospective clients.

Proposals can be mind numbing to write, we’ve all been there. After a few hours hammering away, writing and rereading the same document, it gets tough to stay sharp and focused. Thinking through the many steps and phases of a project can get fatiguing.

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Tiger Traps & Packaging Redesign

Packaging Redesign programs are sensitive endeavors on a good day, but on a bad day they can be fraught with tension, as well as “tiger traps” for both the Client as well as Designer. Getting it wrong can be a costly, embarrassing and wholly avoidable mistake.

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When is Packaging Design considered successful?

Unknown-1If product packaging doesn’t create relationships well then, what does it do, past identifying a product as being a specific type/style/flavor/form of a product from a specific brand or manufacturer?

For consumer product packaging graphics to be considered successful, they among other things must:

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Can product packaging create relationships?

Unknown-1080x675A debate has been brewing at the Biondo Group (a co. I freelance with). The idea that’s been churning is the notion that a package’s design can create a relationship with the consumer.

We read of designers stating that their work “creates relationships with consumers” and we stand back and wonder – does it really? Does packaging design create relationships? In that brief moment when the consumer is at the shelf in a supermarket environment – does a packages design connect in a manner that allows a relationship to be created?

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Brenna’s Dyna by Nick @ popsgaragefab.com

image: stephen berner

Jacked –  that’s the word that came to mind when i got my first snootful of Brenna’s Dyna – put together by Nick @ PopsGarageFab.com. I looked at this relatively stock Dyna, resplendent in it’s denim black paint and thought – “damn, that’s a lot of suspension, that’s one jacked machine”.

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The Blue Girl – a custom Harley-Davidson™ FXRT by Pop’s Garage & Fabrication

image: stephen berner

image: stephen berner

Looking at the machine presented here, you cannot help but be impressed, and feel more than a little excited.

The Blue Girl, a 1985 FXRT. is one striking machine.

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America, the beer?

bud.america-1080x675<originally written for the Biondo Group>

Budweiser has filed for and has gotten permission to use the phrase “America” as the primary naming element on the front panel of their beer cans for the summer months.

As brand marketers we can’t help but both wince and applaud InBev

But honestly, there seems to be something a little “off” about this marketing move. It is one thing to be proud of where you are from, and we Americans certainly have a right to be proud. It is another thing to wrap your brand and products so tightly in the flag that they become inextricably tied together.

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Packaging Designers: Prepared for Success

store-audit-fulcrum-1080x675

<originally  written and published for the Biondo Group>

One of the jobs of an Account Manager or Client Manager at The Biondo Group is insuring that the creative folk, the designers, have all of the information that they need to succeed when they head out “on a project”.

Heading out on a design exploration is akin to an adventure, it’s a challenge.

If a designer is not informed regarding the nuances of a challenge, there is no way they can satisfy it. If a packaging designer doesn’t have a clear understanding of what is happening on shelf, in the real world – their work will reflect it. For a packaging designer, being informed and understanding the context of a product on shelf is mission critical.

So how do we inform our design team when a challenge is at hand?

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