Thursday, January 31, 2013

Artisan Mac n' Cheese Packaging

Step aside blue box mac and cheese, there's a new Mac Man in town! Dan Stephenson of Dan's Gourmet grew up loving the famed American comfort food, so it's no wonder that his passion for mac and cheese propelled him to create a collection of uniquely crafted mac & cheese recipes. While he started out selling his "Mac Pacs" in Farmer's Markets, he had his sights on the frozen food aisle. With all the big players in the section, Dan knew that if he could just get people to pick up his product, they would be more likely to carry it to the check-out line. Enter ADG.

When Dan came to us with a sampling of all of his flavors, it became quickly apparent we weren't just dealing with any ol'mac and cheese. One bite will tell you that this is a seriously sophisticated, gourmet, concoction of complex flavors (say that 10 times fast). Mac and cheese has finally grown-up, put on some big boy pants and brass knuckles and got a job knocking out your taste buds! Don't be fooled though, you don't need a cummerbund to enjoy this feast. While the taste has grown up, there is no pretentious fluffiness about Dan's Gourment. Just spending a few minutes with Dan will make you realize what a down-to earth, honest to goodness, fun guy he is. That's what we wanted to show through with our designs. The packaging design needed to reflect food that was sophisticated enough to enjoy as a fancy, gourmet meal (think hot date night), but also comforting enough to make you forget all your troubles (think bad break-up) ...just me? ok.

A warm color palette along with unique hand-rendered typography make it stand out on store shelves, and the shift in color further helps to differentiate each of the flavors. Fun, whimsical illustrations were used throughout to give it an artisan, home-spun charm. 

Creative Director: Joel Anderson
Designer and Illustrator: Ligia Teodosiu
Photography: Edward Patton, Alexander Azzo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Southern Tradition

It's no secret we're big nerds when it comes to all things retro and vintage (and we will wave that flag proudly), so when our friend and business associate Eric Rion of Willa's Shortbread approached us with the task of re-designing his line of shortbread cookies, we got so excited we had to change our pocket protectors.

For over 30 years, Willa’s Shortbread has produced the finest Shortbread cookies and Cheese Biscuits using traditional southern recipes and with family guarded attention to detail and quality. It all started with Grandma Willa baking traditional shortbread in her kitchen. As the demand and popularity for her famous shortbread grew, she adapted her recipe to produce cookies, and later, cheese biscuits. Today, Willa's Shortbread continues to carry on the tradition of high quality products made by hand in small batches with only the simplest, all natural ingredients (and yes, you really can pronounce them all). 

In order to celebrate the heritage of Willa's Shortbread cookies, we wanted to produce something that felt old-fashioned, southern, and nostalgic. Our inspiration came from old decorative tins that were re-purposed long after the product inside was consumed/used (remember those tins that sat on top of your grandmother's refrigerator? or how about that tin of nails, screws, and various metal pieces your grandfather used to keep in the garage)?

So we wiped the cookie crumbs off our desks and got to work! We started with the metal tins and extended the look to small limited-color kraft boxes. Hand-rendered typography along with warm, buttery colors reflected the artisan goodness inside. Also, since they produce so many flavors, we wanted to give Eric the flexibility to change or add flavors along the way. We designed the packaging to stand on it's own, but also designed flavor seals, each one hand-rendered and with its own unique personality/flavor cues and color. We didn't stop there, we also re-designed their logo to finish off the look.

Creative Director: Joel Anderson
Designer and Illustrator: Ligia Teodosiu
Photography: Edward Patton