Category Archives: Graphic Design

Project Spotlight: Luke Copping

Nubby Twiglet | Project Spotlight: Luke Copping

Branch recently wrapped up a bundle of new projects with Luke Copping including a print promo set, branded rubber stamp and thank you cards. Luke was one of the first freelance clients I began working with six years ago and we are still experimenting and trying out new ideas all the time, collaborating on everything from magazines to newspapers to wedding invites! You can see the full outcome of Luke’s new projects here.

Project Spotlight: Brand New Ways

Nubby Twiglet | Project Spotlight: Brand New Ways

It’s been far too long since I shared new design work — over at Branch, we recently wrapped up the branding, collateral and website for Brand New Ways, the blog / podcast of Jen Leonard. Jen is a San Francisco-based journalist and speaker with a major love of large botanicals, clean type and a dash of bling. As you can imagine, this was a particularly fun project to dig into!

To get the full scoop and check out more of the design elements, click here.

Branded #3: Malvi Marshmallows

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

Up until a few days ago, I’d always assumed that all marshmallows were basically the same: white, fluffy and sugary. And, it makes sense — marshmallows are a cheap commodity at grocery stores and a “nice to have” when the mood to decorate your hot chocolate strikes or a summer night of camping calls for s’mores. But beyond that, they’re pretty basic and overlooked.

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

Well my friends, I was wrong about all marshmallows being created equal. Malvi has changed the game for good. A few days ago, a very thoughtful sponsor sent a box of these sweet treats to my doorstep as a Valentine’s Day surprise and lord almighty, these babies pack a flavorful punch.

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

Raspberry Hibiscus, Red Velvet, Spiked Espresso and Vanilla Salted Caramel are all up for grabs. I think these little packs would make such great client gifts and goodie bag treats at a party.

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

The branding is spot-on as well. It has a hand-done feel but the black and white color scheme keeps the overall look from venturing into total kitsch territory. The spare, simple packaging gives it a sense of confidence — there’s no need to shout from the mountaintops that these pieces of pillowy goodness are the shiznit…because one bite is all it takes to seal the deal.

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows

Oh, in case you’re wondering about the name, Malvi is short for malvavisco which is the Spanish word for marshmallow. Pretty great, right?

Less Made totally nailed the branding and website. I love discovering these great independent brands and the talented designers who make them happen. Now, I just need to throw a party so I have an excuse to order a boatload more of the vanilla salted caramel marshmallow sandwiches. Because, as you probably guessed….they disappeared quite fast as soon as the last photo was taken.

Nubby Twiglet | Malvi Marshmallows


Images: Shauna Haider and Malvi.
View more Branded posts here.

Branded #2: Gingerella Ginger Ale

Nubby Twiglet | Branded: Gingerella by All Good

When I first made eye contact with Gingerella while I was hanging out in an Australian cafe, I gasped, jumped up and down and ordered a bottle as quickly as possible. That’s a strong reaction over a bottle of ginger ale but Gingerella happens to be gorgeous, stylish and socially conscious. That’s a hard combination to top when it comes to branding, don’t you think?

Gingerella is sweet and carbonated like soda but has a spicy ginger flavor. This particular incarnation features an enticing mix of organic ginger, lemon, organic vanilla from Sri Lanka and sugar from India. Yes, it tastes as awesome as it sounds.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded: Gingerella by All Good

Gingerella is produced by All Good, which is a small business focusing on creating high quality products with a conscience. Most of their ingredients are not only organic but they’re also sourced from fair-trade farmers. I’m glad that more brands are taking the reigns on producing products that aren’t just about all looks and no substance. Gingerella is proof that you can care about the environment while amping things up with a saucy redhead.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded: Gingerella by All Good


Images: Shauna Haider and Best Awards.
For more Branded posts, click here.

Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Welcome to Branded, a new column where I share new brands I’ve personally discovered with you. First up is Greene St. Juice Co.! I was walking through Melbourne while on a lunch break last month and came across this epic shop. I know that juice places are a dime a dozen these days but this one immediately stood out because it was sleek, modern and full of brilliantly simple branding. I was so obsessed that I brought one of their empty juice bottles home to use as a vase on my desk!

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Each flavor of juice has its own logo variation. Because the typeface is always the same, it still feels cohesive.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Greene St. Juice Co. was founded by Natalie and Steve in 2012 and after a stint in New York, they’ve returned to Melbourne. All of their juices are cold pressed and raw, meaning that it never encounters heat — this keeps the enzymes and vitamins as potent as possible. Additionally, all the ingredients are organic. I love a brand that is as good for you on the inside as it looks on the outside.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Here are a few of the flavors Kat, Gala and I tried: 1. Greene St. Classic (Alkalise + Detox). and 2. West Village (Replenish + Fortify).

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

3. 1 Giant Mind (Radiant Light).

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

4. The Bronx (Personal Power) and 5. BDFM (The Orange Line).

2015_greene_street_juice_10

The branding system was produced by Cassette Agency. They summed up the vision of the brand as “Bringing a little piece of New York City to Melbourne.” It’s got a big city, no-nonsense feel while remaining calm, cool and collected.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #1: Greene St. Juice Co.

I’ve been to dozens of juice places across the world and after I left the shop, I kept asking myself why Greene St. Juice Co. was still at the forefront of my mind. And then, it occurred to me — it wasn’t just about the juice, it was about the experience. Great brands don’t just deliver a great product. They deliver something more, something that’s sometimes hard to put your finger on. They leave you feeling inspired and better off after you’ve encountered them.

What are some great brand experiences you’ve had lately? Is there a product or service that still has you buzzing? I’d love to hear about it!


Photos: Shauna Haider and Madeline Kate Photography.
Brand mockups: Cassette Agency.

10 Tips To Get Your Work Noticed (and Land a Job!) at Design Studios and Ad Agencies

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Tips To Get Your Work Noticed (and Land a Job!) at Design Studios and Ad Agencies

As the year winds down and you have some free time to reflect, now is the perfect time to start thinking about what steps you can take to land your dream job.

The thing is, there’s nothing worse than putting in some serious effort when applying for a job only to receive the tired response of, “You’re not quite what we are looking for” or worse yet, no response at all. As creatives, we want our work to get noticed by the right people. I often receive emails from recent design graduates asking how they can land their first professional position but the competition for spots at design studios and ad agencies can be notoriously tough.

Today, I’m sharing 10 tips gathered from personal experience — over the course of seven years, I worked full-time and freelanced at a total of seven spots ranging in size from less than 10 employees to a few hundred. Each experience was slightly different but I used similar techniques to get into each.

10 Helpful Tips

1. Do your homework.

Before walking into an interview, take the time to research your employer. What is their visual style like? How do they communicate on their website? Is their copy buttoned-up or humorous? In a sea of creative studios, what do they stand for? Do they mostly work with corporate clients or small businesses? All of these pieces of information are cues for how you should present yourself and your work. Even if it means pulling an all-nighter, re-jig your presentation for a particular interview and study up. If it’s undeniable that you “get” their style (and sense of humor), you’ll be a shoe-in because they already know that you’re a good fit. I’d obsessed over Cinco’s work for years before I ever had an interview and because I knew their work well (and referenced it), I was able to get into one of Portland’s best agencies.

2. Design a resume that stands out.

When applying for a creative presentation at a studio, a standard Word document won’t make the cut. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality and turn a traditionally boring document on its head. In need of inspiration? Check out this roundup. Don’t go too crazy with the design, though — the bottom line is that legibility matters most. Before sending out your resumé, print it. Are the fonts you chose easy on the eyes? Does the hierarchy of information make sense?

3. Replace school projects with real world client work.

Start freelancing as early as possible to gain actual client work. Employers want to see what you can do outside of the very structured confines of school. Can you handle difficult clients, sometimes ridiculous timelines and still deliver beautiful work? Because honestly, this is what the world outside of school looks like. Client work conveys that you are a self-starter and took the initiative to create a well-rounded portfolio. Not every project is going to pay well in the beginning but think about it as an investment in your future. I did many $200.00 logos while I was in school but that work later helped me get into the door of my first few jobs.

4. Expand upon each project.

Even if you’re hired to just do a logo, take the time to do a full build-out on your own. During my first few years of freelancing, my clients had small budgets so I’d often take their logos and build them into a full suite of collateral free of charge to create a much stronger visual presentation. An example of this was Semiospectacle who only had a budget for a logo at the time.

5. Brush up on skills affordably.

If your skillset isn’t quite up to par with the job you’re applying for, study online affordably. If you need to dive deeper into the Creative Suite and learn every little tip and trick about a particular program, Lynda is fantastic. If you want to learn a particular skill like hand-lettering or logo design, Skillshare is great.

6. Take the time to mock up your work.

Don’t just show a logo and flat graphics on a portfolio page because they offer no context. Instead, take the time to show a more complete visual story. Search out appropriate templates to give your work some dimension and relevance. For instance, if you designed a logo for a coffee shop, show it on a mug, a sign and across a suite of collateral. It shows that you understand the art of presentation, which agencies in particular appreciate….because once you get in the door, you’ll be helping to build out a whole lot of pitches. You can play up the outcome with templates from Creative Market, Pixeden and Live Surface.

7. Develop self-initiated projects.

If you haven’t found the ideal mix of clients to build the portfolio of your dreams, that’s okay. Take the initiative and create a few self-initiated projects. Self-initiated simply means that you weren’t hired for a project but built it out for fun. As long as you’re clear about this in the description and not trying to mislead anyone, these types of projects can show off different styles and skills to potential employers. If you’re looking for ideas to create well-rounded, amazingly branded projects, Good Design Makes Me Happy is a great source for inspiration.

8. Polish up your web presence.

Remember, your interviewer can Google you in 5 seconds flat. Give them something good to look at! In your online portfolio, include more information about yourself, your accolades and an extended selection of projects if you have them. Before I launched my design studio, I used Cargo Collective as a platform but WordPress and Squarespace also work well.

9. Spell check, use proper grammar….and if all else fails, hire a copywriter.

Nothing is a bigger turn-off for a potential employer than opening a resume or portfolio and spotting one spelling error after another. It’s sloppy and conveys a lack of attention to detail. Whether you’re formatting your resume, the bio on your website or descriptions for your portfolio projects, always run spell check. In InDesign, go to Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling.

10. Always say thank you.

Manners go a long way. After an interview, send a simple thank you the next day. An email or a card are both perfectly fine. Studios are busy places and the fact that the interviewers blocked time out of their busy schedules to meet you means that you’re a definite contender. If you have impeccable taste and manners, they won’t be able to resist you!

I hope these tips help you land a position you love in the new year. Good luck!