Tag Archives: Graphic Design

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.
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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.
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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.

In The Beginning: A Studio Space Is In The Works!

Nubby Twiglet |  In The Beginning: A Studio Space Is In The Works!

Maybe finding the perfect studio is the equivalent to finding yourself in a great relationship….the best ones come around when you’re not actively looking!

I’d always imagined Branch moving out of my home office and into a dedicated space but it felt a little risky — and it’s always smart to play it safe and keep overhead low in the first year of starting a new business.

Well, the time has come! The studio of my dreams quite literally fell into my lap with one chance meeting at a neighborhood party. Now, I’m making plans for Branch to move into its very own space in early November. It’s a space full of other makers and though our office isn’t quite finished (that’s the way it currently looks above — real talk!), in the next few weeks, it’s going to slowly transform.

I wanted to share this news with you in real time because you’re going to be coming along on this journey with me — from sourcing decor to making the space functional on a budget. This is the first real space outside of home I’ve ever had and it feels like a necessary big step forward after celebrating Branch’s one year anniversary a few weeks ago.

I’ve always said that when things are going good, you can never get too comfortable — it’s time to shake things up a bit. In the new year, there will be a lot more changes happening with Branch but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s get the space decorated first. ;)

More soon!

Happy Branchiversary: One Year Of Running A Design Studio Plus 5 Tips For New Business Owners

Nubby Twiglet | Happy Branchiversary: One Year Of Running A Design Studio Plus 5 Tips For New Business Owners

During the week, I was holed up in Palm Springs for Designer Vaca, an annual retreat for female creatives. The buzz of nervousness and excitement was palpable — we’d traveled in from different states and even countries to network and learn from one another.

Designer Vaca isn’t just an annual getaway for me, though — it’s also an important marker in my life. It’s a reminder of how much can happen in just a year when you put your mind and every ounce of energy into something. A few days before Designer Vaca last year, I launched Branch so being there this year reminded me of that fundamental time.

A year ago, I took a chance and quit all outside design work to run Branch full time. I’d been freelancing and building my clientele for five years prior and I knew it was finally time to overcome my fears and lay everything on the line. Big life changes can be paralyzing but in a way, because my schedule was so packed at the time, I never had the chance to overthink things. The month before Branch launched, I’d been in Austin, Greece, London and New York with The Blogcademy. By the time I got home from all that traveling, I had less than 2 weeks to get all my content together, design my website and go live. The day we launched, I had to be in Malibu for a client meeting and two days after that, in Palm Springs for Designer Vaca. There was no wiggle room.

I always say that it’s best to launch and learn and we did just that. Things were far from perfect — I’d taken all the photos, written all the copy and Star pulled a few all nighters to push the site live. Even in its imperfect state, business was solid from day one. Within a week, we’d booked out for a month. Within one month, we were booked for three.

Running your own business is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Let’s be honest — there are a lot easier, less stressful ways to make a living. It’s true that a lot of businesses fail in the first year and I didn’t want Branch to be a casualty. A good way to avoid falling into that pit is to understand your business from the inside out so I told myself that in the first year, I was going to take on as much work as I possibly could and learn from it — I wanted to really figure out what we wanted more of and what we wanted less of. I’m a firm believer that as an owner, before you can delegate to others, you need to understand the ins and outs of your own business.

Nubby Twiglet | Happy Branchiversary: One Year Of Running A Design Studio Plus 5 Tips For New Business Owners

I want to share a few nuggets of wisdom that we’ve gathered over the last year to help you with your own creative business:

1. Launch and learn.

When you have very little time to get up and running like we did, your site might not be perfect. The point is that even if you sit on your idea and polish it to perfection, you’re losing valuable momentum. We launched with the best we could do at the time and built our clientele as quickly as possible. Now, it’s time to step back, reevaluate our online presence and rebuild our site and media kit. The thing to remember is that it’s not a great idea to invest too much upfront — even with all the market research in the world, you never know if a business idea will actually resonate. It’s better to work on a shoestring budget, figure out what works and then rework your offerings based on those learnings.

2. Attract now, repel later.

As a new business, in the beginning it’s a good idea to stay open to different kinds of clients. Learn from each and build a solid financial cushion before specializing. Once you’ve passed the year mark, step back, reevaluate and decide who you’d like to attract more of. Focusing in on a particular niche will help you to position yourself as an expert and when you specialize, you’ll be able to charge more for your services.

3. Geographical locations matter less now than ever.

Branch is based in Portland, Oregon but none of our clients are local. Like many U.S. cities, Portland is saturated with hundreds of design studios so we instead focused on the world. By employing this mindset, we’ve picked up clients in Seattle, London, San Francisco, Brisbane, Fargo, Perth and New York. The design industry is a lot more open these days — it’s totally possible to keep overhead low, run your business from a tiny town and still rule the world thanks to an internet connection.

4. Share every project you do, no matter how small.

Part of the growth of Branch this year can be attributed directly to social media. We shared projects the second they were finished across Dribbble, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and our blog. Not every project was a hit but there were a few that got picked up and repinned hundreds of times. The click-throughs from Pinterest especially helped build our client base. Dedicate as much time as you possibly can to social media — there’s nothing better than free marketing!

5. Raise your rates incrementally.

When Branch launched, we kept our rates fairly reasonable for a design studio. We wanted to make sure we were booked out and stayed busy. As inquiries piled up, we revamped our pricing. The key is to not do massive increases all at once — if you do this, you run the risk of stripping out your client base. Instead, be realistic with steady price increases. Instead of tacking on $1,000.00 to your most popular package all at once, it’s better to do four increases of $250.00 over the course of a year.

It’s been a great first year at Branch — we’ve been mentioned in Computer Arts, featured on The Dieline and asked to submit our projects to multiple design books. Hard work and dedication does pay off. If you want something bad enough, you just have to push fear aside and go for it, and see what happens. It may end up being a rollercoaster ride…but you’ll never know what’s possible unless you try. Thanks to Star, Cathy, Joey, Rocky and Carey for being there from the beginning and the clients who believed in us.


Your turn: I want to know — what do you have in the pipeline that scares you? What are your big dreams when it comes to running your own business?