Weeding Out the Solution

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Recently I was commissioned to create an identity for a business dedicated to reducing the amount of nuisance weeds that plague residential and commercial property owners alike. The product Weed Solutions promises to deal with problem weeds effectively while being conscious of the environment.

A simple, straight forward approach was taken by way of an initial ‘W’ that enclosed a clutch of sprouting weeds within its negative space… the visual reference being ‘we’ve got weeds covered and under control’. A short, sharp tagline added to the clarity of the identity making for a strong, iconic brand that cuts through the clutter and engages the end user with simplicity and singularity of focus.

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Work Sucks

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 11.05.25 AMWell, actually, work’s pretty amazing really. It’s been way too long between posts, but a while back, I had the opportunity and privilege to create an identity for a brilliant new service in town. The project required naming, identity and rollout of uniforms, vehicle signage, stationery and marketing collateral. The business involves removal of dead leaves and foliage from the guttering around roofs by way of an incredible, long reach, super sucky industrial vacuum cleaner. This thing is amazing, literally sucking anything and everything that might find its way into your guttering and allows the home owner to avoid the messy and often dangerous job of clearing the gutters by hand.

After preliminary designs and brainstorming, the name GutterSucker was settled upon – an name that had a great rhyming rhythm to it and said exactly what the service was. Graphically, a friendly mascot of sorts, the GutterSucker mammoth was created. This approachable identity used the welcoming tones of bright and mid green with a solid, warm typeface that combined to create an engaging, memorable, and unique name and identity that has the strong potential to be franchised nationwide.

The end result is a business that has a high public profile, easy recall for new and existing customers and a distinct brand personality in the home and property maintenance industry.


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Adobe Robbery

Sorry – just had to make some sort of statement re the recent news that I’m sure we all loved to get… Adobe now moving to subscription only model. Sure, lots of other companies are doing it, great business model, blah, blah , blah… bottom line is, it sucks. For those of us who would carefully gauge when we’d do the upgrade to the latest version, sometimes skipping one or versions to keep our running costs lower – well, that choice will now be gone. It’s either join the monthly direct debit crowd or go without. Not a happy camper here I’m afraid. And what makes it stick even more in my throat, is that fact that I was one of the dinosaurs who put off migrating from Freehand to Illustrator for a VERY long time. And the reason I had to move in the end? Yes – that’s right, our friends at Adobe bought Freehand, killed it and forced those of us who made our living with it to move to Illustrator. And I had come to terms with it, just. But now this? Aaaarrrgghhh. Imagine telling my dad who is a retired builder, that he can keep using his hammer to build houses just as long as he pays the people who made the hammer every month for the rest of his life! Sure they’ll send out a slightly improved hammer now and then, but essentially it’ll still only hit nails. Nuts right? But let’s not take this lying down… sign the petition for what it’s worth at:www.change.org/petitions/adobe-systems-incorporated-eliminate-the-mandatory-creative-cloud-subscription-model 
Who knows – maybe there’s chance we can get some compromise on this whole deal and make it an option rather than mandatory.Image

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Head South Young Man

Scott Base is a wine brand under the Allan Scott Family Estate range of wines created to celebrate the Scott Base of polar origins and  the adventurous spirit of Antarctic explorers who have forged brave trails in the vast frozen wilderness of this southern continent. The wines all hail from the Scott Base vineyards located in New Zealand’s Central Otago and include Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and a sparkling Méthode Traditionelle. The concept revolves around the ruggedness of the polar environment, with the brush stroke cross ‘marking the spot’ which also resembles the wind beaten flags often left as a fading memorial by explorers of old. The Scott Base Emperor Brut label introduces levels of detail with metallic gold inks, gold foil and clear varnishes producing a label that conveys a sense of history, tradition and luxury. The Emperor being the well known penguin variety that inhabits this inhospitable region. A stoic, hardy yet regal ocean bird that was an obvious choice as the theme for such a premier wine.Image

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Anyone Care for a Rebrand?

I was sitting outside the local Domino’s recently and got to thinking just how disassociated their logo is from what they do… I mean, a domino piece in red and blue with the name set in Futura Extra Bold Condensed? It’s just a domino and the name, and we all simply think pizza because of its ubiquity and saturation in the market. But really, if anyone of us went to a restaurant and said your name is Checkers so here’s a checker board for a logo we would probably be told to ‘try harder’So that’s where my idea came from – why not create a brand that retains the equity of the current colours and domino piece but actually speaks to the whole idea of pizza. Thus was born the Domino slice logo… in my mind a vastly more representative identity that visually conveys the idea of pizza portions with the domino playing piece. A succinct identity that showcases the company name and the product they sell in one compelling graphicIn addition, the logotype has had a tweak also, now set in Block T Heavy which, in my mind, looks like a font created for use in pizza related communications… thick, crusty with a slightly organic feel. Futura Extra Bold Condensed is just a little clinical for my likingAnyway, attached are the quick mockups I did after getting back home – and I reckon this has some legs.ImageImageImageImage 

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In the News

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The Feb 2013 issue of Australia and NZ Grapegrower featured an interview with myself on the Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc label. Thanks to Brendan from Rapaura Springs for the opportunity to work with this brand from day one.

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February 21, 2013 · 9:55 pm

Apple – What’s Going On?

Ironic just hours after posting about the number of Apple products that fill my day round here that I should be now posing the question… What is going ON at Apple? My phone just did its automatic upgrade to iOS6 and boy was that a mistake. Gone is a map app that you could actually use, so long to YouTube as an app and what’s the deal with the rudimentary keypad for the phone? Looks like something that would have been thrown out early on in development of the original iPhone. But seriously, the dumping of Google maps? I understand that companies fall out, but when you have millions of customers reliant on the service you are providing you have an obligation to suck it up and sort out inter-company tiffs. Better that than rubbing your massive client base up the wrong way.

Let’s be honest, the new Apple maps app has got a long way to go and throwing in a pseudo 3D function for newer phones hardly makes up for the fact that we now have to deal with desperately low res images, patchy black and white sections, no useable street view function and failure to redraw at some zoom %’s. If you are going to make obsolete a perfectly functioning map application Apple, make certain that whatever you are replacing it with works equally as well, if not better. It feels like we are all being taken on a forced trip back in time to when having a mapping service on a phone was a big deal and that we should all just look on in awe at being able to find locations via GPS on our phone. Sorry, Apple those days are over – people now expect that and a whole lot more, like being able to see the details they were used to with their old map app now made redundant thanks to corporate pride and the apparent price of progress.

That’s a fail from me Apple – for the first time ever.

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