MORTA

A strong logo for a strong company: the shape representing the solidity of a brick with the strength of mortar surrounding it. This logo lends itself to inclusion in a tiled pattern, which forms a fantastic piece of design for use in brand communications.

Skyhorse

Skyhorse work in the mining industry, whether moving heavy equipment or scanning the ground for some telling signs of wealth just waiting to be found. We rebranded this fantastic aviation company with a new name, new logo, and new look, with impressive results! The effect of all these new elements is a slick, powerful identity worthy of the brand. The design has a big impact wherever it features: on the website, brochures, company communications, corporate gifts, clothing, the Mining Indaba display booth, and on the helicopters themselves. We’re very proud to have this work taken to the African skies.

out of the box

An interesting trend that has developed is the fetishisation of packaging through “unboxing”, which refers to people carefully opening up the packaging of new products (usually electronics), making a video of the process, and then uploading it onto the Internet for others to see. Many of these videos have hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube, and there are even websites dedicated to the activity, for example: unboxing.gearlive.com, which offers “Vicarious Thrills from Opening New Gear”.

The trend has been described as “Geek Porn” but it’s more than that. It’s also indicative of a cultural awareness of quality and the impressions made by product packaging. The videos, and the high numbers of people viewing them, demonstrate that for many, the packaging is almost as important as the product itself, and the experience of interacting with the packaging in order to get at the product inside, is a central part of the experience.

With certain products, this experience can be ongoing. One might enjoy popping the cap on their shower gel, tracing the glossy type on a box of chocolates with their fingertips, or reading and rereading the back of a cereal box. Peeling the protective sticker off a new cell phone screen is a widely enjoyed action, like unwrapping a fresh bar of soap or squeezing a new tube of toothpaste for the first time. Our attitude towards packaging is the same thing that makes us wrap gifts, even if it’s obvious what’s underneath the paper. Tearing the paper away is an integral part of the gift giving experience; a ritual, almost.

Packaging is not just to contain, protect or preserve a product. It’s not just a means of communicating information about the product. Sometimes, in a sense, the packaging IS the product. If the consumer has not yet experienced the product (or can’t properly see it, because it’s concealed by its packaging), they’re essentially buying it because of the impressions made by the packaging. They’re buying a promise. With the culture of “unboxing” and the emphasis placed on packaging these days, it is increasingly important for brands to be aware of the impressions that are made by their packaging.

Two good examples of excellent packagaing are those created by At Pace for Malus and The Bees Knees. Both are full of promise about the quality and purity of the product inside. Tactile, luxurious, meaningful, and memorable: these are values that can transform a good product into a great one.

The one that got away

About three weeks ago, an agency colleague of mine asked if we would be interested in pitching for the I&J packaging project. It was felt that the incumbent design company had not quite cracked the work, their designs falling slightly off brief. Their company has a good name in the industry, and had just recently won the  business, so I was surprised that we were given a last minute opportunity to pitch for the packaging.

Of course we jumped at the opportunity with four designers and a photo shoot, and within week, we had pulled off some impressive work. We had a first hand presentation to the client and the feedback was very positive; instead of being an evolution of the existing packaging, it was revolutionary, and that was just what they wanted. We were delighted, and with just a few more tweaks the work was off to the AVI board for a second presentation.

The development continued with a paid week from the client. We extended the amount of work across the range, for a final shot at winning the business. The designs were pitch perfect and the mock-ups were great too. The final work had been printed and laminated for an on-shelf presentation.

I was immensely satisfied with what we had created, and indications from the client suggested that the work was bang on. I had my heart set on winning. I was not to attend the final presentation to the CEO, as it was to be presented by the head of brands from I&J. There were several sleepless nights as the day approached.

The day arrived, with the presentation scheduled for 2pm.Time seemed to crawl as I waited for the news. It became increasingly stressful, each hour dragging more slowly than the last. I waited until 5:40pm, and still the call did not come. By that stage, I felt almost sick with nerves, so I went home and had some wine to take my mind off things.

The next day continued with me feeling just as stressed as the day before. It was a whopper of a project that would give the business a great boost after a slow start to the year. It was everything we needed.

The call came at 11:50am, and I could hear in the client’s voice that the work was not coming our way. She was kind, and let us down slowly, with perhaps a promise of some other work in the future. We even had the quote perfectly on budget, bar R2000.

I learned many important lessons from this last-minute pitch. If too many people tamper with a brief, good work will become compromised and lose its direction. This might have been what happened to the original design company. However, they dug deep to get back on brief and I can commend them for that. I can also commend the client for sticking with their original company of choice, and working out the designs together in a true partnership.

About losing? I feel gutted, yes. Am I proud of what we could achieve in such a short period of time? Most definitely. What we did was rattle the cage a bit, presenting some refreshing work that was unexpected. This is something I hope we do every time.

So today, we will dust ourselves off, and with a Nelson Mandela quote in my head, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”, we will try again.


Emma Strydom ‘Brain Storming’
Copyright © Christopher Chase 2012

Emma Strydom ‘Brain Storming’

Copyright © Christopher Chase 2012

'CRAFT BEER TO DIE FOR'

AT PACE loves beer, and one of our most enjoyable projects of the year was the conceptualization and design of the Gallows Hill Craft Beer brand. The new Corporate Identity was officially rolled out at the Cape Town Festival of Beer (www.capetwonfestivalofbeer.co.za) a wonderful event that showcased the burgeoning DIY Brewing culture in the Mother City. Cheers to them! 


Theme: ‘Made By Hand’
Photographer: Moolman de La Harpe
Model: Emma Strydom
Make Up & Styling: Emma Strydom
By Emma Strydom

Theme: ‘Made By Hand’

Photographer: Moolman de La Harpe

Model: Emma Strydom

Make Up & Styling: Emma Strydom

By Emma Strydom

Theme: ‘Made By Hand’
Acrylic & Pen on recycled paper.
By Christopher Chase

Theme: ‘Made By Hand’

Acrylic & Pen on recycled paper.

By Christopher Chase

Theme: ‘Made By Hand’
Acrylic & Pen on wood.
By James White

Theme: ‘Made By Hand’

Acrylic & Pen on wood.

By James White

emma and james

emma and james