The following is a case study for one of our past clients, David Bradley Chocolatiers. This will show how a typical project goes from that first email, all the way to being on the shelves (and amazing sales!)
These days we get clients from all different sources. Some come from referrals (referred from past happy clients), some are returning clients, and some just find us online and take that first step to reach out to us and start their new brand.
However you find us, the first interaction is usually the same. A friendly, brief discussion on the phone or through email to discuss your product, your company, and your goals.
After getting some details on your project and figuring out the scope, this is the time when I will send you an estimate to get the ball rolling on your new brand. As soon as we get approval on the costs, deliverables, and timing, we are off and running!
David Bradley, Chocolatier is a family-owned business that was started over 30 years ago. We learned that they know how to make amazing, homemade chocolate... but needed a lot of help with their design.
Since 1998, I have been writing and rewriting a succinct and very useful brand questionnaire. You can see that questionnaire here.
Some clients prefer to go through these questions on the phone, and some prefer to take their time and write everything out. It's really up to you and what you're comfortable with.
This questionnaire helps me dig deep into your brand and find out what your demographic is so that we can best sell your product to them.
David Bradley came to us because they had started to see a decline in sales. The design that had been done in-house, and unprofessionally for years, just was not cutting it any more. They needed a fresh, new, unique face-lift for their new line of packaging.
Graphic design and branding is so much more than just a "pretty package". If I make a pretty package that doesn't sell... I have not done my job. A successful packaging design also takes some research. I get out into the real world and visit the stores that you want your product to be in. I check out what the shelves look like with your competition on them. I research who the top dogs are in your category, and analyze what they're doing right, and what others have done wrong.
This is such an important part of the process that most companies and graphic designers skip over. But I believe it's crucial to not only creating a really beautiful package design, but more importantly, one that SELLS!
In this case, David Bradley had a chain of their own stores. So instead of analyzing what would be on the shelf next to them, we researched what the current trends were in their category of products, who were the major sellers, and how we could do something different and better.
There is no substitute for well thought out great ideas. This why I always start with a pencil and paper, and I make all my designers and hired hands start the same way. I want to see a solid, great idea on the paper, before I ever open up Photoshop.
As you can see by these sketches for David Bradley, we developed a range of ideas before narrowing it down to the designs that we felt were on target for their audience.
This is the fun part. We get to take all that we've learned about the company and the competition and start to create beautiful, strategic designs.
We presented over 9 unique computer comps to David Bradley for our first phase. As you can see, the designs ranged in style but all with the same goals in mind, to create a unique new packaging design that would make their new and current customers say "wow, I've got to try this!"
We work hand in hand with our clients to deliver what we think is best for their product, but something that also has a part of them in it. There are typically 4-5 rounds of revisions so that we can fine tune the initial design, and create something that is spectacular.
David Bradley was amazing to work with. The project was fun, creative, and challenging. We got to work with a family of two generations of chocolatiers (who didn't always agree), and managed to make everyone happy, while still creating a design that consumers would flock to.
In many cases with a product, our clients will want to create multiple different versions (aka SKUs) of the product. That may be different flavors, or different sizes. We take this into account when we're designing the brand. It's important to have a strong, solid brand look, that can then be applied to several other products, and still maintain great structure and equity in your brand.
Also when it's time to go to print, we make sure to create packaging that can be reproduced to live up to the quality of your product. With over 17 years experience, we know how to technically produce the computer files to get the job printed beautifully.
David Bradley started with just one chocolate box, but when they realized how much of an improvement it was and how well it sold, the decided to hire Lien Design to create all 19 different flavors.
We created every facet of the design, including the company logo, flavor logo, brand architecture and custom photography for every single flavor.
The new style of chocolate boxes went on the shelves and within the first month... they were the #1 sellers in the company history!
The new packaging was eye-catching, modern, and breathed new life into a brand that had never really been designed professionally.
In addition to the huge increase in sales, the new packaging went on to win the renowned IDA International Design Awards for 2013 and was featured on the homepage of the website Packaging of the World.