Friday, June 17, 2011

Beautiful & Creative Ampersands (For Typography Nerds Only!)

This ampersand character by Conor and David is based on
Helvetica Neue 75 bold and made up of 40 helium-filled balloons.

As designers, our work is often only as good as the typography and imagery we choose to include in our designs. When inspiring visual communicators create art from letter forms, the rest of us designers totally geek out! Check out Inspiration Feed’s blog to see the many ways other creative folks have interpreted one the alphabet’s most beautiful characters.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spirit of Nashville Donates Commemorative Flood Prints to the City

After the 1-year anniversary of the Great Nashville Flood, we met with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to present him with 3 jumbo canvas prints of our Spirit of Nashville flood relief designs. We wanted to thank him for his leadership during a very challenging time and commemorate the strong character displayed by Music City during and after the flood.

Joel Anderson, founder of Anderson Design Group and the Spirit of Nashville Collection wanted to give the city a set of these prints so the art could be displayed in a public area where all of Nashville would be able to enjoy the art for years to come. The 3 over-sized canvas prints will be permanently installed in a public building that has yet to be determined.

The two flood prints from last year have already sold out, raising over $30,000 for flood relief in the process. The new 1-year anniversary print is selling well, and all the profits are being donated to the Community Foundation’s flood relief fund. To order your own print and send $30 straight to continued flood recovery efforts, visit our Spirit of Nashville site.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Creating a Brand: Peter Nappi Boots & Shoes

Over a year ago, a stylish entrepreneur named Phillip Nappi contacted us to share his vision for a new artisan boot and shoe company that would honor his Italian grandfather’s legacy through hand-crafted boots, bags and other dry goods. Inspired by patterns of 100-year old boots, Phillip worked with a team of artisans in Italy to produce prototypes for a full line of boots and bags.

When we first saw the boots, we were convinced that this line of leather goods would be a smashing success if the branding & marketing materials could tell the story. Creative director Joel Anderson loved the boots so much that he insisted on being the first customer in the world to own a pair of Peter Nappi boots. As soon his boots were delivered, he knew this branding project was going to be a labor of love. (Joel likes to be a consumer of the products and services he and his team promotes—this ensures an immediate connection and a real-life experience as a member of the target audience.)

We joined forces with John Moessner, a great young film maker and photographer. We also partnered with Cabedge, an amazing web site development firm based in Nashville, TN. With our logo & brand development, John’s film and photography, and Cabedge’s web site building capabilities, we created all of the essential components needed to define the brand and launch this new company in style.

We started with research and sketching. Our logos needed to feel like they were created 100 years ago. So we poured over old tobacco tins, catalogs, antiques, ads and poster art from the early 1900’s. We kept in mind that our logo and branding art had to tell the story of an Italian shoe maker who immigrated to the USA and passed down a legacy of art and craftsmanship to his grandson. We sought to represent the quality, beauty, comfort and style that makes these beautiful $700+ boots and bags worth every penny. After several rounds of rough logo concepts, we arrived at a clean, simple logo based on the signature of Phillip’s Italian grandfather (taken from copies of his Ellis Island immigration papers.) The resulting logo seemed to fit the vision and the brand perfectly.

Once a logo was finalized, ADG designers Ligia Teodosiu and Edward Patton started creating a comprehensive style guide that dictated colors, fonts, backgrounds, patterns, etc. necessary for creating the packaging, hang tags, press releases, and a comprehensive book that would tell the Peter Nappi story and showcase the products. Joel and Ligia consulted with Cabedge to help make the web site look like a natural extension of the printed materials. Phillip and Dana Nappi already had a very keen vision of how to create the perfect showroom via colors, textures, materials, props and furniture they collected from Italy and other places. As the creators of this line, they brought their own sense of color, mood, style and story to every aspect of the project, making the whole campaign a true team effort.

The Peter Nappi web site (built by Cabedge) conveys the essence of the Nappi brand via a film created by John Moessner. The site showcases all of the products, makes ordering possible, and offers a virtual tour of the Peter Nappi showroom via John’s awesome photography.

Overall, this branding project is a great example of what happens when experts collaborate, guided by a branding strategy that ties everything together and keeps everyone “reading off of the same page.” The Nappis couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. And neither could we!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When Shoes Become Art

CNN recently ran a story about artist Kobi Levi who makes amazing art that you can wear on your feet. There is a great interview with him, too... check it out!