Color: it’s all in your head

Packaging for I am Fragrance. Designer: Gale Peck

Packaging for I am Fragrance. Designer: Gale Peck

In graphic design, color has a lot of influence. Our reaction to color is so subjective that it’s impossible to look at color without some kind of emotional response. Here’s a real-life example and a favorite advertising story:

Three different colors were tested for the packaging for the same laundry detergent: those who tried the detergent in the yellow package felt that it didn’t get their clothes clean enough. The blue package tested well; those who tried that detergent thought did a great job. When the red detergent was tested, it was thought to be too powerful. Some even claimed it made holes in their clothes!

Lesson? Never underestimate the power of color in graphic design!


New is not always better

When Gap decided to update their logo design a few years ago, the new design sparked such a negative public outcry that the older version was quickly reinstated. Which goes to show that a decades-old identity can still work, and change for the sake of change is not always such a good idea.

Part of good brand marketing is knowing when it’s time for a rebrand. And when it isn’t what your business needs.

That’s no mermaid…

She's more ladylike now.

She’s more ladylike now.

The Starbuck’ s logo is one of the most recognized brands in the entire world. Can’t you just picture it? Since introducing the brand in 1971, Starbucks has actually changed their logo over eight times. (According to Starbuck’s the lady in the logo is not a “mermaid”. She’s a “siren”–they have a slightly different job description…)

This is a good example of a logo that has adapted to changes over the years but still retains its brand recognition. You want to make sure a logo update doesn’t undo all the hard work you’ve put into creating an established brand.

Very odd

Photo direction: Gale Peck. Photo: Eskite Photography. Client: Safeway

Photo direction: Gale Peck. Photo: Eskite Photography. Client: Safeway

Ever have trouble making an arrangement look “balanced”? Here’s a trick I learned from photo stylists to make a pleasing arrangement of flowers, fruit, books, pillows, whatever…

Try working with an odd number of objects. It keeps the eye moving and it’ll be so much easier to come up with something that feels  “balanced”. Give it a try. There are reasons we see things the way we do (on a very subconscious level), but aside from all that, we just know what we like when we see it!

Now that’s what I call a good logo!

The word logo comes from the Latin word for logic and means to persuade by using reason.

Often the best logos look disarmingly simple, but what we see is just the tip of the iceberg. About 90% of the work that goes into good logo design is the thoughtful strategy and logic built into it. We don’t see all that on a conscious level, but it affects how we react to what we see.

Turbo shopping

Package Design: Gale Peck. Client: I. Magnin, Seattle Chocolates

Package Design: Gale Peck. Client: I. Magnin, Seattle Chocolates

The average amount of time a customer spends looking at an item in the supermarket? 1/26th of a second. If your package design hasn’t captured their interest by then, they’ve moved on.

Good graphic design involves quickly getting your attention (in a good way). And once it has, you then you have the opportunity to engage the viewer more fully. But first you have to get noticed.

I made this myself, dammit

Photo Direction: Gale Peck. Client: Amazon

Photo Direction: Gale Peck. Client: Amazon

Thinking that convenience food was all about convenience, cake mixes were developed in the 1930’s that only required the addition of water. Tests showed that housewives were always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen.

Sales were disappointing, however, until researchers discovered that no matter what they said, housewives really didn’t feel satisfied with the experience of baking a cake unless it involved cracking a couple of eggs.

After reformulating the cake mix to require the addition of “two fresh, whole eggs”, cake mix sales soared.

The lesson here: it’s important to really listen to what your customers have to say. Then dig deeper! In advertising, what we think we think isn’t always reliable.

The power of one word

Package Design: Gale Peck. Circa: 1980's!

Package Design: Gale Peck. Circa: 1980’s!

What one word, when added to the directions on a package, virtually doubled sales? (This is not a trick question).

The word was on every shampoo instruction label in the 80’s after the word “rinse”. The word? “Repeat.”

How’s this for rebranding?

marlboroWhen Marlboro cigarettes were first introduced, their advertising was marketed to appeal to women.  They even had a red-tipped filter to camouflage lipstick. Not exactly the Marlboro Man of today. Same product; different brand marketing!

Graphic Design in Santa Rosa, CA

Iceberg Strategic Creative provides topnotch graphic design services in Santa Rosa. We have over thirty years of national experience in marketing print_collatand advertising and are known for our expertise in differentiating your brand in a very crowded marketplace.

You want to make sure your graphic design is not just created by some freelance designer who has just learned a few basic skills and has the latest software: whether it’s corporate identity, a direct-response campaign, or package design, our solutions are never off-the-shelf, but custom-made for you and only you.

It takes a real understanding of what motivates customer decisions and the ability to reach your target audience to produce really effective graphic design for Santa Rosa based businesses.

Check out some projects that produced great results for: The American Heart Association, Safeway Stores, Bluetail Industries, and Ladybug Technologies.

Our catalogs for Viansa Winery produced sales increases up to 33% for many of its categories and another catalog redesign resulted in reviving an existing brand and exceeding our client’s sales goals.

If you are interested in Santa Rosa graphic design backed by impressive national experience, give Gale Peck a call at 707.545.4253, or email and take advantage of our complementary 30-minute consultation.