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In addition to the launch of the newly re-branded Umpqua Oats website, Umpqua Oats just launched their new brand videos. We had such a great time art directing these videos, in collaboration with Wildly Simple Productions of Sonoma, Ca! Together, we spent a day shooting footage with Sheri and Mandy, the founders of Umpqua Oats. Here are the brand story video and a shorter product-focused video to announce the launch of their latest Insane Grains cereal.


Mar 22 2017

Mooala goes bananas!

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Mooala launched last year with their AlmondMilks, and momentum is quickly picking up steam. They’ve made a quick expansion to their newest plant-based beverage with BananaMilks in Original and Chocolate flavor.

Aside from their retail packaging we also designed the Mooala website.

Communicating a cohesive & professional brand doesn’t stop with consumers. Presentations to retailers and distributers are just as important, if not more so, if you are trying to launch a new product into retail. We’ve continued work with Mooala this year, creating product sales sheets, retailer slide presentations and a 10 foot trade show booth.

Communicating at trade show scale is different then communicating on shelf, but none-the-less a clear communication hierarchy that allows a quick understanding of your brand and product is still paramount. Just because you have tons of space, doesn’t mean you should fill it up. When you are aiming for high level communication, simplicity is necessary when you are trying to provide a place for the on-looker’s eye to rest on the most important details.

A careful selection of a few character components — for Mooala these consist of a reclaimed wood console table, rustic beverage dispensers and faux wood flooring — helps complete the brand aesthetic in a seamless way.

Mooala_TradeShow_lowres

 

 


Your company’s name is the focal point of your brand. It is the entryway to all that your company is and hopes to be.

Think about the associations you have when you hear a company’s name. Take, for example, Apple, or Ben & Jerry’s, or Clinique. Each brings associations to mind, and each of those associations is cumulative. Each time you interact with a company, its products, or any of its marketing materials, you’re hanging another association onto its name.

You’re building brand.  

This means that choosing the right name for your company — either from the get-go or as part of a rebranding process — isn’t something to take lightly. You’re making a long-term, valuable investment. So while your cousin Phyllis may suggest a good name or two, you should take more than her opinion of names into consideration.

Nothing against, Phyllis, of course.

So how does one go about choosing an appropriate, engaging, rewarding company name? At Double Six Design, naming begins as an extensive creative process. Then, when we have our best contenders queued up, we run all those prospects past a handful of evaluative factors.

Complexity

The expression is ‘short and sweet’ for a reason. There can only be one IBM and only one Eggo — and both names are beautifully simple to remember and spell. If you opt for a longer name, such as Mercedes-Benz or The Royal Horticultural Society of East Hampstead Heath, then you’re more likely to run into issues of complexity.

Complex isn’t ideal for a few reasons.

  • Longer names take longer to type, write, and say.
  • Longer names mean longer URLs, bigger wordmarks, and all kinds of other space-stretching issues.
  • People are more likely to misspell or misremember complex names.

Pronunciation

Is the name you’re assessing easy to pronounce? What if you consider regional accents or foreign ones?

Having a name that’s frequently mispronounced doesn’t need to be a deal-breaker (think of Nike or Porsche). In this age of online engagement, however, mispronunciation can lead to misspelling and misspelling can lead to websites that aren’t yours. That equals frustrated or lost customers. That frustration — like it or not — becomes part of your brand.

Mouthfeel

Some words are fun to say. Others aren’t. We call how comfortable a word is to pronounce its ‘mouthfeel’.

When choosing a name, think about how often your key audiences will be saying the name out loud and in what contexts. Having your CEO get tongue-tied trying to pronounce her company’s name is bad form. On the flip side, you can take a name with a deliberately provocative mouthfeel (such as Fuddruckers) and turn that into a brand element that works for you.

Own-ability

If you want your company to grow beyond your neighborhood, you’ll need to consider whether the name is ownable in the legal sense. We’re talking about establishing a trademark — something that’s increasingly difficult to to do.

As the world gets smaller, more brands compete more widely with each other for the same turf.

To run your own quick ownability test, type your prospective name into a search engine and see what comes up. If there are established companies using that name already, you can anticipate legal challenges and web search conflicts. Both mean trouble, so proceed with your eyes open.

At Double Six Design, we also always search the United States Patent and Trademark Office database for a non-definitive look at what’s trademarked in America. We then run domain name searches to discover which URLs based on each name are available.

Just because something isn’t trademarked doesn’t mean you can buy {that.name.com} for $12 a year. Domain squatters may try to charge you a small fortune to relinquish the internet real estate you need.

Regardless of your plans for growth and which tests you’ve run, you don’t want to be surprised to find you’re competing for possession of a name after you’ve announced. We recommend conferring with an attorney before you flip the switch.

Meaning

It’s more or less guaranteed; as soon as you broadcast your new name, someone will ask, “why did you choose that?”

The story behind your name is something that you can leverage for branding, marketing, and more. It’s also something that you can leave mysterious and still do fine.

Look around you and think about the company names behind the first few products you see. How many of those names do you associate with a story? Take Virgin America, for example. That name goes all the way back to when owner Richard Branson had his first record shop in London — Virgin Records and Tapes. His shop was so named because he and his partners were all new in business.

Which goes to show just how far a good story can take you; in Richard Branson’s case, all the way to the moon. Not bad for a guy who started out selling cassettes!

 

When the Double Six Design team undertakes a naming challenge, we start by brainstorming lists of names. Then we rank our best ideas against the above factors, plus a few others. Sometimes a name will score highly in all categories but one. Other times, a name will do poorly in many but work supremely well in the rest. Because of this, we recommend ranking the factors you’re considering in order of priority before you begin your naming process.

We also recommend that you let cousin Phyllis’ opinion be just one of many you consider.

 


Feb 2 2017

Umpqua Oats

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Challenge. Disrupt an oatmeal aisle that has been dominated by Quaker Oatmeal for over 100 years

Solution. Umpqua Oats has the product to compete against the mushy instant oatmeal competition. With whole rolled oats, real ingredients and none of those added fillers Quaker uses to save costs, Umpqua Oats is exactly what Millennials are looking for. Hitting the oatmeal aisle with bright white and a bold use of black and bright colors instantly attracts attention in a sea of beige. An image with appetite appeal is easy to execute because their product is REAL. Connecting consumers to the history of Umpqua Oats and co-founders, Sheri and Mandy, right on the back of the carton helps build trust that real people are behind their breakfast.


Aug 1 2016

MOOALA

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Challenge. Create a new brand for a line of dairy-free beverages that stands out in the dairy case, communicates cleaner and higher-quality ingredients then mass market competitors, and justifies a higher price point

Solution. The current dairy-case is filled with standard milk cartons, even for non-dairy beverages, so a custom HDPE bottle helps instantly differentiate Mooala from the masses. The custom bottle design is reminiscent of vintage glass milk bottles to help create that “fresh from the farm” perception. A koala with cow spots becomes the iconic persona behind the Mooala brand and adds a hit of whimsy. Clean typography relays the premium quality, and a splash of imagery adds ingredient-focused appetite appeal.


We had the opportunity to partner with BBDO San Francisco to help launch a campaign for Cesar Dog Food. Cesar’s Feed the Friendship campaign involved engaging consumers through social networking to guess what breeds their dogs were. Users would send in photos of their dogs, and the Cesar Feed the Friendship App would guess what kind of breed their dog was. A select group of app users would receive a DNA kit in the mail to find out what breeds actually were locked inside their little furry friends.

Double Six partnered with the BBDO San Francisco team on the structural design of the kit packaging. The package had to hold up through shipping, be fun and engaging, hold the DNA kit and Cesar food samples, and also feature a free gift. Together with the BBDO team, we ideated over what the free gift should be. We considered a variety of stock doggy gifts, from lunch boxes to dog tags, however nothing really felt proprietary enough to create a big impact on the user. Inspired by seeing videos of dogs eating the Cesar food with the Cesar trays sliding all over the floor, BBDO and Double Six Design team’s collaboratively came up with the idea of a placemat that would hold the Cesar food trays in place. Silicone would provide a food-safe material and have natural anti-slip properties. The shape of the bowl would be customized to the Cesar food tray, but could later be filled with water or a different food.

From design to fabriation, we were responsible for creating the design of this placemat and overseeing the production of the end resulting product and kit packaging. We brought in our trusted partners at Savvy Print Solutions to execute the final components: from the custom silicone placemat to printing all printed components to managing fulfillment of the final kits with all components.

BBDO Cesar Opening Carton

BBDO Cesar Inner CartonBBDO Cesar Placemat

BBDO Cesar CADBBDO Cesar Placemat


We are settling into our new studio in Oakland’s Jack London neighborhood. Named after author Jack London, the neighborhood sits between the Oakland Estuary and the 880 Highway. It includes the waterfront area as well as the Oakland Produce Terminal, and is walking distance to Old Oakland, Oakland’s Chinatown, Downtown, and Lake Merritt.

The team immediately utilized our proximity to public transportation — the trifecta of BART, ferry and train are all within blocks. This wasn’t the only reason for our move. We’ve also added many things to do, see, eat, and drink right outside our door! This neighborhood has had a large residence of artists and other creatives for decades, and in recent years has brought an influx of restaurants, coffee roasters, breweries, and wine tasting rooms. A Jack London public market, the likes of the San Francisco Ferry Building is in the works — planned to open later this year.

Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying our new hood. Here’s a small glimpse:

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Yes To has finally announced their new product line, made just for men! We’ve patiently waited to share it with everyone. This is the first brand extension we’ve partnered with Yes To that has a significantly different target consumer then it’s base, as it needed to appeal specifically to men. It loses it’s usual hero-ingredient. A bigger use of typography paired with a bold but natural palette helps it stand out next to other men’s products on shelf. We also added more punch to the voice to appeal to those manly types.

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We are so excited so hear that Back to the Roots just landed a deal in Target for all of their products. We started their initial re-branding and package design in 2014, and this year have helped them expand their offering from 2 SKUs to 9 SKUs. We  are proud to be their package design partners, and look forward to continued partnership.

Back to the Roots launch in Target Stores


May 4 2015

BACK TO THE ROOTS

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Challenge. 1) Create a cohesive brand that can communicate the BTTR mission to “make food personal again, one family at a time.” 2) Create a visual language that can connect a Ready to Grow line and a Ready to Eat line in Whole Foods, PetCo, Nordstrom and Home Depot. 3) Quickly communicate their unique & innovative products to consumers on shelf.

Solution. We leveraged Back to the Root’s previous use of kraft substrate and hand-drawn typography, but introduced a bold, modern color palette and whimsical illustration to appeal to all ages. The product photography with supporting information graphics and a very clear communication hierarchy is integral to communicating their products at-a-glance.