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.

YesTo_template


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


What is (or isn’t) in your food?

As a studio full of packaging designers, we are probably more aware than most about what goes into our food. We look at ingredient lists day-in and day-out, we read FDA labeling guidelines, we watch our clients modify their product formulations for things like scaling production quantity and shelf stability. We are constantly in touch with our inner “target consumer” and work hard to communicate what they are looking for on front panels of our product packaging designs. We are intimate with the various seals, claims and certifications used on Food Labels.

And then everyone started talking about GMOs — Genetically Modified Organisms. What are they? Why does it matter to me as a consumer? Well, there is a lot of information online about GMO’s already, so I’m not going to school you on all those details. Feel free to read up and make up your own mind here.

So, does the consumer even care? Enter the long-winded debate about whether to pass legislation requiring labeling of products using Genetically Modified Organisms. Well, a lot of products who don’t use GMOs took it upon themselves to label it anyway. You’ve probably seen this symbol, designed by our friends at DDW for the non-profit organization, Non GMO Project:

NonGMOProject

They have tasked themselves into educating people about GMOs and helping consumers navigate their options on shelf. For those interested in avoiding consumption of GMOs, this symbol has become the symbol to look for on food labels. But, here’s the good news….

If you are already committed to eating Organic foods — either for your health or the sustainability of a healthy planet — then Non GMO products are already (mostly) covered by this symbol on food packaging:

 

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The term “organic” is also confusing, and there are a couple different ways to label organic foods. Here’s the break down:

Certified Organic / USDA Organic
By the definition of the seal above, the product is required to be 95% Organic, and the remaining 5% must be on the USDA’s National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances list. (Okay, so it turns out that there are a couple loopholes in here, like Cornstarch and Soy Lechithin, that can be used if another Approved item is not available.) But on a whole, your in good hands with the USDA symbol.

100% Organic
Even better, would be to look for products that specifically say “100% Organic.” These products are required to contain 100% of organically produced ingredients (excluding only water and salt). This currently is the only label that would rule out GMOs entirely. No loopholes.

Made with Organic Ingredients
This means only “up to 70%” of the ingredients are organic, which leaves a potentially 30% or more that is non-organic. The “remaining non-organic ingredients are produced without prohibited practices, including genetic engineering” according to the rules, however, again there are some loopholes here.

So, if you are trying to avoid GMOs, in today’s (un-legislated) shelf, don’t worry. Your best bet is to look for the term “100% Organic,” the Non-GMO Project Verified Logo, or the USDA Organic logo.

Hopefully this information helps clarify some some of these confusing terms and helps you navigate packaging front label designs on your retail shelves!


Our client, Back to the Roots has just launched their 3rd product, Organic Stoneground Flakes. This is our first time experiencing a product launch with them, since we came in to rebrand and redesign the Back to the Roots packaging on their existing products last year.

What a product to follow their early sucesses with the Mushroom Farm and AquaFarm! They have officially ventured from their original Ready-to-Grow products into Ready-to-Eat but staying true to their mission to connect people to their food. These Stoneground Flakes have only 3 ingredients, all sourced here in the US. The Hard Red Spring Wheat they’ve used is a heritage grain, grown and milled right here in California!

We learned so much about our food chain through this project. Did you know that when a food label says “Whole Wheat” this doesn’t necessarily mean it was created from the milled whole grain? Often times, they are actually taking the pieces of the wheat that have already been industrially processed & separated, and they are then putting them back together.

Visually, we’ve maintained the use of illustration and bold use of color that has become the major brand element for Back to the Roots. We really had fun creating this whimsical illustration style of a barn and farm. The barn theme emphasizes the unique gable-top package structure and draws interest on shelf amongst those other serious and wholesome cereals in the category.

After designing the packaging we also helped Back to the Roots bring their website inline with their new rebranded vision. More new products for Back to the Roots are launching this spring, in both the Ready-to-Grow and Ready-to-Eat categories. Stay tuned!

Back to the Roots Stoneground Flakes Packaging Design
Learn more about the Back to the Roots Stoneground Flakes on their website.


Illustrated by Sheri Kuniyuki
Creative Direction by Beth Leonardo
Cereal and milk photography by Holly Stewart Photography


YesTo was featured in this month’s Retail Merchandiser Magazine. Much of the article is about the brand’s growth and evolution. (We were even mentioned in a side-bar!) We are fortunate to be YesTo’s brand and package design partner. They are a great team of people who create innovative products with real ingredients. Having worked with them since 2010, they are our longest on-going partnership and we look forward to many more years to come!

(Click to link to full article)

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In 2013 we worked with Yoobi to create the package design for their line of school supplies, and it finally just launched in Target! We were so excited to discover it on shelf last week and see all the completed packaging in person. With over 100 SKUs, the creation of the packaging system was a big undertaking. A bold color palette and fun products excite the kids. The bonus: for every product bought, Yoobi will give an item to a Yoobi Classroom Pack that gets delivered to K-3rd grade classrooms in need, right here in the US.

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Last year we created the branding for The North Face Speaker Series; a nationwide tour featuring TNF’s top athletes sharing stories about their challenges and adventures. There were 11 different speakers in over 25 locations. The system spanned hundreds of deliverables, including national magazine ads, posters, postcards, flyers, tickets and social media graphics.

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Mar 20 2014

JuiceWell Successes!

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Sharon and Manya, of JuiceWell are doing really well! Sharon continues to run the California operation, while Manya runs the New York operation.

Sharon success with her first store in Montecito, CA has paved the way for a second location at the Santa Barbara Public Market, opening in April. She has expanded her offerings to other organic and wholesome  foods, all made from local fresh produce. See a recent feature on dininganddestinations.com

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Manya’s SoHo store is also doing really well, staying super fresh and continuing to nourish New Yorkers through Winter and into Spring!

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Hot off the presses, our new package design for the Back to the Roots Mushroom Mini Farm has hit shelves at Home Depot! We are trying to get our hands on some samples of both their products, the Mushroom Mini Farm & the AquaFarm, so we can take some photos. Stand by for a more comprehensive post in upcoming weeks. For now, here are some photos at Home Depot:


Well, 2 of our most delicious clients were just featured in 7×7 San Francisco Magazine website today, in an article about local candy bars for Halloween. We haven’t tried the others they mentioned, but we can totally stand behind both OCHO and Nuttyness, both located right here in Oakland!

Read the full article on 7×7’s website.


A couple of our local Bay Area clients are getting recognized as some of the Bay Area’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2013 in the San Francisco Business Times. Great press!

#7 on the list and one of our newest clients is Back to the Roots, right here in Oakland. We are excited to be working with this passionate and innovative team, and we can’t wait to unveil the new brand work we will be launching later this month. See their page in the article here.

#83 on the list — YesTo, Inc. had been a client of ours for the past 4 years. We are not surprised to see them on this list. We can attest to their rapid growth as we are constantly putting out new packaging for the ever evolving product offering. It’s a fun group of people creating really great products for real people. See their page in the article here.


Apr 22 2013

Fresh JuiceWell

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We finally got our hands on some samples of the recently finished JuiceWell packaging. It is so vibrant with the color of the fresh-pressed juice!


New branding for Silva Sausage just hit the shelves at Costco this month!

A bold color palette and big typographic product names, anchored by a classic logo, makes a big statement on shelf. Only small refinements to the Silva logo maintain the recognizable brand equity that has been established over 45 years of sausage making. We’ve infused a bit of heritage through the seal representing, Manuel Martins, and the slogan on which he founded his family business. “Tradition is Our Recipe” still holds true with his two son’s now at the helm.


We are so excited to announce the launch of the new brand look and feel for JuiceWell Fresh Pressed Remedies. JuiceWell just featured their new look at a tasting in New York last weekend, and it was a bit hit.

The bottles are clean and bold, with the fresh pressed juice as the focus. A clean logo is silkscreened vertically and a circular label system differentiates categories of products. These juices are pure ingredients — fruits, veggies, herbs and spices — so we’ve listed those ingredients front & center.

We’re working on the website, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, check them out on Facebook.


Jan 18 2013

Yes To Grapefruit!

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Yes To just launched their newest natural skin care line, Yes To Grapefruit.

A carefully selected ruby pink color stays in line with the vibrant colors that have become a trademark of the Yes To product families. The use of fresh photography for the hero ingredient has also become a integral brand element, communicating the natural properties of their ingredients in a fun and bold way. We enjoyed working with Holly Stewart Photography on the photo shoot for this grapefruit!


We have just wrapped up branding and package design for an innovative new confection made right here in the Bay Area, Nuttyness Marzipan. We haven’t been this excited about a product in a really long time — it’s SOOO delicious— and we are proud to have partnered with them to bring their product to market.

It’s a premium chocolate covered marzipan made with high-end artisan ingredients. A smooth paste of California-grown almonds enrobed with a thin coating of local San Francisco dark chocolate. The twist… the addition of innovative flavor combinations like Lemon Ginger and Orange Cayenne. There are endless flavor opportunities for Nuttyness, but they have launched with 6 initial flavors.

We were involved early enough in the process that we were able to collaborate with Nuttyness on the product form and overall packaging structure, ultimately recommending a flexible system of individual bars and 3-bar variety packs. The shape, based off a cube, is to help differentiate the product from other chocolate and marzipan products. The final system is simple by design. Elegant and clean, a subtly tactile column paper in pure white is combined with custom calligraphy by Georgia Deaver. The focus is on the flavors through hits of vibrant colors and large typography. The diecut in the universal box, allows the individual bars to speak for themselves, while also allowing Nuttyness to release an unlimited number of combinations as they add new flavors.


Dos Coyotes is a Southwestern resturant based in Sacramento. They are now bringing their restaurant quality Green Chile Stew to the retail world. We designed their packaging and art directed the photo shoot for their first couple soups. These soups are available at most northern California Costco stores.


Sep 14 2012

Yes To Hair Care

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Just launched: Yes To, a new & advanced hair care line. Each of their ingredient-focused product lines now has corresponding hair products. Each one targets different needs, utilizing the unique benefits of their all natural fruit & veggie ingredients.


Aug 3 2012

Sweet Lauren Cakepops

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We are so excited to show off the new retail brand & package design for Sweet Lauren Cakepops. We pulled out all the stops on this packaging to reflect the premium ingredients & price point: a clean elegant brand, foil stamping, and ribbon label. The structure is designed to double as a beautiful pop stand once you get them home.

Made entirely by hand using all artisan ingredients, these Cakepops are for special occasions, starting with Halloween. Williams-Sonoma will be selling these (online only) for Halloween, and Sweet Lauren will be decorating them with intricate & fun designs like spiders, pumpkins and ghosts. Yum!


The Amini’s Pepperoni Chips website went live last week, officially marking the launch of this bold brand we’ve been working on since last year.

Amini’s has launched with a small bag, which will be available for purchase on their website in the next couple weeks and is already sold at some local Santa Barbara joints. We are also in progress on a larger, share-sized bag which incorporates product photography.

The Amini’s website was designed to be concise with clear navigation, and it incorporates a live Twitter and Facebook feed on the home page for those who need to stay connected at all times. It has a wordpress based content management system and shopping cart that Amini’s can manage themselves.

I also want to draw your attention to the amazing Santa Barbara illustration on the Our Story page. We worked together with Lucie Rice to create this fun & fresh California vibe that will extend to other Amini’s Pepperoni promotional items. Thanks, Lucie!

From package design to website to business system, we’re very proud of the Amini’s brand so far — with more to come!


May 4 2012

YesTo Springtime!

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Fresh. Lively. Fun! Our Spring Kits for YesTo hit the virtual shelves just in time for Mother’s Day. Order these kits and other’s we’ve designed in the Online Exclusive section of the YesTo web store.


Apr 13 2012

Alite’s new showroom

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We just met with Alite Designs to discuss the 2013 product launch schedule, and we discovered that they’ve turned a section of their design studio into a show room for their products. They open up to the public for an annual sample sale. Get notified about through their website or facebook.


Mar 2 2012

Dova Gives!

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We started working with a great group last year to launch a new charitable vision, Dova. Our client, seeing how successful Newman’s Own has been at raising money, decided to create an online retail channel that would sell everyday items and donate proceeds to charities. Without the distributor and retail channels involvement, they realized they would be able to offer a bigger sum of money to help those in need.

They are now signing up charities to benefit from their sales. If you have a charity in need, send them over to www.dovagives.com

We’ve launched the first few products — more to come!


We are coming up on our 4 year anniversary next week, so it seems appropriate to officially announce our new look. Introducing our new logo and a fresh color palette:

We are thankful for all the “new” that came our way last year (new clients & partnerships, a new studio in a new city, and even working with new talent), and we are feeling so energized entering the new year.

Our call to action for 2012 (coined by our amazing intern, Ben Wong) is “MAKE GREATNESS!” and that’s exactly what we intend to do this year!


We’ve finally wrapped up re-branding the entire line of Alite Designs products. What an adventure it’s been to venture into the wild outdoors. We knew right away we loved Alite’s ingenious products, but we didn’t know how much we’d love their actual team. It’s a creative & passionate group of folks, and we are looking forward to a continued partnership as they launch new products!

Some quick shots of the packaging so far, since we haven’t yet put it into our online portfolio:


Oct 27 2011

YesTo winning awards!

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YesTo has been getting a lot a press lately. We just found out that the YesTo Cucumbers towelettes have won a big one — Allure Magazine’s Best of Beauty Award. The magazine tests thousands of products, and getting a mention in the September issue is a very big deal. See more awards that YesTo has won on YesTo’s awards page.

Facial Towelettes Image


We’ve just wrapped up the redesign of YesTo’s line of Lip Butters. Through improved hierarchy and better use of space, we’ve allowed the YesTo Carrots logo a position of prominence, while a bolder use of color helps to differentiate flavors and catch your eye on shelf.

Yes to smooth, kissable lips!


After careful consideration, and a long search for the right space, Double Six Design has decided to move from our studio from San Francisco  to Oakland. We found a spacious warehouse converted space in the old Cottonmill building in the Embarcadero Cove area, a couple miles south of Jack London Square. Big windows, exposed brick walls and tall timber ceilings — its everything we’ve dreamed of and we are so excited to call it home. Come on by for a visit!

Double Six Design Studio


We are so excited to announce that we are just starting to work with a new client: Alite Designs. They are 3 years young but are growing strong, with an offering of unique and well-designed outdoor-related products and a fun, whimsical personality. Their goal: to inspire everyone to get outside. From walking the dog…

boa lite leash

…to weekend camping excursions with fun friends…

sexy hotness sleeping bag

they’ve certainly got me inspired!

They’re having a holiday sale… so check out their website ASAP: Alite Designs


There has been an in-flux of new experiemental papers lately in an effort to come up with a treeless solution. Some of the tree-free papers I’ve seen feel more like plastic or vinyl, and are made of petroleum-based substances. I’ve recently come across an interesting solution, actual made with fine ground up particles of limestone, left over waste from the mining process.

These papers have more of a “paper” appearance and touch, but have the benefit of being super durable, water-proof, bleach-free, and, of course, tree-free.

FiberStone
made from the left-over limestone from the mining process

ViaStone
also made from the left-over limestone from the mining process

In researching these “rock papers” I’ve also come across a number of additional innovative tree-free papers:

The Sugar Cane Paper Company
made from the waste resulting from processing sugar cane

Treeless Products
made from fast-growing bamboo

Mr. Eliie Pooh
made from recycled elephant poop

VisionPaper
made from kanaf, a plant related to hibiscus

Are these tree less papers actually saving our natural resources? Well there are tons of debates out there in cyberspace. Each one of these tree-free papers appears to have it’s own unique qualities, and I’ll definitely be looking deeper into our options on our next project!


Oct 22 2010

You Work For Them

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For those of you who don’t know, there’s this website called You Work For Them. They create unique fonts, vector graphics, brushes, etc. Check it out:

YWFT


The need for water conservation, even in developed countries, is critical. The United Nations warns that over 2.7 billion people will be facing severe water shortages within 15 years if we keep on using water at our current rate.

There are many ways to conserve water, but for designers, one of the most appealing is to find a well-trained printer operating a waterless press.

Done traditionally, printing consumes vast amounts water. One large press will go through hundreds of thousands of liters of water each year.

It doesn’t have to, though.

Waterless printing, an alternative to offset lithographic printing that’s proved successful in Japan, simply takes the need for water out of the question altogether. How is that possible? Well, where conventional printing is a chemical process that uses water to control hydrophobic ink, waterless printing works mechanically. Instead of needing to fine-tune the balance between ink and water, a waterless press uses silicon plates with a deep etch structure and temperature to control the ink. No water needed. It’s a delicate process and it requires a talented printer, but such a printer can get excellent results.

Because waterless presses eliminate the need for fountain solutions, they also significantly reduce the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs cause an array of health issues for press operators, from eye irritation to leukemia.

The other green perk of waterless printing comes in the form of less wasted paper. Waterless presses come up to color and register faster than traditional presses and this can increase paper savings up to 40%.

If you thought you’d have to trade image quality for these benefits, you’re mistaken. Waterless presses deliver better color consistency, color saturation, detail reproduction, and overall sharpness, plus there’s less prep time needed.

Pretty cool, huh?

Waterless presses are currently much harder to find than traditional presses, but with their selling points, they are growing in popularity. You can help boost their viability with your business.


Askinosie Chocolate

Okay, so I paid a small fortune for this chocolate… yes, initially for the packaging.

Look at the details: tactile paper, twine, the hand-stamp technique executed with finesse. I appreciate the messaging — focused on the cacao farmer, fair-trade practices, chocolate made in small batches, cacao from a single origin.

Then I tried the chocolate…. wow. This chocolate is for a true chocolate connoisseur. Worth every penny!


As environmentally consious designers, Double 6 understands that we need to do more than just opt for recycled paper. We also need to prefer inks that don’t leave an ugly stain on the world.

Printing inks can contain three main types of ingredients that threaten the environment:

1. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come from inks that depend on petroleum-based solvents to disperse pigment and accelerate drying. When used, these inks emit VOCs in vapor form. VOC vapor harms print shop workers and contributes to the formation of smog.

2. Certain colors of ink contain heavy metals that are associated with various health hazards, such as cadmium, barium, copper, and zinc. These elements leach into groundwater and contaminate the soil.

3. Petroleum use isn’t sustainable and you don’t need us to tell you that. Petroleum-based inks also require more water to remove from paper you’re trying to recycle.

The good news is that vegetable-based inks either avoid or vastly decrease our dependence on these ingredients.

As an added benefit, vegetable-based inks are also naturally clearer. This clarity makes it easier to produce bright colors with less pigment (and so we need less heavy metal use). Some printers report that vegetable-based inks spread farther than petroleum inks, further reducing the amount of ink required for a job.

Still not convinced? Consider this, then. When the Los Angeles Times switched to soy-based ink, their VOC emissions went down by 200 tons per year.
We’re glad you see the light!

Now that you’re with us, you’re probably wondering how to compare the various vegetable-based inks. Is soy better than other vegetable oils for ink? The short answer is that different vegetable oils are better for different things.

Linseed (flax), tung (Chinawood), castor, canola, safflower, and soy are all used as bases for inks. Many ink manufacturers like soy for its stability, but most inks are made of a blend of oils, taking advantage of the specific benefits of each type.

When possible, using a vegetable-based ink of any variety is better than using a petroleum-based ink. However, because they lack evaporative solvents (VOCs), these inks dry slowly, and this can create issues when you print on coated paper. We recommend talking with your printer, letting them know your preferences, and doing what you can to create the best possible product using the most environmentally friendly ink.

Next up in our Green Series: find out how refreshing waterless printing can be!


Aug 13 2010

Yes to Blueberries!

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Well we’ve just wrapped up a package design for a brand new line of skincare products. We’ve been working with YesTo, Inc. for awhile now. They are fun to work for and we love their products!

Their existing lines Yes to Carrots, Yes to Cucumbers, Yes to Tomatoes, and Yes to Baby Carrots can all be found at Walgreens, Target, and Sephora. Each hero-ingredient has very different properties and benefits — carrots are moisturizing, tomatoes are clarifying, cucumbers are soothing. New on the scene, their anti-aging focused line, Yes to Blueberries. We’ve just received the samples!!

Here’s a quick-shot — better photos to come soon…

YesTo Blueberries


So far in our Green Series, we’ve talked about the different types of recycled paper and about why it’s important to choose chlorine free paper. But what does it mean when paper is certified by an organization like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)?

These days, a lot of the products we see in stores are stamped with labels certifying them as “organic” or “free-trade.” Sometimes these labels are straightforward, but sometimes not. While an FSC certification sounds appealing, how much weight should we give it? If the paper we’re buying is recycled and chlorine free, isn’t that enough?

No. Not if you want to help shift the whole paper production industry away from destructive logging.

Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization working to promote responsible forest management. This association of forest owners, timber industries, social groups, and environmental organizations has set themselves an impressive mandate; they strive to eliminate habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples, and the violence against people and wildlife that often accompanies logging.

So if you see FSCcertification on a label, that means the paper you’re buying comes from only “well-managed forests that have met FSC’s high social and environmental standards.” What those standards are specifically can be found on their website.

In brief, FSC certification means you’re putting your investments towards those who source their wood from responsibly managed forests and away from companies that support illegal and unsustainable logging.

There are other certifications you might see when you shop for paper, such as Ancient Forest Friendly. Even more certifications apply the “green” label more generally to a business and its practices, attesting, for example, that it uses only carbon neutral shipping. In terms of paper production, though, the FSC mark is the one we look for.

Next up in our Green Series: what kind of mark can you make when you choose an ink?


Just came back from a family trip to Scotland. My mother was born & raised there, and I have a number of relatives still there. Always great to see the family, but this trip my husband and I made a point to travel around, see the sights, and savor the delights of Scotland.

We even had the chance to do some Scotch tasting, and we were particularly impressed with the branding at AUCHENTOSHAN. Apparently recently re-designed, we appreciate that AUCHENTOSHAN decided to break from tradition to create a very modern, clean label-design — a clean appearance for a clean, triple-distilled single malt scotch. It certainly stands out amongst it’s competitors on shelf.

They’ve done a great job creating a cohesive family of products, and carrying it over to the distillery, tasting room, and shop. A job well done!

Here’s a brief tour:

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Should you care about the paper you buy being chlorine free?

When you’re shopping for paper stock, you’ve likely noticed that many papers feature an acronym like PCF, or ECF, or TCF. But what do those acronyms mean? And what do they mean for the environment?

They’re all referring to the degree to which the paper production process avoids the use of chlorine. Chlorine gas is what paper mills traditionally use to bleach paper fibers. While it does the trick, it also creates highly toxic byproducts that leak into the environment. These dioxins and furans can, among other things, cause cancer and birth defects in humans.

So, simply put, keep out the chlorine! All those acronyms are good things to see on a ream of paper. More specifically, here’s what each means.

PCF / PROCESSED CHLORINE-FREE is paper that is produced without elemental chlorine or chlorine derivatives, but it is unknown whether any recycled content was originally processed using chlorine. So if you’re buying recycled paper (like you should) the mill didn’t use chlorine when they transformed the recycled fibers into new paper. They just can’t attest to how the fibers were treated before they were put in the recycling bin.

TCF / TOTALLY CHLORINE-FREE means that instead of using chlorine in the bleaching process, the mill used oxygen-based compounds. Why would this be less preferable than PCF? Because in order for paper to be certified as TCF, it has to come from 100% virgin fibers. Unfortunately, you either need to get TCF paper or recycled paper—you can’t have both.

ECF / ELEMENTAL CHLORINE-FREE is bleached using chlorine dioxide instead of elemental chlorine. This is better by a long ways than traditionally bleached paper; chlorine dioxide use reduces the production of dioxin byproducts by 94%!

There are, of course, two other options. The first is traditionally bleached paper. Although this is often selected for visual appearance, we can’t really recommend this when it comes to creating an earth friendly package. The second is to opt for an unbleached stock. When Double 6 Design designs packaging, for example, we recommend using a stock that’s been coated white on the outside, but which is unbleached kraft on the inside. If it’s not bleached, there’s no need for chlorine in the first place.

Next up in our Green Series: what does FSC certification mean anyway?


How do you choose an environmentally friendly paper stock? Choosing the right paper for a print job requires any designer to consider a whole slew of variables: texture, brightness, weight, size, finish, color, and—of course—how the paper was sourced.

Ninety percent of paper pulp comes from wood. In fact, about a third of the trees felled around the world today are cut down to produce paper. Buying recycled paper helps reduce this deforestation by decreasing demand for virgin fiber. Additionally, producing paper from recycled pulp requires up to 55% less water than if a mill uses virgin pulp. Because paper production uses more water than most other industries, this savings in water adds up quickly.

Buying recycled paper is not as simple as it sounds, though. If you’ve shopped around, you’ll know that there are a few different categories of recycled paper.

MILL BROKE comes from the scrap collected within a paper mill during paper production. Making paper from mill broke is like scraping the bowl after you make cookie dough, so you can make one more cookie with the leftovers. Mill broke makes more efficient use of felled trees by using what would otherwise be wasted.

PRE-CONSUMER WASTE comes from paper that left the mill, but which never reached consumers. For example, if a printer runs a large job and trims off the edges, those edges are pre-consumer waste. Like mill broke, pre-consumer waste makes efficient use of resources by reclaiming unused paper and putting it back into the production process.

POST-CONSUMER WASTE comes from you and people like you. When you put your newspaper or old reports or phone books into the recycling bin, that’s post-consumer waste. Paper that’s 100% made from post-consumer waste calls for no virgin fibers and no deforestation.

Now, often paper is produced as a blend of recycled and non-recycled fibers. For example, New Leaf Paper lists some of its stock as “80% recycled, 60% post-consumer waste.” That means 60% of the paper comes from post-consumer waste, 20% from pre-consumer waste and/or mill broke, and 20% from virgin fibers.

Choosing what type and percentage of recycled content you’re comfortable with is up to you and, to some degree, what’s available in the market. At Double 6 Design, we’ve been buying a lot of our paper from New Leaf. They use higher percentages of post-consumer waster content, plus their paper is good quality and affordable.

Stay tuned for the next post in our Green Series, on chlorine-free paper processing. In the future we’ll also cover different environmentally friendly certifications and what to consider when choosing inks.


One day, many years ago, it occured to me that as a designer of packaging and print, I was a large contributor to our landfills. What a depressing thought, that everything we create, at some point in it’s life cycle, is thrown away. For a while I struggled with this issue, but I then decided that I could still do my part to be a green designer.

We have quite a few clients these days who are willing to pay a little extra to be gentler on the earth. The increased demand for greener options has created a search for new innovative materials, ways to cut down on excessive packaging, and the creation of lower-impact processes. The good news is that there are more and more printers who are capable of green printing, and everyday we hear about new options.

Since we’re all still learning about how we can do our part and it’s such an ever-evolving issue, we have decided to do some research and write a series of blogs dedicated to Green Design. Stay tuned….


Apr 13 2010

A drink to You-T health

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We just wrapped up an interesting project for a product called You-T. It’s a brand new dietary supplement, formulated to promote a healthy urinary tract. Although there are many cranberry supplements already on the market, You-T is unique for a couple reasons.

• You-T was formulated by a doctor with potency in mind, and it has the highest concentration of the healthy anthocyanins (the good stuff in cranberries that are responsible for keeping the bad bacteria at bay) on the market.

• Instead of a capsule or pill, this supplement is a beverage powder that you add to water. So, not only is it convenient, but you will get a dose of water at the same time. Water is particularly important to urinary tract health.

YouT_fronts

Because of You-T’s unique qualities, it was important to make it stand out on shelf. Instead of creating the usual clean & clinical looking package, we used a bold use of color. Big berry illustration increases the flavor appeal, and visual of the packet pouring into the glass helps to communicate You-T’s unique delivery method.

Our next project, now that the product is ready to hit the stores, is the new You-T website. Stay tuned!


Yes To product lines

Well, we’ve been swamped with work lately! Largely thanks to our newest client Yes To, Inc. They are the creators of 3 really great product lines: Yes to Carrots, Yes to Cucumbers, and Yes to Tomatoes. They offer natural, paraben-free skin & hair care products that are centered on using real ingredients & Dead Sea minerals.

We are working with YesTo to extend their family of products to a new product line, and in the process, we are re-working the messaging across all lines to help consumers to understand the benefits of each hero ingredient.

We’ve really been enjoying one of the best perks of our job – samples! Our favorite products so far are the Yes to Carrots Hydrating Hand & Elbow Cream, Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel, Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes, and the Yes to Carrots Lip Butter. You can find their products nationally at Target, Walgreens, Safeway, and Whole Foods. You can also purchase their products directly from their website: yestocarrots.com.

Check back for updates, as the project moves along!


Jan 22 2010

Fancy Food Fun

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We went to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco earlier this week. We go every year to see what’s new, to be inspired, to meet new people, and, as typical san francisco foodies, to taste new fare. As usual it was a great source of inspiration, and, as usual, we left full and with sore feet.

There was too much cool packaging to keep track of and usually thedieline.com covers that for us, but as a foodie, I certainly discovered some new and exciting treats. Again, so many things were yummy, but here are a few that stood out:

Siggi's Skyr Strained Yogurt

Siggi’s / Icelandic style skyr strained yogurt

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered Fage (pronounced Fa-Yeh) greek yogurt at the Fancy Food Show, but this year I’ve discovered something new, tangy and delicious. Siggi’s Skyr is creamy, thick, and only slightly sweet (sweetened with agave syrup). It comes in the most fantastic flavors. Move over strawberry, here comes orange & ginger, pomegrantate & passion, and açaí berry. Just delightful!

Happy Goat Caramels

Happy Goat Caramels

We discovered Happy Goat Caramels in the What’s New section of the show, and they make their caramels from goat’s milk. Now, I love caramel, and I must admit I’ve tried a few times to make it myself. But Happy Goat was really unique.  The goat’s milk infused a tangy flavor and it was speckled with vanilla bean. Of course, the caramel was just the perfect consistency – not to soft, not too chewy.

Bolani stuffed flatbread

Bolani / East & West Gourmet Afghan Food

A local farmer’s market favorite, Bolani is an super-yummy Afghan stuffed flatbread. Spinach filled flatbread with a sun-dried tomato spread on top…. or pumpkin stuffed flatbread with cilanto garlic sauce. As I was offered one combo after another, after another…. I had to remind myself that I was just visiting my first aisle of the day with way more food to try! I will absolutely be visiting them at the farmer’s market soon!


We recently wrapped up a project for Rosellica, an all natural blood-pressure reducer made with Hibiscus. The packaging was finished a few months ago, and the website just went live last week!

RosellicaBottle

The challenge with the packaging was to stand out amongst the cluttered supplement aisle and our solution was to present a clean & modern use of color. The website has the added use of lifestyle photography to create a personal connection to a very clinical subject.

RosellicaWeb

We designed Rosellica for a reoccurring client, Janzee, Inc. who is busy formulating other products. Janzee, Inc is the creator of ZoodleBug Haircare for Kids which we developed packaging for last year. We are already hard at work on a new supplement for soothing upset stomach, for which we are developing naming, branding, packaging, as well as the website design. Keep an eye out for updates!


Nov 14 2009

Strategic Barketing

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We have new addition to the Double Six team… well sort of. She comes to the office everyday, but she doesn’t do much work. Her office responsibilities include: greeting guests with loud tail-wags and enthusiastic kisses, day-dreaming and sleeping the day away, and, most importantly, getting us away from our desks and out of the office for periodic walks.

The office dog, Buca

Her name is Buca, and she’s a mutt just like the rest of us. We adopted her when she was 6 months old from the Oakland Animal Shelter last summer. We thought she was probably a Labrador / Pit Bull / Something-else mix.

As we settled into our routine, however, we began to wonder what created all her endearing traits (i.e. love for the water, sociable flair, occasional retrieval skills, evening cuddliness, and excessive kisses), as well as some of her more frustrating traits (i.e. jumping up, running in circles, leash aggression, and excessive kisses).

Last month I ordered a DNA kit. (www.wisdompanelinsights.com) Yes, you read that correctly… laugh if you like. In a couple days a package arrived in the mail. It contained 2 sterile brush-like swabs, and I was instructed to swirl them around on her cheek and send them back. Within just a few weeks, the results were in!

It turns out that she’s not a Lab/Pit mix, as we had expected. In fact, she had no Labrador in her at all, and only had a faint trace of American Staffordshire terrier (a relative of the American Pit Bull). Her main breeds turned out to be Boxer / Boston Terrier!

At first I didn’t believe that my 55 lb bundle of love could possible be related to the more diminutive Boston Terrier. But as I absorbed this analysis over the past month, I researched the breeds in detail and observed Buca with fascination. Sure enough, there it was! The DNA results explained so many of her behavior traits, and I could easily recognize the physical traits that she acquired from each breed. Amazing!

I guess it comes down to the old saying we all learned from our parents — you just can’t judge a book by it’s cover.