The Sweet Beet Redesign
One of my recent projects was the redesign of The Sweet Beet labels. The brief was simple; Alix & Stefanie (The Sweet Beet co-founders) wanted new labels that carried a visual punch. Something that stood out on the shelves of the stores that carry their products along side other similar products of different brands. They wanted a product that they could proudly show off, and hopefully one that their customers will show off as well...letting good design be the silent ambassador for their brand (as branding legend Paul Rand once famously said)!
I have always enjoyed their products, so my first step in researching this job was to head to Starlite in Maraval to scope out the shelves (and pick up some of my favourite Sweet Beet juices...research.) After quenching my thirst...for information, I opened up my laptop and created a Pinterest board to start hoarding ideas & digital inspiration. This is typically one of my first steps...to immerse myself with visuals and inspiration.
After a lot of "Pinning," the next step of the process is taking a break. I usually like to leave the job alone for a few days, sometimes up to a week depending on the timeline, to just let the ideas start brewing. This stage usually coincides with the beginning of the sketching phase. While sketching I stay away from looking at the saved inspiration on Pinterest; it's time to let it sit in the subconscious and maybe creep into the sketches a little bit. The "sketching phase" for The Sweet Beet also coincided with a vacation I had planned to Florida which worked out well, as I love sketching on airplanes. Every final design had elements from sketches done on that trip, so I considered it successful!
Once I had done enough sketches that I was comfortable with, I opened up Adobe Illustrator and got to work. To begin, I created a file called "sweetbeet_exploration" which I used as a digital sketch pad...refining what was already done in my sketch book. A lot of times, you sketch something that looks figured out, but you start creating a more refined version on the computer and for some reason it doesn't work. This initial exploration file is to ween out what works and what doesn't work; and to eventually decide what will be presented to the client.
Upon completion of this visual exploration in Adobe Illustrator, I then choose what is working the best and refine those options even further. I usually choose either 2 or 3 options depending on how strongly I feel about the concepts, and these are what will be presented to the client. In the case of The Sweet Beet, I presented 3 options to them...but we will get to that in a little while. I was tasked with creating the labels for 16 different variants of Cold Pressed Juices, Nut Milk Drinks, and Smoothies. Instead of designing all 16 flavours for the initial presentation, I just chose 2 flavours to design to give them an idea of each concept.
Finally, after all of these processes, it is time to present to the client. I visited their store in West Mall, popped open the PDF on my laptop and went through all the options with Alix & Stefanie. This is always the most exciting moment of the entire operation because it serves as the moment of truth when the client sees what I've been working on for the first time. I chose to present 3 options and of the 3 options, they chose my personal favourite to move forward with..
Once the client selected the visual option they liked best, the next step was to fully flesh out all 16 designs. I presented only 2, so the work on the next 14 began. I brainstormed ideas with Alix & Stefanie, and then got to work illustrating and designing each of labels. Once all 16 were completed, I then presented all the new labels again. Of course, there were some minor changes to a few of the labels, but all in all we had locked down what the final design for most were going to be. After the changes were made, and approval was given to every design, Finished Art Work was done and handed off to the printers who were charged with bringing the new labels to life!
The best feeling of any project is seeing all the hard work come to fruition. Seeing all the bottles with the newly designed labels was an amazing feeling after all the hours put in to perfecting them. It's always a pleasure to work with clients who are super passionate about their products and who want to push the limits to get a design that suits their business. Before the official release of the new designs, I did a photoshoot in my home-studio set up to get some nice shots of the bottles isolated on a white background. A photoshoot was also done outside to get some "in situation" style shots. To see all the photography and the full project, click this link.