AKGraphics' Blog

The Wonderful World of Craft Beer Label Design and Can Design

Despite the cooler temperatures, some of us are still venturing into the chilled supermarket aisles or off licenses, in search of a good craft beer. And with a constant influx of new brands and new trends, how do we choose? There are 75 microbreweries estimated to currently be operating in ROI (and a further 50 brand owners that outsource their production to independently owned microbreweries), which is a 500% growth from 2012.

There are ever-changing impacts on sales and the craft beer industry, which mean that it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out on the shelf. We’ve identified some of the craft beer label design trends that have caught our eye.

 

Maximalist – bursting with color, illustration and attitude, these beer label designs are sure to catch your attention.

Marmota Brewery, their LegalLager beer can design portrays a vibrant block-party with illustrated characters and fluro colours.

Legalager beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Browar Minister, the beer label design includes characters and brightly coloured illustrations.

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Browar Minister beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Mikkeller brewery, the master of maximalist eclecticism. Their beer label designs range from image appropriation to graphic illustrations, usually in an expressive style and in vivid fluro colors.

Mikkeller beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Reflect recipes – some companies are opting to commission artwork for their beer label designs that reflect the breweries, brewers and beers more. They allude to the recipe or certain ingredients used to make the beer through illustration or text.

OostEke Brewery, this beer label is centered around a floral design which depicts how flower extract is used in the brewing process.

OostEke Brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Hop Heart, a heart shaped hop icon to show that this beer is made from the finest ingredients and is actually good for you and your heart – an idea inspired by the high levels of vitamin B6 found in beer which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Hop Heart packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist – supremely elegant and simplistic beer label designs to intrigue.

VICE Old Blue Last Beer, the can design has only the logo and ABV on it with the aim to  “tease the pretentious world of beer – with all its frills and fuss – and strip it back to the simpler days when beer was for enjoying.”

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vice label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Cargo Brewery, a super elegant packaging range that incorporates a subdued color palette, geometric shapes, simple line work and copper foil to cleanly describe the beer inside.

Cargo labels, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Typographic – using type rather than graphics to portray the brand essence.

Big and bold fonts paired with a bold yellow label makes this Sa Pilsen design stand out. The classic logo font makes it seem authentic, like it’s stood the test of time.

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen branding, not designed by AKGraphics

Sa Pilsen packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Inari Biru from Yeastie Boys is a Japanese rice beer. Inspired by minimalist Japanese design is has a classic colour palette of red, white and black. The beer label design also includes traditional Japanese calligraphy with loose textured characters to portray a sense of legitimacy and genuineness.

Inari Biru packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Flavour differentiation – an easy way to stand out and distinguish the various beer flavors is using different colors or characters, while still ensuring the branding is communicated collectively.

Hyde and Wilde features animal illustrations in a striking monotone colour scheme with a bright yellow logo. There is a clear consistency throughout the set of beer can designs, however each flavor is reflected with a different animal.

Hyde Wilde packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

BrewDog Brewery labels are designed with wood-cut and letterpress techniques to give the brand a hand-crafted feel. There’s a different colour and tagline to each beer to distinguish them.

BrewDog packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Photographic – with the increase in digital-printing capabilities more breweries are embracing photographic labels and cans.

Commonwealth lagers were created to drink by the beach, and the tide-lashed branding reflects this.

Commonwealth beer packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

The Norwegian landscape photos used in the Fjellsider beer can design reflects the fresh and natural ingredients, and the cider’s local heritage. An acetone transfer printing technique was used to make the image look weathered, conveying the craftsmanship of the brand. The fruity colors also reinforce the freshness of the product.

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Fjellsider packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Black – premium or sinister? Dark label designs and bottles have been used very effectively on a darker stout beer.

Stoutnik stands out on the shelf as it uses printing techniques that other brands don’t use in their beer label designs. The frosted matte black bottle contrasts the multicolour holographic foil and highlights the blind-embossed morse code.

Stoutnik Stout packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

This beer label design has bold typography alongside fluid illustrations, Vocation Brewery’s usual method of communicating the brewery’s personality. They created a limited edition Naughty & Nice label for the festive season including seasonal illustrations of theatre, cold weather and holy. The gold foil and silver ink also conveys festive qualities and contrasts the black label well.

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

Vocation brewery label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Colour – it can always be used to catch the attention of shoppers. These beer label and can designs are bold, bright and brave.

Vocation Brewery have also used colours to reflect their brand personality. These beer can designs show the crisp and freshness of their new flavors. The striking colour and spray paint effect conveys their uniqueness and stands out.

Vocation Brewery packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Collective Arts Brewing in Canada is a grassroots craft brewery. Their mission is to merge “the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging and seasoned artists, musicians, photographers & filmmakers”, by choosing previously published art pieces every year to print onto their beer can designs.

Collective Arts Brewing packaging, not designed by AKGraphcis

 

TicketyBrew beer label design use colour to reflect their range of experimental and complex flavour profiles (like Peach Iced Tea, Blueberry & Ginger IPA and Salted Caramel & Coffee). They have a simple identity that can be adapted to their 35 beer flavours. The core range flavors also have a printed number on the front to separate them further from each other.

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

TicketyBrew beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage throwbacks – idealising the past through vintage styled beer labels and can design.

Chattanoonga Brewing Co. used historical branding elements from their previous packaging design but in a refreshed style. This honored their vibrant heritage and also makes them stand out with a simple design solution.

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Chattanooga packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Director Beer has a film-inspired craft beer designed with Star Wars and Indiana Jones illustrations. It resonates universally by referencing two classic films with a movie poster aesthetic and even a synopsis on the back adapted to reflect a story behind the beer.

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

INDIANA HOP AND THE CAVE OF GOLDEN HOP

“An ancient hindu civilization called lupiranis lived for centuries in the inaccessible Himalayan mountain ranges. Known for an IPA millennial recipe, they idolised an ancient brew relic, the Golden Hop, capable of giving the brewing shaman who possessed the power to make an incredible IPA. For a long time, countless adventurers lulled by the legends of the  brewing lupiranis, explored these mountains behind such an artifact. Indiana Hop, a historian of special beers and master brewer, fearless and adventurous, while exploring ancient scriptures in the library of British Beer University discovered clues on a map that led to a valley in the mountains, covered by malt plantations and hops forests to a cave, which according to locals, is guarded by ancient spirits and full of traps. Will Indiana Hop get the Golden Hop and survive the consequences of the wrath of the brewing gods on anyone who desecrates his sacred temple?”

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

Director Beer label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

A step further…

Mikkeller Pale Spring Ale, the design is printed on heat sensitive paper so when it’s cold the snowflake is visible and when it’s warm it fades into the shape of a sun. They’ve also made beer labels in similar styles but for autumnal and spring styles.

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Mikkeller packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

If you’re after a beer label or can design for your craft beer or beverage product, contact us! We are experienced in creative packaging design solutions and would love to help you bring your brand to life.

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The Power of Personalised Packaging

Personalised packaging design has been on the rise during 2018. With the concept of bespoke packaging also taking off, some companies have taken this customisation a step further to make products look more desirable to consumers.

Brand packaging is getting personal, but why is using someones name so effective?

  • Connect with customers; when they see their name on a product it instills a sense of importance. Good packaging should lead to customer satisfaction and an enjoyable purchasing experience. Personalisation helps to build better and stronger relationships between brands and consumers. It increases customer engagement and brand awareness, therefore resulting in improved business.
  • Create value; customising mundane products turns them into something unique. Digital technology is allowing for a wide range of personalisation opportunities. This allows ordinary, everyday items to hold more importance on the shelf. Personalisation is a quick and easy method of making a product appear unique and enticing. By doing this, brands can also increase the value of these products, literally and figuratively. It’s also one way to encourage reuse, with some packaging items turning into collectors items.
  • Meets long term needs; personalised packaging design can help brands understand their customers better. It can be used to inform future brand engagements, emphasis certain brand values and foster a sense of community amongst their target market.

Coca-cola’s cans and bottles featuring common first names started a growing trend. The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign highlighted how successful personalisation can be. The campaign began after the realisation that young people weren’t connecting with the brand, so Coca-cola decided to communicate directly with this demographic, and increase its impact on the shelf.

Coca cola personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Coca cola personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Irn-Bru (a Scottish soft drink brand) responded to Coca-cola’s campaign with a personalisation of their own. They created bottles with 56 different Scottish tartan designs –one for each major clan, and one Irn-Bru design. Irn-Bru recognised that “you don’t want people to always find their own clan tartan straightaway, but within a reasonable number of store visits so they become a bit of a collector’s item. So you need to find a way to distribute a random mix of the samples.”

Irn-Bru tartan labels, not designed by AKGraphics

Irn-Bru tartan labels, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Nutella’s personalisation campaign was built around how people already use the chocolate spread in meals and snacks. ‘Your Nutella, your way’ invites people to personalise a jar and share their ‘Nutella Stories’ on Nutella’s website and social media. This guided people into advocating for the brand and created a community of consumers sharing their brand experiences.

Nutella personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Nutella personalised packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Heinz sold personalised cans of soup through a ‘Get Well Soon’ campaign. Each can sold for over twice the price it would regularly, but with the incentive of £1 per can also going to charity, customers appeared willing to pay.

Heinz personalised label, not designed by AKGraphics

Heinz personalised label, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Snickers released 21 symptoms of hunger, in line with their ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ tagline. Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick said: “We believe the new bars will inspire people to not only quickly identify their own symptoms and satisfy their hunger, but give them a new, fun way to call-out friends and family on who they become when they’re hungry, too.”

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Snickers packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vegemite – for Christmas, Kmart once sold personalised jars of Vegemite. For $10, consumers could have Kmart print the name of their gift recipient on a 455g jar and send it locally or overseas.

Vegemite label. not designed by AKGraphics

 

To celebrate the relationship consumers have with the brand and drive deeper engagement, Firefly began a campaign where customers can upload pictures of themselves, and also features iconic images from Festival No.6 (the boutique arts and music festival). Customer pictures would be uploaded via the Firefly website, app or through social media using the hashtag #feelingfly.

Firefly packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Firefly packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

While personalised packaging has shown success in these brands, it also has its limitations. With technology constantly updating, perhaps the next stage will be the personalisation of ingredients and recipes, making products truly unique to customers.

This idea is employed in Magnum’s Pleasure Stores, where customers can personalise the flavours and topping of their ice cream –with over 2000 variations possible. These stores have been set up worldwide, including places like New York, London, Singapore, Italy and Portugal. An idea like this makes a brand stand out and gets people talking about it – on social media too with their hashtag #DreamMagnum

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

Magnum personalised ice creams, not designed by AKGraphics

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Skincare Packaging Design Trends

Understanding the trends influencing the market can help set your product out from the rest of the market. Here are some trends seen in current skincare packaging.

 

Eco-responsible packaging

Customers are becoming more aware of how packaging affects the environment and therefore are preferring to opt for more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging options. Eco-friendly packaging has also become a key marketing strategy to make customers think that the product is made of natural ingredients.

E.g. Lush Cosmetics markets a 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging. 35% of Lush products are sold ‘naked’ and without packaging at all.

Range of skincare products, packaged and unpackaged

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Lush bath bomb products in store

Lush packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

E.g. Ethique are on a mission to eradicate the world of plastic waste. They started in 2012 when founder Brianne West began making natural beauty bars in her science degree lab as an alternative to the 80 billion plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles thrown out globally each year. Since then Ethique have stopped over 500000 plastic bottles ending up in landfills. The bold colours used in their paper packaging ensures high self impact and makes this a memorable packaging design.

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

Ethique packaging and products

Ethique packaging, not designed by AKGraphics

 

DIY/Customised label

Google’s 2017 beauty trend report revealed that DIY-labeled beauty products are fast rising. The next generation of customers enjoy the opportunity to customize their own cosmetic experiences and treatments, one way is through bespoke packaging. Innovative packaging solutions like personalisation helps customers feel more valued and that the product is specifically suited to them.

E.g. Wondermins is a NZ company that allows customers to select which vitamins they want to supplement their diet, and Wondermins sends them a supply with a package of daily vitamins, customized with the customers name.

Wondermins vitamins packaging

Wondermins, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Men’s increased awareness

Men are beginning to show more of an interest and awareness in cosmetic care. They prefer informative and refined skincare labels over the stereotypical and medical style of packaging, as they want to know more about the product and make an informed decision when buying.

Hawkins & Brimble mens beard care packaging

Hawkins & Brimble, not designed by AKGraphics

No 7 mens skincare

No 7, not designed by AKGraphics

Barbon mens skincare packaging

Barbon, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Minimalist design

Simple design means customers can make intuitive decisions. Going minimal means limiting the content on the packaging, creating a visual language can help to communicate the product better than a paragraph of words would. If labels can limit the messaging to a few words and icons, it won’t take customers long to decipher the cosmetic packaging.This reflects our fast-paced society, and means shoppers won’t have to slow down to read labels.

Skincare packaging design

Naturaglace, not designed by AKGraphics

Minimalist packaging, square box

Eskay, not designed by AKGraphics

Malako skincare packaging, neutral colours

Malako, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Pastels

Pastels are coming back on trend with the rise of feminine and calming packaging design. It speaks to our softer side and offers an alternative to the bold bright colours that have also be seen in packaging. Pastel packaging gives the product a warm and welcoming feel, customers are eased into it rather than being rushed – exactly what they want when browsing skincare labels.

Funky shaped skincare packaging

Kevin Murphy, not designed by AKGraphics

Pastel coloured box packaging

Hanyul, not designed by AKGraphics

Beige box packaging

Huxley, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Doodles

Adults relate to drawing based designs because it conveys energy and reminds them of their childhood. Doodles are often imaginative illustrations that describe the product in an exciting way and can make the customer smile.

Illustrated line drawing packaging

Elaboratium, not designed by AKGraphics

Bright and fun drawing packaging

Mythos, not designed by AKGraphics

Female illustrations, skincare packaging

Bloom, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Big text

It’s easy to send a clear message when the focus of the packaging is large text. Often a bold and sans serif font is used to catch the customers attention, and a serious or creative message can ensure they continue checking out the product. This is particularly useful in skincare packaging and cosmetic packaging, when there might be a lot of ingredients but you want to get one main point across.

Skincare tube and box with large text

Love, not designed by AKGraphics

Layout of various skincare products

Red Earth, not designed by AKGraphics

Charcoal soap

Babe Scrub, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Vintage

Throwback design thrives on us remembering. It also conveys the idea that the product has been around for a while, and therefore it must be a success brand and quality product. Vintage design in skincare packaging shows the brand identity has tradition through the use of structure, a limited colour palette and clear detailing.

Bath foam and body lotion set

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

Small bottles with vintage labels

Caru, not designed by AKGraphics

Vintage looking skincare range

Boots, not designed by AKGraphics

 

Holographic

Adding a holographic foil effect to packaging brings flair to any product. An innovative packaging style, it creates depth through the changing colour and light effect to catch the customers eye. Holographic design stands out from flat colored products, and adds elegance and value to a product.

Small boxes with holographic effect

Obe, not designed by AKGraphics

Silver holographic tubes

Mac, not designed by AKGraphics

Box with thin line holographic effect

Rewind, not designed by AKGraphics

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Food Packaging Design to Increase Sales

The below image shows two icecream tubs. Both tubs contain the same text content, and without tasting the icecream many people would make an assumption that one is more natural and healthier than the other. Why? Because with effective packaging design you have the power to control consumers’ mind (to a certain extent).

Same Product

Same Print Cost

Different Design = Different Perception

Ice-cream packaging design

The practical function of food packaging is to keep the contents safe and fresh until it reaches the consumer but it also serves other hugely important purpose.

By utilising design, you can guide a consumer’s perception of your product to help to increase the likelihood of them making a purchase – that is nice to be able to do.

You know your product inside out but consumers out there may not have tasted your product previously. They have to rely solely on their perception of your product. Before that first taste their perception is their reality. “This looks like a delicious indulgent treat” or “oh that looks tasty and looks healthy” are things we might think before we buy or taste something based solely on the packaging design. In an ideal world, no-one would judge a book by its cover, we would read the information on food packaging and make rational informed decisions. This is not the case and part of being human is our use of multiple senses to process the world around us.

The power of packaging design doesn’t stop there. Food packaging design influences not only buying decisions but the actual perceived taste of the product.

Sounds far-fetched? Read on…

Eating is a multisensory activity. Scientists have proven that what we perceive as taste is actually a combination of taste, smell, sight, sound and touch. Surely as a food producer it makes sense to use this information to your advantage.  One example of this phenomenon was consumers stating that Coca-Cola had changed its formula and tasted less sweet – the only change made by Coca-Cola was to the packaging design. They used white limited-edition cans during a fundraising campaign for polar bears and this change in packaging design influenced peoples’ perception of the taste. Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, has proven time and time again, through practical experiments, that colours and the type of materials used in packaging can influence taste perception.

Maybe you have always known that packaging design is an important part of your product or maybe you thought that design was an expense that couldn’t be justified. Whatever your thoughts were on design previously maybe its importance has increased in your mind now, after all science doesn’t lie.

So, if we have sparked your curiosity what should you do next? Here at AKGraphics we have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to food and beverage packaging design so we would encourage you to get in touch with us. We are driven by a consuming curiosity about packaging and how we can use our knowledge to give our clients a competitive edge through effective design. We take an innovative and creative approach to packaging design so that your packaging will stand out in an ever-changing retail environment. We design packaging that captures the essence of a brand with the aim of your product becoming a best-selling item and to get consumers to reach out for your product rather than a competitor’s.

Email anne@akgraphics.ieor call us on 059-9133633 and we can discuss some ideas for your packaging.

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A look at seasonal packaging

We recently designed this label specifically for the Halloween season. Hickeys Barm Brack is a high quality product and the owner felt it needed a label to match these standards in order to be eye-catching in stores around Ireland.

As you can see the new Hickeys Barm Brack label for Halloween mirrors the quality of the product. With a black and gold foil applied the label catches the light and shines, portraying a luxury product. Standing out on shelves against its competitors.

Hickeys sell their tasty Barm Brack all year round, however because this product is specifically associated for Halloween, an eye-catching label was required to pique interest among consumers for this time of year. The Barm Brack now has a stand out label that will increase its desirability as the quality shines through the label.

While designing this labels we were reminded how effective seasonal packaging can be for businesses for different occasions throughout the year.

We decided to look at other brands that have successfully applied seasonal packaging to their products.

Hickeys Barm Brack Label – Designed by AKGraphics

Halloween Inspired packaging

Fanta Label Redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Fanta box packaging redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Fanta Label Redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Hobnobs biscuit packaging redesigned for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Heinz Beans label redesign for Halloween – Not designed by AKGraphics

Christmas packaging

Primula Cheese Tube packaging redesign for Christmas Season – Not designed by AKGraphics

Toblerone box packaging redesigned for Christmas period – Not designed by AKGraphics

Pringles Packaging redesign just for Christmas season! Not designed by AKGraphics

Stela Artois Beer outer packaging redesigned for Christmas – Not designed by AKGraphics

St. Patrick’s Day Themed packaging

Jameson Whiskey label redesign for St. Patricks Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Tayto packet redesign for St. Patricks Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Valentine’s Day inspired packaging

Pink Lady Apples box shape designed changes for Valentines day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Starbucks Coffee Cups redesign for Valentines Day – Not designed by AKGraphics

Sports Event inspired packaging

Robinsons Squash Drinks label redesign for Wimbledon – Not designed by AKGraphics

Can drink redesigned for soccer tournament – Not designed by AKGraphics

There are many benefits from designing seasonal packaging for your product, standing out from your competitors, renewing interest in your product and creating a more personal and relatable feel to your product on the shelf.

If you are considering redesigning your current packaging or if you’re starting from scratch, please contact Anne on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie and we will guide you through this process.

 

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Mind Over Matter €23,500 raised nationally for Aware

10th of October (world mental health day) where Mind Over Matter 2018 took place in VISUAL Carlow where we had 10 professional creatives donating their time for free for an amazing mental health initiative all on behalf of Aware. A national day of creativity throughout Ireland took place, but in Carlow we had entrepreneurs, startup businesses, and established businesses soaking up all of the knowledge from our experienced ten designers and what they had to offer. Our design consultations for Mind Over Matter Carlow began at 9am and ran right through-out the day until 5pm.

Our design team for Mind Over Matter Carlow consisted of Gillian from Penhouse, Mick from UNUM, Liam from McLoughlin Architecture, Elke from Lifepath Designs, Rachel from Lifehack Designs, Eric from Saatchi & Saatchi, Rory from Clickworks, Simone from Simone Hassett Design, James from Threesixty, myself from AKGraphics and Stephanie of course who directed and time managed us throughout the day. A really creative buzz began just before 9am and never stopped throughout the day, it was a proud moment for me to see it all come together under one roof in Carlow last Wednesday. We had professional and experienced product designers, architects, graphic designers, creative strategists, UX/UI designers, packaging designers, web designers, interior designers and advertising creatives – all that talent for a national day of creativity in Carlow.

I would like to say a big thank you to all those people who booked their design consultations with myself (AKGraphics) it was a new experience for me to have seven meetings in a row in one day and it’s kind of a bit like speed dating! I just love speaking to people, hearing their stories and what they are up to and what the next plan is. I had a varied selection of design consultations throughout the day from a scientist, to a beaded Irish jewellery designer, to a training consultancy firm, to an Astrology lover, to a theatre/venue manager, to a hidden food store (that I will be calling into the next time I pass!) that feeds all the manufacturing companies in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow.

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of businesses out there and what they are up to. Last Wednesday Mind Over Matter Carlow was the day to talk, question, discuss and explore new ideas, advise more effectively, develop a new product/ app for a business, get new business and to talk about business priorities. The people who booked their design consultation had heard about this mental health initiative through social media or word of mouth or through our laser light show on the Braun building, they booked their E75 hour long design consultation and they came through the doors every hour last Wednesday. The people that booked their design consultation were very prepared and knew that in the 60 minutes they needed answers to the queries and questions they prepared. Some were questioning existing ways, some where open to change about how they would do that? Some were doing too many things in their business but not focusing on the top four selling points in the business. From our feedback sheets from all the design consultations in Carlow, we the designers can see the positive effect we had on the day while also raising serious money for Aware.

But this day would not happen without a serious amount of thank you’s to the many, many people that helped us make this happen.

To the main woman who is the brain child behind this wonderful mental health initiative – Kim McKenzie Doyle, a fellow Carlow lady and former president of the Institute of Designers of Ireland (IDI). This is a lady you cannot say ‘no’ to, she just has this energy and drive that oozes confidence. When she approached me this summer little did I know her plan was to make me do public speaking, radio interviews, launches and be the face of Mind Over Matter Carlow. I am delighted she made me do these things that were completely out of my comfort zone, I think if I knew the half of Kim’s ideas I would have run a mile! But to be fair this is Kim’s second year running Mind Over Matter and to raise over E23,500 last Wednesday for Aware, where last year was only E7,000 – that just shows you how determined Kim is. But you also have to see Kim’s idea in networking the talented creative industry in Ireland, through this mental health initiative called Mind Over Matter and that is something that’s growing each year. The design talent we have in Ireland is outstanding and that is where the IDI (Institute of Designers) are pushing that out more and more. Watch this space as this is a lady that is not going to sit still – Kim McKenzie Doyle take a bow from all of us in Carlow and nationwide.

To our main sponsors – without them Mind Over Matter Carlow would not have happened

Mimosa Bar de Tapas, Carlow for providing sponsorship and also for providing ‘Residencia’ for our launch of Mind Over Matter Carlow back on the 30th August. What a positive launch we had in Mimosa for me it was my first big launch to be personally involved in but for Mimosa it was also a big new venture for them with the expansion into ‘Residencia’. The ambiance the food the people just worked beautiful, as per usual Mimosa Bar de Tapas just blew everyone away. Some of our guests had never been to Mimosa before and let’s just say they were quiet impressed and definitely returning. I would also like to say thank you so much for our wonderful speakers at our launch: Lorraine Higgins – Retail Excellence Ireland, Gavin O’Reilly – Silver Spear Gin, Vanessa Tierney – Abodoo and myself of course…

Glasseye – To Janet and her experienced video and production team at Glasseye who prepared all the video production at our Mind Over Matter Carlow launch
DNG McCormack Properties – To Marcus McCormack and all his team
UNUM – To Colette and all her team at UNUM for supporting us
Lennon’s Carlow – To Ross & all his very helpful team
P+D who provided us with all the printed material for Mind Over Matter
IDI – Institute of Designers for all the guidance

I would also like to do a big shout out to Carlow County Council, Local Enterprise Office (Leo) Carlow, Co. Carlow Chamber of Commerce, Carlow Nationalist, KCLR 96fm, Arboretum Home & Garden Centre who helped us to promote Mind Over Matter locally and nationally.

Braun – where our creative laser light show lit up the side of Braun at night for the last month – where all of Carlow could see. It’s been my long term ambition to display graphics on this idle building and I was delighted to see it worked. Thank you to Sean Gallagher for allowing us to use this Braun building, and to Greg Mynhardt of Hedgehog Productions who put this creative laser light show together for us. Plus I would also like to thank ‘Height For Hire’ for lending us the hoist to display our amazing laser light show on the Braun building and lastly to Netwatch for the 24 hour security on this equipment and building.

To Lennon’s Restaurant for feeding all the Carlow designers last Wednesday in Visual with a beautiful tasty lunch that refreshed and revived all the designers for their afternoon sessions. Thank you Ross Byrne of Lennon’s, all of us were extremely grateful for this lunch sponsorship.

To Visual Carlow, to Derek and Eric and all the team from Visual who really I can not thank enough. What an incredible venue firstly but a big thank you to all the team who assisted us greatly last Wednesday for Mind Over Matter Carlow.

To Ballygowan Water for our supply of cooled bottled water to keep the designers brains refreshed throughout the design consultations in Carlow. Also a big thank you to Bewley’s for our supply of coffee and tea to keep us all going also.

To the people on the day who walked into Visual Carlow and gave us donations for Mind Over Matter Carlow – thank you so much. Plus I would also like to thank the people who could not attend on the day, but made donations and rescheduled design consultations for them on other days  – thank you.

Lastly a big thank you to all my staff in AKGraphics who kept the ship going and also for putting up with me during these busy times of juggling AKGraphics and Mind Over Matter. Also a big shout out to Stephanie of AKGraphics who kept me calm and reminded me of where I was to be but basically just kept me on track as she does everyday in AKGraphics and as you can imagine that is not an easy task….
To my own family also for putting up with me during Mind Over Matter it was not easy guys but thank you for your patience. I hope sincerely I have not forgotten to thank anyone, but if I did please forgive me.

Thank you to all the hard core creatives (189 creatives in total in 9 different locations around Ireland), who raised an incredible E23,500 for Aware and what a difference that will make…brilliant initiative with a brilliant result – an inspirational event.

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How effective is your preserves packaging?

Over the weekend Blas na hEireann took place and is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce in Ireland. This year in the Jellies category Rose Hip Jelly won gold, Dunnes Stores won silver and Gibney’s Preserves won bronze in the Blas na hEireann food awards 2018. Upon reading this news we decided to look at our top favourite packaging for preserves to demonstrate the importance of high quality, professionally designed packaging. Packaging is the first physical impression consumers receive when interacting with your product. Businesses should evaluate whether their packaging meets the same standards of their product. Perhaps re-evaluate and think about what your current packaging says about your product.

We recently designed a wrap around clear label for all 11 of their preserves for The Old Yard. The Old Yard wanted the contents of the jar to be the main focus so the label that was designed was clear with white text. The white text gives the illusion that it’s handwritten with a white marker. It gives the design a personal and organic feel.

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This design from La Tia Fina (not designed by AKGraphics) jams is different to The Old Yard but also gives an organic feel to the product . Each label is originally based off the fruit being stamped on the label with a little paint. Along with the black paper cover for the lid and the string tie this packaging is very eye-catching and would stand out on the shelves.

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As you can see the concept behind The Old Yard and La Tia Fina’s products are quite similar, the desire to portray an organic and handmade touch to their jams through the packaging. As you can see from the images both designs are completely different but both equally deliver that concept successfully.

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This Apricot Vanilla Jam (not designed by AKGraphics) was designed in Hungary; we love the intricate detail of the illustration. Something very different to the two previous examples but demonstrates that details can work effectively for packaging if designed professionally.

If you are selling a top quality product we believe that your packaging should be top quality too. Let your product sell itself with professionally designed packaging and labels to really push your business and increase sales.

If you are considering redesigning your current packaging or if you’re starting from scratch, please contact Anne on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie and we will guide you through this process.

 

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Award Winning Design Agency – Customer Service – Professional Service – Carlow Business Awards 2018

Such a great night last Thursday at the 2018 County Carlow Chamber Business Awards in Visual Carlow. To have the opportunity to network with the very best businesses in County Carlow is always great and also the presence of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was another bonus to the night. To top the night off AKGraphics won the ‘Customer Service – Professional Award’ and what a honour that was to win. Delighted for all the team at AKGraphics who work so hard everyday on behalf of our customers. What a creative design team we have in AKGraphics Carlow who think before they design, who ask questions about the target market, who create a design brief for every job, who understand business and once we get all the answers right we then start the design process. Our design presentations are of a very high standard in AKGraphics as we aim to impress our customers. Once we receive feedback from our customers we then adapt our designs accordingly and prepare final artwork files for print/digital use. Seeing the finished result is still an exciting moment in AKGraphics, a proud moment to view all our hard work. AKGraphics liaise with our customers on a daily basis, to make sure we deliver on time. Our customer service in AKGraphics is second to none as this is one thing that I have always instilled with all staff since starting my business over 20 years ago. AKGraphics have seen many businesses grow from strength to strength, but we still get a real buzz in seeing how our design sells that business, product or service. Repeat business is part and parcel of AKGraphics, gaining the trust of our customers is what we want. Still to this day we get lots of new exciting business coming through our doors in AKGraphics, that’s still what we love to get out hands on. Giving them professional advice and direction to guide them on the right path. Getting our teeth into a new design project is exciting for AKGraphics as we review the competition, the target market and plan our innovative options for that customer. There is never a dull moment in AKGraphics as deadlines have to be met on a daily basis.

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A big thanks to all our customers, the marketing companies and marketing people who we work with daily and all our printers who work with us. Thank you to all the judges, the MC/ presenter Eimear Ni Bhraonain of KCLR, the sponsors, Visual Carlow and all the team at County Carlow Chamber of Commerce and lastly all the team at AKGraphics – without you AKGraphics would not exist.

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If you would like to talk to AKGraphics about your design requirements for your business, whether you are an entrepreneur, startup or existing business please call me on 059 9133633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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All your questions about Mind Over Matter answered.

All your questions about Mind Over Matter answered.

Mind Over Matter is a national day of creativity in aid of Aware. Designers across Ireland are donating their time on October 10th, which is World Mental Health Day in aid of Mental Health Awareness. You can book to speak to any of our designers for €75 per hour in relation to any design queries/needs you or your business may have.

Anyone can book a consultation with an experienced designer; we have a team of 12 different designers in Carlow on October 10th. Each 1hr slot is €75 and is in aid of Aware. You will be receiving professional knowledge to help you at a low cost from designers who have worked in their industry for at least 5 years. We are looking for; entrepreneurs, startup businesses, and established businesses to come to VISUAL Carlow on October 10th to soak up all of the knowledge that our experienced designers have to offer.

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Here is a breakdown of the range of designers you can choose from in Carlow.

Product Designer – Jack Gregan

Jack can advise you on your new product or improve your existing product.

Architect – Liam McLoughlin – McLoughlin Architecture

Liam’s professional knowledge and experience of architecture is available to you.

UX/UI Designer – Mick Brady – Unum

Improve how your customers interact with your product/service with Micks advice.

Interior Designer – Elke Fingleton – Lifepath Designs

Transform your interiors with professional knowledge from Elke.

Creative Strategist – Rachel Kane – Lifehack

Brainstorm with Rachel and receive creative advice.

Advertising Creative – Eric Rainsberry – Creative Group Head at Saatchi & Saatchi Budapest

Speak to Eric in relation to your advertising needs.

6 different Graphic Designers

  • Anne Kelly – AKGraphics
  • Gillian Reidy – Penhouse
  • James Kelly – ThreeSixty
  • Rory Dowling – Head of Branding & Retail in Clickworks – Packaging Design Expert
  • Simone Hassett – Simone Hassett-Costello Graphic Design
  • Catriona Maher – Cat Maher Design

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Pick the brains of any of the experienced Graphic Designers to improve you design needs. It can be in relation to advertising, brand identity, brochures, etc.

For your €75 you will receive helpful information to enhance and grow your business. From a long term clients perspective, that one hour you spend with any of the professional designers in Carlow will be well spent. 100% of proceeds go to Aware, who make an important difference to peoples lives. All bookings must be made online at https://idimindovermatter.ie/venue/the-visual/.

If you have any questions or you are confused about which designer you should talk to please don’t hesitate to contact Anne Kelly on (0) 59 91 33633 or email anne@akgraphics.ie

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