In the summer of 2015, I was an intern with the Peace & Justice Center. At their store, they sell fair trade items and crafts from around the world, whether it’s chocolate from a Ghanaian co-op, bags made by Mexican Zapatistas, or just local art.
A unique insight we found was that many customers who shopped with us, or shopped fair trade for that matter, wanted to know the story. Considering the globally-minded individuals who fall into this camp, it makes sense; it’s not just about ensuring that nobody was exploited in a good’s production, it’s about knowing the struggles and triumphs that went into it.
To capitalize on this, I produced a series of vendor spotlight videos. We were on a limited budget, so unfortunately, we were unable to travel to the source of the products and interact with the creators, but we had unique insights from the vendors who traveled the world and immersed themselves in the culture. A few examples follow:
Old Spokes Home is a nonprofit organization from Burlington, VT. In addition to providing bicycles, gear, and repair services, they also are owned by Bike Recycle Vermont, which provides cheap bikes to low-income Vermonters.
Working with them was the first time I got to see a project from the research phase to the ad development phase. We found that a major point of confusion in the community was the organizational structure, given that both OSP and BRVT were established groups in the community and that the merger was recent.
The two following ads were designed for use in local papers, one focusing on the social mission, and the other targeting young professionals while offering an alternative form of transportation.
I was working with a team on designing a brand for a startup winery, known then as Vermont Vines on the River. The clients were the Herrimans, a lovely Vermont couple who had just begun to cultivate their land into a vineyard. Given that their name was quite a mouthful, they were open to changing the name of their brand of wine.
For weeks, they had stressed the importance of including their dog, Jaeger, somewhere in the branding. After a group meeting, where some sketches were thrown around, they commented that they enjoyed our use of cork in the materials. It was then that I made the joke that sparked a brand.
“Why don’t we call it CorkDog?”
They reacted positively immediately, and we pushed forward with a new brand identity. They specifically wanted a family friendly brand; even if the children couldn’t drink, they wanted to have children at the events and at their winery. We started with a fun, poppy logo, which evolved over the process, given client feedback.
The final logo was more traditional, highlighting the power and elegance of their dog, which they wished to convey to their brand.
I took point on developing a launch event for CorkDog, and in keeping with the theme of families and hunting dogs, we designed Fall Fest. A layout of the event follows.
The CorkDog brand launch event will be hosted on September 15th, 2016 on the Herrimans’ property. The event will have a number of activities leading up to the main event, a dinner party hosted outside. The tentative schedule is as follows:
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Meet and Greet
This will be held outside in a large, tented area, with a small buffet of appetizers and wine. Music will be playing and the Herrimans will introduce themselves and lay out the general timeline of events. They can mix and mingle with guests following this, sharing stories as people snack and drink. Music selections aren’t set in stone, but will generally be upbeat rock and alternative (e.g. The Beatles, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin’s lighter songs).
Food will include nice cheeses to pair with the wine, along with a chocolate fountain and small appetizers such as bacon wrapped fig and bruschetta.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Pup’s Playhouse
While the parents are at the Meet and Greet, the children will have one of their own. It will be a small playground, set up with a hay bale maze, a slide, and other odds and ends to keep them occupied. They, too, will be served some snacks here, but their refreshment choices are limited strictly to that which is non-alcoholic.
Children are welcome at the Meet and Greet, but for parents who want their children to socialize, play, or just want some time alone, the Pup’s Playhouse is a safe, chaperoned area for children to hang out. It will be near the Meet and Greet, so any children who want to reunite with their parents need only walk a few yards.
1:00PM – 2:30PM: Cork Dog’s Wild Hunt
At this time, children and adults will reunite for a scavenger hunt across the Herrimans’ property. The first clue will be given verbally at the Meet and Greet, leading them to the first location. From then on, clues will be given by signs at each location. Along the way, there will be merchandise that guests can take. The locations are as follows:
Clue: “Though it winds, it’s not a clock. Runs all day, but cannot walk.”
Merchandise: Compass Keychain
Clue: “When it rains and will not stop, here we never feel a drop.”
Merchandise: Stuffed Dog
Clue: “What’s white and red and sweet and round? Go where they grow from the ground!”
Merchandise: Wine Glasses
Clue: “Good job seeking, you’ve got a knack. But you must get on the right track.”
Clue: “It’s dinnertime, so feast your eyes! Come back for a big surprise!”
Merchandise: Bottle of Wine (if one of the first three groups back, they win a mini barrel of wine)
The hunt leads guests back to the tent, giving the hosts enough time to set up for the final event. The bottles of wine will be veiled on the center of the table, and guests will be instructed not to lift them up until otherwise told.
2:30PM – 5:00PM: Dinner Party
Once everyone is seated, the Herrimans will recount their story of starting a winery, standing on a small stage. On this stage, as well, is a table with two veiled bottles of wine. They will segue into how they’re launching a new brand of wine and will have guests unveil it as they do so on the stage – CorkDog!
Then will be the dinner, with a buffet-style setup where guests can serve themselves, and are welcomed to the new CorkDog brand of wine. This will go on for some time, as the Herrimans socialize and people wrap up their dinners.
5:00PM – 7:30PM: Afterparty
The final leg is the afterparty, which is completely optional. It will be a low-key event around a campfire, with a small stand at which the Herrimans can sell bottles of CorkDog, miniature barrels, and other merchandise. Preferably, there would be music and stories around the fire, but it’s expected that most of the guests will have left by then.
In addition, I designed a poster for the event, minding the scavenger hunt as a large draw for families in the area.
We presented these materials, in addition to social media and merchandise recommendations, to the Herrimans. I would by lying if I said I wasn’t proud when they told us, “You will see CorkDog on the shelves.”
As part of an anti-idling social marketing campaign, I worked with a group in designing a series of promotional materials. The following pieces are drafts of a completed project, and are my personal submissions to the project.
This is a direct marketing piece, designed as a postcard to be distributed through the mail. It twists the classic greetings card by presenting a portent of what the future could hold should idling continue in the state. This is mainly geared towards parents in the Burlington area, and specifically mentions the harmful health effects that idling can cause in children.
The motto of this campaign is “Turn the key. Be idle-free.” The logo is designed for a hypothetical organization, AIMVT (Anti-Idling Movement: Vermont).
A lighter addition to the project is this bus advertisement. Vermonters take pride in the Green Mountains, considering we are indeed the Green Mountain State. This ad would travel across the city on the CCTA bus system, which has undertaken their own efforts to reduce idling. The message here is clear: idling endangers the very mountains from which we take our name, and the view that residents and visitors have come to know and love.
It is by convenience that the real Smoky Mountains are in Tennessee, and that it rhymes so perfectly with the motto we’ve adopted.