Billboard design, canberra

My first billboard design in Canberra

As a kid, I was fascinated by masterpieces of classic and modern literature and ‑like many others my age- dreamed of writing a novel, or a collection of short stories and become a famous literary figure. I even had a very good name for my hypothetical novel, which is so good I won’t tell anybody, just in case I find time in this life to write the book. I was living the lives of Bulgakov, Joyce, Proust, and Kafka and spent days and nights working on my own short stories. Life, however, had a different plot for me, with different characters playing pivotal roles in my life, and to my surprise, my first work that printed maybe in millions was not a novel or a collection of short stories, actually not a bonded book at all, but a package I’ve designed for a fountain pen. It was not an excellent pen and certainly didn’t had a very good package. My “work of art” was judged and used in a very different way than what I originally had in mind, but, it touched so many people, perhaps a lot more than the number of people who might read my stories.

I think, for graphic designers, consumer product package design and billboards are two empowering and critical subjects at the same time. Both of them are “out there” to be judged and experienced by almost every kind of person in society, not to mention that their impact is also measurable in various ways.

This is my first billboard in Canberra, Australia. The brand must attract attention in the shortest span of time (around 2.5 seconds, before display switches to another ad), and should be visible under the southern sun.
Because branding hadn’t defined a secondary colour, I’ve chosen the most visible and noticeable yellow the outdoor advertising industry recommends of LED displays.

The photo is taken by Canon 5D mark II and Canon EF 17 – 40mm f/4.0L USM.

Big Impact Advertising is the billboard provider.

 

B2B Magazine issue 116

B2B Magazine issue June 2016 is out

Photography for this issue’s cover story is done by fantastic Canberra photographer Andrew Sikorski (AIPP). Visit his website Life in Canberra and you will see there’s not a photo in it which one can’t learn some compositional lesson from it.

Also, we have two aerial shots from Canberra by Tim our editor which are fantastic and show how our aging Canon 5D Mark II and it’s wide angle L lens are capable of producing sharp and detailed landscapes. Some de-hazing is done using lightroom which saturated colours a bit, albeit in a good way. I think shooting a landscape of Canberra is open to all sort of beautiful post processing interpretations and we just had to choose one of those that fit’s the context and looked best in print:

Canberra aerial shot by Tim Benson
Photo by Tim Benson — Canon 5D Mark II, 40mm, 𝑓/8.0, 1/125sec — Canon EF 17 – 40mm 𝑓/4 L USM

Here are some pages that I like their design more:

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Here’s the complete magazine to read:

 

 

Northbourne Ave, looking north west. Civic, Canberra, ACT.

B2B Magazine April issue is out.

One of the challenges of the April issue of the B2B Magazine was the choice of photography for Cheif Minister’s message. The good news of growing confidence in ACT’s business landscape rightfully demands pictures of a “hustling and bustling” market, something difficult to get in Canberra, not because it’s not energetic and active, but because of its careful urban design that distributes the population and avoids bottlenecks and crowds, except for festivals and celebrations.

So, I’ve decided to take some long-exposure shots of Bunda street and London circuit at night to communicate the feeling of constant flow of humans in the city.

Thanks to B2B publisher and editor Tim Benson for being supportive and patient with me to try my chances on the night shots.

Photos taken by Canon 5D Mark II, 17 – 40 L USM and a vintage Japanese brass tripod of past century bought in an antique shop for 3 dollars because we couldn’t find the ball head mount of our office tripod.

As always, for those that are interested in design, here is the link to the magazine in print form, as well as a selection of my designs that I like the most on this issue.

 

 

Smart Business Guardian — print campaign

Smart Business Guardian is a growing and highly successful business administration firm with a focus on start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, based in Canberra.

In their quest to create their own mindshare in the Canberra’s crowded accounting and business administration services market, they needed a bold and simple communication approach that appeals to businesses that aspire to grow, but are swamped in day to day administrative tasks.

Smart business guardian advertising campaign

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Smart business guardian advertising campaign

By creating a story in a series of ads, forging an identity for the brand without adding any extra colours or visual elements to the original branding ‑which is not designed by me‑, I’ve tried to communicate a plain and simple message to potential clients, without adding extra levels of design elements.

Brand refresh: Myson Home Appliances

 

Client: Myson
Field: Home Appliances
Task: Complete branding overhaul
Year: 2003
Keywords: Bilingual Typography, Rebranding, Home Appliances, package design

Challenge

Myson home appliances used to be private label brand with problems in design coherence and visual appeal. The client needed a brand communication strategy that would help them stand out among the many other products in the market. The budget was minimal and because products had a variety of sources, keeping communication consistent was difficult.

Logo, old and new
Logo, old and new

Solution

By phasing out the archaic and generic old logo, and emphasizing the human factor and comfort that the brand will bring to its audience, I changed the logo and designed a new, uniform design language for all packages. By providing a flexible and scalable design, I helped the client provide designs to a multitude of OEMs across the world electronically and avoiding print and design errors.

Results

Myson is now considered a respectable brand in the target market and sits comfortably beside reputable European and Japanese brands that have considerable advertising budgets.

Avoiding “bullet-point” marketing communication

Usually, a home appliance package has several lists of product features and “selling points” in a flat hierarchy that are presented by bullet-points. While informing the customer about the vital specifications is necessary, by removing the unnecessary “bullet-point” marketing copy and focusing on a verbal communication style, focusing only on what’s important to the customer, I created a clean, clear and different package that stands out on the store shelves.

 

 

 

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Brand refresh: Hansa

Hansa: Merging 3 brands into one
Field & Country of Origin: Writing Instruments, Promotional Gifts / Hong Kong
Task: Identity overhaul, package design, Typography
Design Year: 2005 onwards
Keywords: product development, package design, bilingual typography, branding, brand refresh

Challenge: Back in 2005, the company that owns the brand, faced tough competition and a fragmentation of its product branding and identity. The company owned three brands, all active in gift and premium market and they all suffered from poor, inconsistent branding communication.

Solution: I got involved with their project when they asked me to design a catalog for Hansa, which eventually led me to persuade them not only to change the branding communication system but also, abandon their two other brands and merge their product lines into one.

Logo, before and after the transformation
Logo, before and after the transformation

Results: It was a very tough decision for the traditional, family owned company; however, the results were astonishing. After a year, Hansa sales increased by 1.5 times and it became the number one gift brand in the region. The brand has hundreds of products in its portfolio. All package designs were done and sent electronically to various manufacturers in Hong Kong. So, I had to find a way to keep all things in harmony, while keeping the costs down. A two colour (black & silver) uniform design agreed with the client. Some of the items in this picture are sold as low as 1.5 USD, but in terms of positioning, since we changed the brand image, costumers see this brand on par with major premium brands.

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