Category: Design

The Flapper How To Guide

The Flapper is one of our most popular and effective designs because of how interactive and engaging it is. Here are some quick tidbits about the Flapper:

  • It has increased campaign results for some clients by over 400% over previous campaigns
  • Gillette and others have used it as part of a magazine ad
  • It comes in multiple sizes
  • It produces mega results

Check out  Susie’s video that shows us just how easy and versatile The Flapper is to use.

You may also like take a look at our Flapper How To Guide.

Are you ready to design yours?

What it Means to Say I’m a Creative: Shin Wakabayashi

This is the first installment in our “What it Means to Say I’m a Creative” series, meant to focus on the inspiration and drive behind each one of our paper engineers.
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  1. How did you know you wanted to create (in a professional sense)?
    I remember since I was around 5 growing up watching cartoons, playing with legos, and drawing especially. My father inspired me since he drew often as a hobby, and I became more interested in pursuing a profession related to art and design during college after learning about its diverse opportunities.
  2. What advice would you give to others who want to work in a creative industry/ position?
    My advice would be to show your work to different people especially those whose work you admire and listen to their critique on your pieces. It’s good to be open to constructive criticism to figure out why some aspects work and why some don’t.
  3. What does creativity mean to you?
    To me, creativity means looking at things in a different perspective or doing something in a different way. It might help to try different hobbies, jobs, sports or artforms to inspire other methods of thinking or finding something relatable to your primary creative activity. I can relate dancing to design in that both forms allow the person to take certain existing moves or elements and his or her own spin on them.
  4. How do you feel when you tell others you’re a paper engineer?
    I feel fortunate when I tell people about my job as a paper engineer because I don’t think there are many companies that have such positions.
  5. What does it mean to say that you’re a “creative”?
    I feel more secure calling myself a production artist or paper engineer because creatives can be seen in most professions or positions in a company. Creativity lives in art, design, education, scientific research and development, politics, etc.

To learn more about Shin, please click here.

Packaging Unboxed: How to Make Your Product Stand Out (In A Good Way)

Hani Douaji / Via behance.net
The old adage goes something like this: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Except when it comes to packaging, that is.
Though packaging been around for generations, in today’s digital-savvy, uber competitive retail environment, first impressions are almost as important as the product itself, with innovative, fun, or even weird packaging helping a product to stand out from its competitors. At times, the way an item looks can actually make or break a sale.
Let me tell you a personal story…
Lots of you have probably heard about or even seen those small, egg-shaped EOS lip balms (yup, those ones). Well, I was recently talking with a girlfriend of mine who pulled one out of her purse and started using it despite the fact that she liked some other brands of lip balms better. So, why did she buy this one? Because it looked cute.
Maybe you’ve experienced this, too? Bueller…? Bueller…?
Isabella de Felice / Via lushlee.com
Isabella de Felice / Via lushlee.com

Whether it’s an edgy typeface that gets your customers, some cool pops of color or the versatility of an eco-friendly container, we’ve probably all had a moment like my friend here where we’ve purchased something simply because of the way it looks and, more importantly, for our perceptions of how a product will make us feel. (Here’s an example of how the psychology of packaging applies in the alcohol industry).

That’s the whole point.
Packaging, when done correctly, is ultimately what sells your product in the end. It draws attention, sends a powerful message and elicits a specific response from your customers.
Here’s an example of a packaging design we created for Nokia:
Nokia Mural Launch Kit

Packaging Infographic Marketers
So, what’s a marketer to do to stand out from the crowd?
Well, if you’re a devout believer in creating a branded experience for your customers, making your product relevant and increasing your sales, follow these five Packaging Commandments and you just might create product packaging that will outlive us all.
  1. Thou shalt embrace all manners of colors, patterns, textures and sizes.
  2. Thou shalt never forget to think about the customer’s experience.
  3. Thou shalt utilize all available space to the best of thou’s ability.
  4. Thou shalt be playful, be bold, be simplistic – Thou shalt stay true to him/ herself.
  5. Thou shalt always tell a good, compelling and powerful story.
Feeling insanely creative? Give us a call at 860-767-2661 or shoot us an email. Together we can make your packaging really pop.

Drink Me: Marketing in the Alcohol Industry

A few tips (on the house).

“Marketing” is a broad term that embodies a wide range of activities and disciplines that promote and sell a product. It casts a wide net that is open to interpretation; and when you throw alcohol into the equation, well things can get a little crazy.

(Wait, what happened last night?)

Cheers!

First thing’s first. When you are marketing in the alcoholic beverage industry, the same basic marketing rules still apply.

Your 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion

So, how exactly do these relate to alcohol beverage marketing? Let’s break it down.

Product

At the risk of stereotyping, there are certain alcohols that appeal to a younger crowd that do not appeal to older folk, and vice versa. My dad loves his tried and true Tito’s (really, Tito’s, my dad is your biggest fan – going on 10 years strong which is some serious brand loyalty).  I, on the other hand, the millennial in all of my glory, am more likely to try something different simply because the packaging catches my eye.

It’s no secret that our generations shop differently: my dad has been going to the same mechanic for years, whereas I go wherever the deepest discount is, or wherever the most convenient location is.

A study in Australia determined that adolescents were more likely to gravitate towards ‘alcopops’, a.k.a. booze-y drinks that have very little actual booze in them – malt beverages, wine coolers, etc. – because the packaging is designed to look like a soft drink.

Colorful-Cans

Price

Everyone loves a good discount. It is common knowledge that if we will get a discount on buying more, we will buy more (see Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.) whether we really need it or not. And not to much surprise, when we buy more, we consume more. Shots, shots, shots shots, shots, shots, shots shots…

Price discounts and promotions can have a huge impact on volume of alcohol purchases. They can be a key marketing tool for producers and retailers.

A study conducted by Alcohol Focus Scotland found that supermarket promotions and discounts on alcohol increased sales by 20 – 25%. 

Place

Location, location, location. Anyone who has ever been in a liquor store knows that those places can get pretty crowded. So many brands are trying to promote their products on the shelves or even at the register, so it can be hard to stand out and get the consumer to pay attention and make them want to buy. Did you know that companies pay top dollar for prime shelf space in the stores?

But once you have that spot, how do you stand out among the rest of the bottles of the shelves surrounding it?

Diageo was wondering the same thing, so their agency came to us looking for new ideas of how they could boost sales in stores. This was the first time they have ever done anything like this – and viola, they were so successful, that they have already placed their second order!

Ciroc Case Tucker
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

How exactly do they work? These case tuckers were tucked in between the shelves in between the bottles, promoting and drawing attention to their products.

Case Tuckers5
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Ciroc Case Tucker

Case tuckers are a unique way to sell your customer directly while they are shopping, begging for customers attention. These most certainly trump the Sharpie and neon signs you see on every shelf promoting cheap liquor and practically screaming, “DON’T DRINK ME.”

Case Tuckers3
Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Captain Morgan Case Tucker

 

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Diageo/Marketing Agency & Structural Graphics // Captain Morgan Case Tucker

Promotion

Alcohol promotions are everywhere. Sponsorships, advertisements,  commercials, events, the list goes on. Increasingly, alcohol is being promoted more and more via social media.

Do you need to promote your liquor brand, or unveil a new one? A truly exciting and creative way to do so is to host a PR event. And that’s exactly what Bacardi Brands did with when they came to Structural Graphics to create their Dewar’s Influencer Kit!

See below.

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The Marketing Arm came to us to develop and design this beautiful Dewar’s influencer kit. The kit was for a PR event unveiling two new brands, Craigellechie and Aberfeldy, and showcases each in a storybook format appropriately titled “The Tale of Two Whiskies”.

To read more about this super cool launch, click here!


It’s no secret that no matter what you’re promoting, you need a way to stand out amongst the crowd. Need to reach your audience? Give yourself some height by adding a little dimension to your brand.

Pop-Up Houses & Dimensional Buildings

At Structural Graphics, we are well known for creating highly visually appealing, dimensional masterpieces out of paper.  One of our most popular requests are dimensional houses and buildings, which can be great for making an announcement of a new location (restaurant, business, school, etc.), announcing a renovation, creating a cozy holiday scene – the possibilities are endless!

Santa Snack Station

 

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Boston Group, Captivate Network, Fully Dimensional Skyscraper
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Choice Hotel, Fully Dimensional
Woosley Hall
Woolsey Hall
ProSource Popup Page
ProSource Popup Page
Fisher Communications, Pop Up Building
Fisher Communications, Pop Up Building

 

Pop Up Campus Layout
Pop Up Campus Layout

 

Pharmacia, Arthrotec. Fully Dimensional Restaurant.
Pharmacia, Arthrotec. Fully Dimensional Restaurant.

 

Intervisual, Target.
Intervisual, Target.

 

A&E, The History Channel.
A&E, The History Channel. Fully Dimensional.
Food Lion, Pop Up store. Fully dimensional with reference guide.
Food Lion, Pop Up store. Fully dimensional with reference guide.

And with the holiday’s quickly approaching, consider the pop-up house format from Red Paper Plane.

Red Paper Plane Pop-up House Format
Red Paper Plane Pop-up House Format

Whirlpool’s Marketing Gets the Right People Talking

Whirlpool’s 360-degree approach to marketing, incorporating web, TV and print, has made it’s brand presence more relevant and attractive to consumers in the home appliance marketplace.
Continue reading

Packaging Trends: What Your Consumers Love

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames, American graphic designer

Structural Graphics takes a special interest in what retail consumers want to see on product packaging, so when we came across Deborah Ginsburg’s article, “Top Packaging Design Trends for 2015” we perked up, eager to see what insights the founder and CEO of Strategia Design had to offer. Turns out, we couldn’t agree more. Continue reading

‘One Channel Never Enough’: Q&A With Margie Dana

Author & print industry expert Margie Dana
Author & print industry expert Margie Dana

Margie Dana — author of three books on printing and print buying and an industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience — recently chatted with Structural Graphics to help inform our audience about different ways marketers can extend their brand’s influence through integrated print campaigns. Continue reading