In August we celebrated Willoughby’s 30th anniversary and told you about the launch of the Willoughby Innovation Lab — but the work remained a mystery as all of our projects were still in development. Now, we finally have something to share! That’s the thing about innovation. The work is so fresh that we’re sworn to secrecy by our clients until it goes public. Fortunately, we’re as good at keeping secrets as we are at concocting new product ideas.
CHALLENGE: How do you design a brand and packaging system that reflects a product’s earth-friendly values while making a luxury statement at the cosmetic counter?
PRODUCT: USDA-certified organic skin care
Founded by Jamie O’Banion, Organicare combines the results of performance technology with the safety of USDA organic certification, with 95% or more of each product’s contents certified organic. It has been formulated on the belief that pure, petro-chemical-free skin care is better for your body. Why put something on your skin that you wouldn't put into your stomach?
In the Willoughby Innovation Lab, each project begins with a big picture Vision Session where we work with the client to develop the brand’s core values, long-term goals, target audiences and positioning. Jamie and her team made this part of the process easy, with clear goals and a highly developed product combined with the experience and research to make it a success.
With our brand discovery information in hand, we set out to create a clean, sustainable and luxurious brand story that naturally complemented the product philosophy:
Our design exploration rolls into rapid prototyping. We start applying the designs to the package, looking at many designs to start and then gradually narrowing into the final design solution.
Next comes the all-important materials and manufacturing process. In designing for Organicare, it was important to achieve a luxury look-and-feel within the limitations of sustainable materials. To take the uncoated, earth-friendly paper board to the next level, we gave it a more tactile feel through an emboss on the flower and a proprietary, sustainable pearl coating. We worked with a carbon-neutral manufacturing facility powered by wind and hydropower, using paperboard that is 80% recycled and FSC certified.
“I care enough to take one small step today towards a better tomorrow.”
New Leaf Paper
CHALLENGE: How do you change the perception of recycled paper products in the retail marketplace?
PRODUCT: Retail Paper Goods
The mission of New Leaf Paper is to inspire a fundamental shift toward environmental responsibility in the paper industry — by first setting a successful example themselves.
Brand partners since 2007, the Willoughby Innovation Lab has strategically helped establish the New Leaf retail persona. When we first started working together, its young retail line was exclusively in Whole Foods, where, yes, it fit in nicely.
Today at Office Depot, it competes with non-recycled mainstream brands — offering equal or better quality, price and style, and a recycling messaging that is fun and optimistic. And early next year, watch for an extensive new line that will launch nationwide at Target. We can’t wait to feature it in the Beeswax.
Each new extension has further defined the New Leaf brand personality. Further showing the world that you don’t have to sacrifice quality to make responsible choices and that style and sustainability can coexist. That’s our favorite part.
CHALLENGE: How do you take a beloved brand out of its signature retail experience and translate it to a pre-packaged single serve grocery item?
PRODUCT: Bottled smoothies
To take the Jamba Juice brand into the grocery aisle, the Willoughby Innovation Lab, in collaboration with J. Kirk Davis Consulting, began with a deep dive into the brand and the juice/smoothie competitive set. We digitally prototyped a series of design studies for juice bottle packaging. Colors, symbols, attitude, voice — what would translate best to loyal Jamba customers while resonating with grocery shoppers? The concepts were prototyped for consumer focus groups and Affinnova testing to help determine how to best optimize the Jamba brand for the ready-to-drink category prior to commercialization.
Willoughby Named World-Class Design Firm
Thanks again, Sean!
Print Regional Design Annual
This year’s prestigious Print Magazine Regional Design Annual featured a Willoughby Innovation Lab favorite — the New Leaf composition book for Office Depot. Our modern interpretation of the classic notebook motif communicates the New Leaf message at a glance.
A New Look to Call Our Own
To commemorate our 30th anniversary, we thought a new brand identity for Willoughby would be appropriate. The new design was unveiled in true Willoughby fashion, on the side of the Design Barn with the night sky as a backdrop. Oooh… Ahhh…
When our new business cards arrived, many had new titles on them. (It was very exciting.) They are:
Nate Hardin, Design Director
Stephanie Lee, Art Director
Ryan Jones, Designer &
We’ve also changed our company structure from an LLC to a Corporation. We’re now Willoughby Design, Inc. This change allows Ann to continue setting the stage for future growth. Megan, Zack and Katy will be taking on larger roles in the company, while Ann continues as President and Creative Officer.
Our new website is coming soon — watch for it!
IN THE HIVE
The Hills are Alive
Symphony in the Flint Hills is a treat for the senses. Each summer since 2004, audiences from around the country flock to eastern Kansas for an outdoor symphonic event that celebrates the beauty of the region.
With aspirations to become a Kansas arts institution, the Symphony in the Flint Hills organization has hired Willoughby to develop a cohesive vision and identity system that will help heighten appreciation and knowledge of the tallgrass prairie. More to come in 2009.
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Questions? Comments? Something to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willoughby Design, Inc.