(This is part 4 of a 5-part process thread that we will be posting every day this week.)
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

We reassembled with Two Bettys and discussed the three revisions we had come up with (see the previous thread for images); an expanded example of the leaf/droplet/petal pattern, a more hand-made house-leaf option, and our third cleanser boxes option. From our perspective, this third and final direction met so much of our criteria, we almost felt like we should have pulled a Paul Rand and just shown that one. It seemed that Two Bettys agreed.

The box logo sketches were warmly received as it connected with the client on numerous levels. We had an in-depth discussion about ideas represented in the design, how we might implement it currently and how it might work on a longer timeline. We discussed how the volume of something so intentionally loud and brash could be turned down at a later date if need be. It sparked a great discussion of idea vs. style within graphic design. We talked about ways in which the visual communication of Two Bettys could shift and advance over time, while still staying true to the message that the visual language conveyed that Two Bettys is fairly unconventional and not your run-of-the-mill green company (OR cleaning company.) We all agreed that this option was the right one to move on, and began to flesh out the identity to see how it would exist in the world.

Our first challenge was coming up with the piece for local communication that could work alongside, or even replace, the existing Two Bettys calling card posters. We discussed table-top displays and were inspired by Studio On Fire’s custom die-line for their own calendar series that we had sitting around the studio. But we knew we needed to make something just as special that connected with the Two Bettys voice that we were establishing. That’s when we started cutting and folding paper.

The above photo is the construction process for a custom Two Bettys card display die-line. We began in the upper left with the seemingly simple goal of replacing the pockets on their posters with a spout (which, thankfully, didn’t really work at all.) The idea of a sliding spout expanded incrementally into a stand that needed to be folded upon itself to reinforce a spout (that dumpy, flimsy freestanding thing on the upper-right.) The box tightened up, as did the spout, until it grew some side-walls and formed to the proportions of an actual box. The final flat die-line—tweaked and produced with some help from local embosser—is on the bottom right. In the end what we had designed was a freestanding, glueless display box we could screen print here at the studio and have trimmed by the embosser. It could hold calling cards on-location, but also serve as a leave-behind “vessel” that Two Bettys could employ for numerous promotional and (literally) in-house purposes.

Once we had a display design that we were excited about, it was time to flesh out how the proposed identity might work within this context. Here are some initial pasteboard sketches of a proposed series of boxes:

And a box mock-up, sent in-process to the client for initial sign-off.

In-process artwork approved! The nuances of the identity were slowly coming to life. The identity will exist, for now, as a series of three box/typograhic designs each vaguely referencing stylistic ques from past decades (’40s, ’50s, ’60s represented currently.) Typography is an intentionally ham-fisted and unsystematic collection of sans-serifs (Gotham, Futura, Akzidenz, Refrigerator [our new gas-pipe favorite], and some other random found letterpress type) sprinkled throughout. We can’t explain what it is, or analyze how to construct it, but there is a delicate balance of this weird unsystematic usage, depending on size and relationship. Futura-Bold Condensed didn’t always work or feel right in spots where Gotham did, etc. Colors varied widely during the process but we whittled down to a 3-color set based on flourescent blue, yellow, and red, distributed evenly throughout the three designs. The final printed boxes would be 4/1, custom-mixed fluorescent red, yellow, blue, and silver over silver. We moved forward on finessing the final box dielines, artwork and calling cards and began the print process:


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  2. […] TWO BETTYS – PROCESS THREAD (PART 4) |Mar 3, 2011 … It could hold calling cards on-location, but also serve as a leave-behind “vessel” that Two Bettys could employ for numerous promotional and … […]

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