Outstanding By Design – thank you

Phew. Full house, great presentations and attendees who learned loads.


This is Sarah from Brand Union working through their creative process on the Paddy O rebrand and them individually below on winning advertising and consistent growth.

Next up were Laura Macaulay and Kristina Moody on Katu Honey and trade not aid.

Erik Johansson, Green Man Studio and Paul O’Connor of Trouble Brewing on voodoo dolls and not being sued by a multi-national

All that stood between us and lunch was fudge. Mella McAuley and Liz Maybury on V1 branding (disaster) and V2 which wasn’t

Its after lunch and Steve Simpson plays the role of client and illustrator (Mic of Chilli fame was unable to make it)

Skoffing, food service and a son who cooks from Liz Skehan and Rachel Kerr

A ten year relationship between designer and brand – Lozenzo Tonti and Fingal Ferguson

Finally Giles Calver rounded out with some observations based on his packaging collecting habit :-)

So many thanks to each of the speakers – its a big ask for a full Saturday from each of them.

Ken McGuire shot video for the full day and right now he is editing and doing post production – big thanks Ken.

My brother David Bohanna and Theresa Phelan assisted on the day. Miriam Donohue helped with PR. Helen Costello did catering (yum).

And final shout out is to Julie and Rod Calder Potts. They are wonderful hosts and a joy to work with – genuine people. Biabeag events are as much them as me.

Loads more on the day coming up over the coming days and weeks.


Illustrated barcodes? @stevesimpson explains these and more at Outstanding By Design

You know when a designer gets full reign to do whatever their imagination dictates. That must have been what the relationship between Steve Simpson and Mic Wejchert of Mic’s Chilli must have been like. Can’t wait to hear the pair of them at Outstanding By Design.

These screenshots taken from Steve’s Dropr page.

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More details and a booking link for the day (next Saturday 10th May) here.


Outstanding By Design – why are attendees booking?

Couple of blog posts between now and next Saturday’s Outstanding By Design featuring people and businesses who will be there on the day. So you get a sense of what is driving them.

Conor Mulhall, General Manager, The Little Milk Company

“Irish Organic Dairy producer The Little Milk Company confirmed that they were the winner of the Best Organic Cheese award at the 2013 British Cheese awards. The results of the 20th British Cheese Awards were announced on Friday night in a big top marquee on a quintessentially English village green in the heart of Cotswolds. During the Summer months they also won a silver for their newest cheese the Organic Caerphilly and they won a Bronze and the prestigious Gold award for their Organic Mild Cheddar, Croagh Patrick.

According to the Little Milk Company General Manager Conor Mulhall they were thrilled, “We entered the Irish awards back in June and won four awards and then to come to the International awards in our first year and win 4 awards including the Gold is just amazing. It is a testament to the quality of our farms, our milk and all the hard work our farmers and excellent cheese makers have put in to get the cheese right.” The cheese is now available through Paxton and Whitfield as the Guest Cheese for September, and many others. It is also available online at their website www.thelittlemilkcompany.ie. The company are also in discussion with several other retailers with a view to getting the product available nationwide over the coming weeks.

Croagh Patrick Mild Organic Cheddar is made with the farmers own 100% certified Irish organic milk. This is made made using pasteurised milk. It is made using a traditional recipe and the cheese is then hand-wrapped in cheesecloth and hand turned in their maturing rooms. The cheese has a creamy taste, with a subtle and long lasting flavor. Other cheeses The Little Milk Company produce include: Mount Brandon Caerphilly (2 months old), Sliabh na mBan mature (aged from 9-14 months) and Sliabh na mBan vintage (aged from 14 months up). They are all high in anti-oxidants and rich in omega 3. The mature and vintage are made from raw milk. They has been very well received at tastings and they the company have received orders from France Germany, the UK and Dubai.”

Edmund Hart, Marketing Manager, GoatsBridge Trout Farm

“We have recently re-launched our shop and as part of an incentive we are looking to roll out our ‘fish Friday’ promotion where customers who come to our shop on Fridays can avail of special promotions. We are also actively looking to hold smoking workshops and cookery demonstrations throughout the year, anyone interested in booking these or simply coming down to the farm for a tour should go to www.goatsbridgetrout.ie for more info.”

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Helen Meade, Marketing Manager, Killowen Farm

Here at Killowen Farm yogurt we find packaging is an area of great complexity. We make everything from 125g pots right up to 10 Litre buckets for hotel and catering and we also do a greek-style yogurt range in glass jars. I suppose up until now we have been working on a “needs must” basis and figuring out our packaging on our own. This has led to a rather fragmented looking range with some labels are multi-tasking a bit too much over a wide variety of packs.
We also need to look at ingredients and labelling from a legislative perspective as there are new EU directives around this area.
We also want to tell the story of the farm and show the quality of the product better.
With all this in mind we are now looking to improve our packaging portfolio and the workshop is an excellent opportunity to get an idea of how the agency/client relationship works. It’s really good timing for us.
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Paul Broderick, General Manager, Pembroke Hotel

Its not just food producers! ” I have fairly good working knowledge of branding but currently in the process of tendering for the right designer to take our branding project to the next level. After making some wrong choices in the past, I want to ensure that I have the knowledge to write an effective brief to ensure we choose the right person for the Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel.”
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Look forward to meeting all of those and many more on Saturday 10th at Outstanding By Design – bringing food branding and packaging design to life :-)

Outstanding By Design – @lizmaybury and the story of the @MellasFudge packaging design

Cheating here, this is a guest post done for me by Liz in 2011 (5th May, almost 3 years ago!) and bringing it up the blog because Liz and Mella are one of the pairings in Outstanding By Design on 10th May. She may not like me for not updating her photo :-)

Elizabeth Maybury who shares the story of the Mella Fudge packaging design including some practical stuff on her experience of finding printers for the work. I first saw Mella Fudge in Partridges Fine Foods shop in Gorey.

This is Elizabeth

and this is her post:

Mella’s Fudge is based in Clonakilty, Co. Cork and produces the most amazing, buttery, crumbly, handmade fudge you will ever taste! The fudge currently comes in four flavours – vanilla, walnut, rum & raisin and chocolate.

I first met Mella a couple of years ago when I redesigned her logo. Mella’s name comes from the old Irish word for honey, which is represented in the logo by a little bee which forms the apostrophe of Mella’s. Honey is sugary, tasty, a treat – sharing the same sweet traits as fudge.

The brief

When it came to the packaging, the aim was to communicate that the fudge is a premium quality, luxury product, but also that it is handmade in a kitchen by Mella rather than mass produced. Mella asked me to incorporate gold foil somewhere on the packaging and I really wanted to use Kraft ribbed brown paper, so I thought the two combined would be a good way to communicate both the luxury (the gold foil) and handmade (the brown paper) qualities of the fudge.

Use of Colour

There is one colour to represent each flavour, making it easy to differentiate between each, but also complimentary when displayed together. The wrapper was carefully measured so that the edge of the bar would remain visible, even if there were slight discrepancies in each bar’s shape (it is handmade after all).

Sourcing a printer
The difficulties began when I went to source a printer. Most refused to even quote, as apparently gold foil on brown paper isn’t a very common request (who knew!). Finally I tracked down the wonderful Glennon Print in Ashbourne, Co. Meath (sadly they have recently ceased trading).

Reading the barcode

You will notice that the barcode is printed on a white background box. This was to ensure there would be enough contrast between the barcode and the background so that barcode readers could pick it up. Cue many test trips to my local shop to make use of their tills and try out the barcodes in various colours on various papers. Finally we decided the white background was the safest option as directly printing on the brown background was having unpredictable scanning results. So after several weeks of tests like this, ink checks, gold foil on Kraft tests, meetings and samples the job was finally ready to go to press.

The Press Check

I travelled up to Ashbourne for the press check, as the colour of the inks would change unpredictably when on the brown paper and they had to look exactly as intended. Several adjustments later and they were perfect. After printing they were sent out for gold foiling before being delivered to Mella in West Cork.

This was definitely one of the most challenging but also the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on. Mella and I were both happy with the results, and I really appreciate that Mella let me go with this when we were being told so often that gold foil on Kraft wasn’t possible. Glennon Print were brilliant to work with and put so much time into this.

Mella’s Fudge is stocked by Sheridan’s, Fallon & Byrne and others. Mella also sells her fudge at Bantry Market on Fridays and Schull Market on Sundays. The full list of stockists is available on her webpage www.mellasfudge.com

Elizabeth’s contact details:
Twitter: @lizmaybury

More on the full day on 10th May here and you can book there too :-)


What is Packaging Design?

This book by Giles Calver, who is with us for the day during Outstanding By Design on 10th May,  is now a reference for design students in the UK. It is strongly visual while containing a lot of very useful guidance around the application of brand within packaging.

It is not specifically just for food but contains a lot of food case studies.

Some excerpts with my comments on same:

“..with the prominence of branding, packaging is often the living embodiment of a brand’s values and personality”

> Packaging is important – but only part of the overall picture. If you don’t have a good grasp of the core elements of your marketing messages and branding positioning your packaging won’t make much difference

“Packaging’s primary face….should engage with consumers, attracting attention, triggering consideration”

> Your Packaging has only one goal – to sell your product. The design – a combination of the visual elements and the text – should be rigidly focused on that.

“The central message refers to the main persuasive issues or arguments.. the peripheral message refers to all other tangential elements…”

> You will have difficult choices to make – deciding what are the key 1 or 2 reasons why a consumer purchases your product/brand and ditching the rest in the packaging design 3 is the absolute limit – this is already too many messages for a consumer to scan.

“a brand becomes a compound of tangible and intangible values, the latter being formed in consumers minds it is very important to define your intangible values…packaging design can..portray these..”

> If you are a start-up your brand has no heritage so consumers start from scratch in sub-consciously deciding what the brand stands for. They will take a lot of their cues from the packaging and if you get it wrong your brand will suffer and you will loose control even faster

Giles will be with us for the full day during Outstanding By Design on 10th May and he will be available for 1 to 1 meet ups.

More information including the full line up and booking here.


Bord Bia Branding Workbook

Thanks to Bord Bia for giving us 20 copies of this workbook to use during Outstanding By Design on 10th May.

It steps through the various stages of developing a consumer focused approach to building a strong food brand in a well written and bound workbook. These are rare now – they have come towards the end of the print run – so treasure your copy if you get one!

All this and loads more on 10th May – click here for the full line up on the day.


Outstanding By Design – look at the range of design experience in the room :-)

The individual designers, larger companies and agencies who are on stage on 10th May have worked with the following food producers, restaurants and other food companies:

  • Bo Bristle
  • Donnelly
  • Pop Noodle
  • Saba
  • Pure Brazen
  • Skoff Pies
  • Total Produce
  • Finches
  • Glenilen
  • Cully & Sully
  • Dee’s
  • Rachel Allen
  • Paddy O’Granola
  • Galtee
  • King Gold Standard
  • Hodgins Craft Butcher
  • Country Kitchens Bakery
  • 8 Degrees
  • Firehouse Bakery
  • Gubeen
  • Mic’s Chilli
  • Fade St
  • Ed Hicks Bacon Jam
  • Mella Fudge
  • Dunnes Soups
  • Indulge Chocolates
  • Kerry Foods
  • Shellfish Ireland
  • Chilly Moo
  • Follain Preserves
  • Cavistons
  • Johnnie Walker
  • Cadbury Cocoa House
  • Tanqueray
  • Gordon’s
  • Windsor Diamond Jubilee
  • Chivas Brothers

That is an amazing array of design talent which each attendee will have access to and it is not comprehensive by any means!

Click here for more information.