Art 323:


The Final Project!


High-end design seems to be everywhere we look these days – from laundry detergent to … Even buying a can of good old fashioned kidney beans means you’ll have to choose between designs that feature dynamic souped-up vector art, a sweet hand-crafted logo, and razor sharp studio shots of glistening glorious beans.  Perhaps it’s the spread of design software, perhaps it’s brands attempting to compete and outdo one another, or perhaps it’s just the best way to make something feel custom and somehow special. 

Like it or not, that’s part of what we do as designers – make things feel special.  Our job is to entice, to invite people in, tell a visual story, and lure unsuspecting individuals by showing them something they can’t resist.  For the next project, you’ll be doing just that…

Coinciding with the rise in organic food, farm-to-table offerings, and refined cuisine, the “boutique pet food” market has exploded in the last five years.  Where once Purina and Alpo reined supreme, now brands like Lotus, Blackwood, Vitale, Pride, and “Orijen” have carved out a place on Rover’s dinner plate.  Kitty has a choice between Field Mouse and Vole, Blackbird and Sparrow, and Wild Wood Pigeon.  This is where the next project begins.

The Basic Project:
For this project you will create your own boutique pet food brand along with the appropriate packaging.  Starting with the name and a logo design, develop the look and feel for a sophisticated, energetic design – something that almost seems good enough for humans to eat.

The Specs:
For this project you’ll need to create packaging for the pet of your choice. Please note it must be an animal that could conceivably be a pet. Once you've decided, please create:

One 4.5w x 8.5h x 1.5 (or larger) box
One 6w x 7.5h (or larger) pouch, bag, or carton

Keep in mind, of course, that these pieces can use similar motifs and elements, but also think about how you might have subtle differences.

Additional Specs:
Here are a few other pieces that you should integrate into your project:

  • Develop an eye-catching type-driven logo for a pet food brand that would fit into this "boutique" pet food market
  • Develop a clever slogan to accompany the name of your product
  • Create at least three icons and integrate them into your design in order to help explain your product
  • Use sufficient body copy to explain the benefits of your product
  • Include a bar code and a list of ingredients (no need for nutrition facts)
  • At least one of your packages must include a window

The Catch:
Take note, there are some really great designs out there, so it will be important for you to forge boldly into your own terrain.  Stay clear of what’s out there, and try to give us something new and original.  In order to encourage you along your own lines, you will be assigned a “conceptual angle” for this project. 

At random, you’ll have one of the following scholarly subjects that should somehow be at the core of your project:


The goal here is not to bog down your creativity; rather it is intended to see how you can take your project into some unexpected terrain.  As you go into the world of design, you won’t always have a choice of the underlying concept, so it’s important to wrap your head around a theme, and make it work for you.

The Concepts:
So how do you make pet food about history?  Science?  English??  Think about how your field could underscore the design.  For history, you could somehow situate your project during a specific epoch, tap into a historical aesthetic, create a “regal” vibe that channels royalty, or perhaps take us to ancient Egypt.  Science might seem the most natural for this project.  Consider how you can somehow make the food scientific; you could tap into chemistry and biology, but what about other areas?  Geology?  Physics?  English/Literature presents other challenges.  In this case, think about how you might harness language, the written word, or perhaps historical authors (consider that every good used bookstore has a store cat). 

If you get stuck on your concept, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help you.

The Dates:
There is a good amount of time for the project – don’t loose momentum!  We’ll have three weeks to knock out these pieces.  Stay on track with the following dates:

  • Wednesday 4/22: Rough logo concepts
  • Wednesday 4/29: Box dummy (miniature box, printed/assembled)
  • Wednesday 4/6: In class discussion/Critique (near final versions)
  • Monday 5/11, 8-10AM: Final discussion


Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling: