This week, Stan Can Design™ was given the challenge of developing a logo around “Chip”. Chip is a parrotlet, a small bird part of a group of the smallest New World parrot species. Here is the picture that Chip’s owner, Ray sent over for inspiration. Check back in a couple days for the latest installment in this series.
Recently, Stan Can Design™ completed a couple of TV spots and a longer format video for the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA). The objective was to showcase the very best of Reno/Tahoe while keeping a keen eye on the dollars. The longer version is featured above.
One of the challenges facing the RSCVA is that most folks share the perception that Reno is a suburb of Las Vegas. A smaller, less-fantastical Vegas.
In each spot, we challenge this common misunderstanding and show off northern Nevada’s high desert, purple mountains and lakes with the help of Google Maps. By creating a 3-D model using Google Earth Pro, we showcase the diverse ecology visitors can expect to experience within a day’s excursion in Reno/Tahoe. Just to be clear, Las Vegas was nowhere to be found. 453 miles away.
We stacked the cards in our favor by collaborating with Christopher Blanton and Bighorn Productions in Reno. Not only did they have a deep pool of high def, B-Roll footage already in the can, but they enlisted the help of a radio-controlled helicopter to get original, high-quality footage. With a licensed airline pilot at the helm, we filmed some amazing places in this area for tens of thousands of dollars less than it would cost to shoot traditionally. Luckily for the RSCVA and Stan Can Design, RC helicopters weren’t grounded by the FAA until well after we were done shooting. (And no, they weren’t grounded because of us.)
Without computers, cell phone reception, internet, egos, portfolios or freezing, gigantic, conference rooms, AIGA Austin’s Design Ranch lets you detach from the instant gratification of the world wide web and connectivity to the world by getting your hands dirty and reviving your creative spirit.
150 designers, developers, directors, educators and creatives alike were lucky enough to attend the well-known conference in the middle Hunt, TX, that quickly sold out this year.
Erin St. Pierre of St. Pierre, Jenna Hubert of KPS3 and I (Kelly) represented Reno at the 2012 Design Ranch, unbelievable by most. The general consensus of Reno was “The biggest little city? What do you even do there? Like you actually live there?”
Cell phone reception and 4G service went down about 2 miles outside of the ranch. Letting go of the tiny, black device we can’t seem to live without was going to be the first of many challenges at the ranch. Four days without instagram, Facebook, texts and important stuff like email and news.
Pulling up to Camp Waldemar set an overall tone for the week. Built by German rock mason Ferdinand Rehbeger, the buildings that make up the camp are beautifully constructed, with stones pulled right from land the camp sits on. Spacious green areas, lined with low hanging branches at the foot of the Guadalupe River. This wasn’t work and it sure wasn’t a conference.
Each day, an 8 am bugle call brought us from slumber into the dining hall and then we set off on our way to a day of 100% hands-on workshops cleverly named PAINTING MYTHS & LEGENDS, PRINT WITH IT!, AN EXQUISITE CORPSE FILM PROJECT, or BOOBS. WEENIES. (OH, AND SCREEN PRINTING.)
The challenge for me anyway, was learning to start and finish the creative process with paper and pencil, paint brush or a Diamond Sharpening Stones Combination tool.
I really had to tap into personal technical drawing skills. Learning how to redraw a square or triangle actually proved to be quite difficult. Watching others around me quickly assemble or draw their piece was also intimidating. The faster they seemed to work, the more was produced and seemingly more fun and creative the work was turning out. I had to turn off my brain and ego just a bit to really take advantage of the hands-on experience.
“During the first class, I couldn’t focus on what I wanted to do. I hadn’t fully grasped the concept of not overthinking and just creating. It was intimidating at first. But when I started getting to know everyone in the room, I realized that not everyone there was a designer. I started to relax and just make stuff. Which is what I love to do as a designer.” said Jenna.
Dirk Fowler said it best during his workshop, Print With It!. “Why aren’t you printing already?”
His question was posed just seconds after he made his 2 minute introduction.
“It took everyone a while to get into the pace and the energy of the class. Everyone strived for perfection with their first print and the Dirk would say something like “Okay we have three more hours, where’s your next one?” It was refreshing to know you could mess up and still walk away with a really cool print.” said Erin.
In what seemed like endless amounts of free time, we enjoyed laying in the sun, talking with workshop leaders and favorite designers, checking out the work in other workshops, paddling in the river and even horseback riding.
After night workshops, the three of us took a stab at two-step lessons, huddled around the campfire and danced the night away to Austin’s’ claim to fame, constant live music.
Design Work Life’s Courtney Dolloff said it best, “I think every attendee left with at least 30 new friends and something new to try. Our computer-induced tightness and burnt-out spots were healed by getting our hands dirty alongside respected peers and allowing our eyes to relax and take in open outdoor spaces.”
Check out Courtney’s in-depth daily blogs about life on the ranch here http://www.designworklife.com/2013/04/20/today-on-the-ranch-04-20-13-part-2/.
You’ll even see a couple of people you may know if you look closely.
In Reno, the month of July is Artown, a month long, arts, culture and music festival. Highlights this year include a funk-fusion twist on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” plus musicians including Dave Koz, Rickie Lee Jones, and Pete Escovedo with Sheila E. For the fourth year in a row, Stan Can Design™ designed the poster with artwork by artown’s oldest entrant, Annie Hall. Posters will be available at local businesses around town or if you are lucky, Stan will give you one. Just ask.
“I am not a fag hag, I am a fag diva.” Those are the first words Beth Luna said during our meeting to discuss her latest and greatest project, Fag Diva, (trade marked of course). Watching the Keeping up with the Kardashians at home one weekend, Beth discovered that Kim had trademarked and developed a business for the term “Momager,” mom+manager. She thought to herself, “I can do that,” and did. She decided it was time to stop calling herself a fag hag, (a straight girl who has a best friend who is gay and spends a lot of time together ) and let women around the world know that they don’t have to succumb to that term anymore.
After running the brand idea through our processes we decided that a word mark that proudly announces the new term would best serve the clients needs. The final design has just the right amount of distinctive character, whimsy and pizzaz.
When Chris Gandolfo (@solidcreative) of Solid Creative came to Stan Can Design™ with his new business venture, Solid, we were ecstatic that he enlisted us to work for him, instead of him working for us.
For the past three years, Chris has been our “solid” programmer. Pun intended. Now that the tables were turned, he was trusting us with his brain child, an interactive web agency focused on three specific target markets, golf, craft-beer and wine. His goal is to make website integration easy for companies that often don’t have the time to implement the digital world into their business seamlessly.
“We chose beer, wine and golf because those are the three things, besides my lovely wife, that I enjoy most,” said Gandolfo. “Stan and his crew made it easy for us because they were able to explain their design thinking in a language that we could understand.”
After a few brand discovery meetings, revisions and sleepless nights over this little symbol we like to call, the logo, Chris chose his favorite. For him, the logo represented his growth in the web development community, his commitment to his work and clients and himself.
On April 5, some of Reno’s most talented designers, writers, and developers will come together to rebrand Committee to Aid Abused Women (CAAW) in 24 hours. The event, called Reno Wired, was founded by Kevin Jones, co-founder at Cloudsnap; Jenna Hubert , designer at KPS3 Marketing (former Stan Can Design designer); and Julia Kruper, account manager at KPS3 Marketing.
“We’re very excited to work with CAAW,” said Kevin Jones. “Within a 24 hour period, we’re going to try to build CAAW a brand that will last them years. The team is passionate about this event, and, if all goes well, we’re hoping to make it happen annually. ”
Reno Wired is currently looking for volunteers and donors to help the day of the event. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can find more information atrenowired.com. The event will be held at the Reno Collective on April 5.
“We were so happy to hear that CAAW was selected for Reno Wired,” said Denise Yoxsimer, Executive Director of CAAW. “We are more than ready for a new brand, and believe that this project will help propel us forward as we continue to help families deal with domestic violence.”
Reno Wired reviewed more than 20 applications from a variety of nonprofit organizations. After interviewing the finalists, the Reno Wired team selected CAAW as the lucky recipient of the branding project.
“So many great organizations applied, so it was hard to narrow it down,” said Jenna Hubert. “We took a lot into consideration during the application process, and in the end we decided CAAW could benefit the most from our event.”
The Reno Wired team is made up of 15 professionals representing a variety of local businesses, including Stan Can Design’s Kelly Wallis, The Abbi Agency, Arborglyph, Calvert Photography, Innerwest Advertising, KPS3, Noble Studios, and Trinity AI. Reno Type, a local full-service printer, will also be working throughout the night to print and deliver printed materials by 8am on April 6.
Visit renowired.com to donate or learn how to get involved.
The Reno event is based on a similar 24-hour rebranding event called Zurbwired.
Stan Can Design™ recently finished branding Steve and Kelly Edmunson’s brain child, The Weathered Page. Recommended to us by entrepreneur Ashley Clift Jennings, Kelly and Steve checked additional references and took a chance on our team. Like most clients, they arrived very prepared to our first meeting complete with the exact logo, they wanted.
The Weathered Page is an annual hardback book consisting entirely of user submitted stories and photographs sent in by outdoor enthusiasts doing the things they love in the places they live. Thier mission is to give back to our communities and produce a one of a kind book that chronicles the adventures. 50% of the net profits from book sales are to be distributed to non-profit organizations. In the first year, four regional books featuring stories and photographs from the mountain ranges, Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, Rockies and Wasatch will be produced and available for purchase.
With their initial guidance and hours of targeted research, Stan Can Design™ presented them with four identities to which Steve replied in the presentation, “I didn’t even know what you guys have done was even possible. I am so impressed.” A compliment indeed. The couple emailed their logo choice just 15 minutes after leaving our office. “WOW…what a great surprise! If you can believe it, we actually came to a consensus about TWP logo based on your great work,” wrote Kelly.
For us, this project was additionally rewarding due to the fact that our team shares in the same interests as the Edmunson’s: the outdoors, paddle boarding, skate boarding, hiking, snowboarding, etc. The opportunity to create a brand identity for two people who are proud of it and so passionate about giving back to their community was invaluable.
Valentine’s cards are not something you would expect from your design agency, or anyone other than the one who makes your heart go pitter-patter. This year, we, once again, collaborated with Panda Printing and Laura at ScrapBook Paradise in Reno. We are always dreaming up ways to keep up on self promotion and remind the community and our clients that we are strive to design powerful, intelligent “stuff.” The idea for the Valentine came immediately to Stan after the positive response the holiday boxes and ornaments received. We designed a self-sealing card that could be read from two angles. If you didn’t receive a Valentine, join our mailing list.
Written by: Stan Byers for NNBW
Chances are, your business or the company you work for has a logo. But is it doing its job? Is it pulling an oar? After 25 years in graphic design, I’ve seen some sweet logos.I’ve seen some duds. And I’ve seen some of the best logos left on the table. So how do you arrive at an effective logo? Simply put: Good designers make good logos. Great businesses make great logos.
Translation: Designers are highly capable of developing good looking, eye-catching, strategy-minded logos. Businesses are the ones who need to consistently support this oh-so-important piece of the branding puzzle. If you Google “good logo design,” you’ll find numerous articles that give the attributes of what makes a good logo. When I completed the exercise to see what you would see, almost all of the good ones point to the writings of Paul Rand, one of the fathers of modern graphic design. So instead of just putting my twist on his principles and taking credit for
his great writings, I will outline and expand on them here briefly.
An effective logo is: Distinctive. Does your logo imitate the look of a successful competitor or another brand we admire? Are you secretly trying to steal someone else’s success? I cannot tell you how many times clients have asked me to add mountains or a swoosh to a design. The point of difference, or distinction, is lost when you imitate another business or design. If it is distinctive, it probably should make you a little uncomfortable because the frame of reference is new or unique. Remember when the new Ford F150s came out? The design was unique. It was, and still is, more ownable.
Visible. When given the proper amount of space, does your logo ask your audience to take note? Does it have an impact or gravity? Can you truly see it? Usable. Is the logo easy to use? Generally, the more visually complex a logo, the harder it is to use. Does it feel the same in different applications? Memorable. Is there something a little bit special about the visual? Does it reward the viewer with an unexpected twist? Or point to timeless qualities? Universal. Is the logo understandable by the target audience? If your market is a small niche, maybe you can tip your hat to an inside understanding. If is it quite large, will your logo appeal to the young and the old? Blue and white-collar workers? Men and women?
Durable. Is this design going to hold up well? Does is work well large? Does it work well small?
Timeless. Is the logo trendy or timeless? Paul Rand designed the ABC TV logo in 1961 and it has remained virtually unchanged for 50 years.
All of the above are a given when you work with a professional designer. Here’s the kicker: At any point, your business and your employees can add more to the logo’s effectiveness than any designer could just by the way you treat your logo — my earlier point about a good logo versus a great logo. Logos are badges of pride.
Think of how you feel when you see the American flag versus how the Japanese flag makes you feel. You probably have a deeper emotional connection to the American flag even though the Japanese flag is much more visually impactful, agile in infinite applications and regarded by many communications experts as the best-designed flag. It’s not so much the way the American flag looks but rather, what it represents that gives it power. It’s time to give your logo the Spaghetti Sauce test. Which works best?
“Oh man! You have got to taste this! This is the best sauce I’ve ever made!” Or,“I think this smells funny. Do you think it’s going
bad?” A lot of the success of your logo and brand identity rests in how much pride you and your company are able to put behind it. If
you treat it with respect, others will too. A couple of pointers for logo owners: Be consistent. Be consistent to the point of boredom (at least in your eyes). Think of the poor guy at the Campbell’s Soup factory. He’s probably tired of seeing the same old soup can. But consumers have come to rely on it.
No scanning the soup aisle, which means less chance of the consumers discovering and buying something different. The consumer only sees your messaging occasionally. About the time you are getting sick of it, others are just starting to take note. Don’t ask your logo to do too much.
Good logos identify, they do not describe or illustrate. What if the Nike logo was a cool 1970s shoe illustration? It would be very hard for
them to turn around and sell $100 dress shirts or software years down the road. Don’t ask your logo to sell. Take note of the great brands.
If you are not sure, make it a little smaller. Most good designers will consider the environment that a logo will exist in and develop comprehensive designs to help you visualize the new work in context. If you have a logo and are not really sure how to use it, ask a graphic designer to create a visual identity package. Consider asking the designer to work on trade dress (brand-friendly packaging or design) at the same time. One of the reasons Coca-Cola has been able to stay contemporary without discarding the equity they have developed in their logo is that they change their trade dress (packaging) occasionally, but in keeping with the brand. It helps keep things fresh on the shelf while
staying true to their well-established roots. Logos and brands get their value from the products and/or services that they represent, not vice versa.
I believe every company can benefit from brand development before the brand identity is created. Brand development is a group of processes that define the personality or values of a company. Brand identity or visual identity is the process of taking the discovered brand to a tangible, tactile form. At Stan Can Design, we have developed a very straightforward process for defining a business’ mission and vision (the starting place of your brand), and the words and images that express your brand.
Like us on Facebook and you can download our Mission and Vision Worksheet free of charge. You can take the results to any designer or ad agency and it will take a lot of the subjectivity out of the creative, strategic process and add clarity to your brand.
Stan Byers is president of AIGA
Reno/Tahoe and owner of Stan Can Design™.
Contact him at 775-813-7602 or through stancandesign.com.
For 2012′s holiday season, Stan Can Design decided to give holiday ornaments to our clients, friends, colleague and neighbors. The problem was to find a solution for getting them in hand in an awesome way. After seeing samples of new technologies, we decided on a box. Find it, build it, brand it, print it, done.
We designed the little black box specifically to be printed by Panda Printing Company’s HP Indigo Digital Press, the only one in town. It’s special because it’s the only printer that prints HP ElectroInk White, the only “true white ink.” These printers can only hold 12×18″ paper, our box template was built edge to edge, so a traditional die cut wouldn’t work.
Tracy Byers, Stan’s wife, is a avid scrap booker and suggested we have “the scrapbook lady” die cut the boxes on her state-of-art Silhouette machine. The Silhouette is a scrapper’s (and Graphic Designer’s) dream come true, as it is a simple, scissorless way to cut shapes and letters of materials including vinyl, card stock, fabric and heat transfer material up to 12″ wide and any length. We worked very closely with Scrapbook Paradise owner Laura Evasovic, to design a box template that would work for our project, her machine and the printer.
“Even though we used new technologies, this was not a simple click of a button and it’s done. It was the result of our experience and design processes,” said Stan Byers. “We placed restrictions on ourselves and designed within those parameters and didn’t give up!”
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“For 32 years, the Regional Design Annual has sliced up American design into discernible shapes and parceled them out by region.”
This year, Print Mag called upon superstar designers, art directors and all around rockstars to judge the “most comprehensive survey of graphic design in the United States,” the Print Regional Design Annual. Judges Sarah Gephart (MGMT. Design), Sagi Haviv (Chermayeff & Geismar), Nicole Jacek (Karlssonwilker), Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers (the Heads of State), Renda Morton (The New York Times), and Emily Oberman (Pentagram) judged thousands of entries.
AIGA Reno/Tahoe’s “Typography of Reno, NV, 2011″ poster made the cut! Page 64 to be exact.
The chapter puts on an annual event every year cleverly named, TypeWalk. Designers, photographers, artists and anyone interested in a walk-a-bout town grab their cameras and take to the streets. The mission is to find all 26 letters of the alphabet in the eclectic, neon signage of Reno, NV.
“Over the years we have been featured in Print Mag’s Regional Design Annual quite a few times and today, it’s still a big deal,” said Stan Byers.
Oh, Mingle Bells. It’s the only chance you’ll have all year to pretend you are at a high school dance again. Stan Can Design was approached to Art Direct intern Lindsey Pastrell on designing the digital invitation and social media for this year’s Mingle Bells gathering.
Lindsey had already come up with a concept that was approved by the AAF board and with the short time frame, we rolled with it. Photographer Frank Haxton created a set of wonderful iconic photographs in just a couple of days, giving us a visual to match the client-supplied copy.
A tiny grammatical error in the first sentence of the copy took the project in an entirely new direction. The typo accidentally reinforced the awkward and self-conscious nature of the event, leading Stan to write paragraph after paragraph of painfully, hard to read sentences.
“I challenged myself not to use a dictionary and in the end, I think only one sentence was cut!” said Stan.
We dare you to give this tongue twister a try and maybe even hire Stan next time you need a headline. Mingle Bells will be held December 6, at Harrah’s Showroom in downtown Reno.
Click here to see the full eblast.
For over a year, Stan Can Design™ has been working with Dr. David M. White, DDS branding his dentistry business. David is the kind of client everyone wants. He understands the value of a brand and he lets the designers do the designing and sticks to what he knows best, teeth and politics. This type of working relationship allowed us to create a brand that reflected David’s public and personal image and character, providing him with a logo and business system he was proud to say was his. It also helps that he has great taste.
His visual identity is based on David’s roots, here in Northern Nevada and his mission; to help fellow Nevadans maximize their full potential through providing Education, Health and Public Service.
“The moment I knew I had made a good investment in my business and myself was in Washington D.C.” said David.
While at the Dental Association Leadership Conference, David, Chairman of the Political Action Committee of the Nevada Dental Association, found himself mingling with lobbyists, congressmen and senators.
“I handed my business card to a fellow lobbyist, just as we were about to exchange salutations and he stopped, looked at the card and said “This is by far the most stunning (business) card I have seen from a dentist, or anyone, ever.”"
We designed the stationary set with the typefaces Copperplate and Gotham on Neehah Classic Laid, in Ivorystone to create a classic, balanced system. Adding just a touch of gold foil communicates the regard for craftsmanship and tiny details.
Stan Can Design™ is proud to welcome Nikki Velez, recent University of Nevada, Reno graduate , into our ever-shrinking design office. No matter how big or small the picture, everything needs to have a purpose according to Nikki. Otherwise it’s not worth doing. Both her tenacity and her passion for life are readily apparent upon meeting her, and clearly benefit those around her. (Present company included.) That’s why she’s here. Pluggin’ away! Read her full bio here.
You can really tell a when a client knows what they want, when they show up to the first meeting with a 3-ring Binder, filled with pages of mood boards, style guides and paper samples that they spent hours working on, getting it perfect.
That was the case with Mr. Blake Williams. Blake came to StanCan™ Design because he knew that we would be able to deliver a logo that was clean, simple and powerful. After an hour long synopsis of his newly created entertainment company, Gold Bottle, Williams decided to hire us. In fact, he knew he was going to hire us from the start. He explained his google search technique that brought him to every design shop’s site in town. Our site, he explained, was clean and simple, exactly what he wanted from a logo.
“I looked at every design shop in town. But your work was clean and simple and I knew it was meant to be,” said Blake. The logo we created is based on the infamous gold bottle champagne, Armand de Brignac Brut Gold. It wasn’t too long after we presented the logo that we received a letter in the mail from Blake. We helped him get his dream started. What an awesome feeling.
Most of the time we think a “brand” as being the image or the promise portrayed in a business marketing messaging. Some brands are great at living their promise. I have never seen or experienced a better example of brand living up to their promise than in a recent project we did for the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.
The RSCVA recently got a cool new 4-wheel drive Willy’s Panel to help remind people of the outdoor adventures here in Reno/Tahoe. They set up a shoot to show off their cool car and in a conversation, it dawned on me that it would be great to feature people that represent the various activities, biking, hiking, boarding etc.
But…the shoot was in two days and I really didn’t have a great model/talent pool readily available.
Out of desperation, I suggested that we call the people at Scheel’s and see if they could help us with some props. Scheel’s jumped at the opportunity and provided the shoot with props and avid bikers, skiers, golfers, fisherman, all employees of the sports store posing as models. Being educated in the Old School of Advertising, I was taught to never use friends, family and non-professional talent. I was quite nervous (and felt like a carpetbagger). We had to use them, there was no other option available.
Part of Sheel’s promise as a store is that their employees are involved in the activities that they sell the goods for. Also, employees are actively involved in their community. The “talent” did not seem rushed to get back to work or put out that management forced them to represent the company. They were a real joy to work with and the result is obvious in the photography.
The price? Four sandwiches, four bags of chips and four sodas. Thank you Scheel’s, Calor Pearson, Aubrey Matteson, Terrin Hicks and Chris Pyrah.
Are you sure these are not models sent by the Ford Agency?
Stan Can Design™ recently finished working on the rebrand of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. The work was commissioned by the Reno-Sparks Visitors and Convention Authority because the old mark was outdated and very difficult to reproduce.
“We created a design for the facility that is contemporary and very usable, but at the same time honoring its rich Western heritage.” said Stan Byers, owner of Stancan™ Design, of the new logo.
When researching the history of the center, we discovered it’s establishment date of 1887. That gave us a credible claim for using visual references of wood type and hand-painted signage from that era. Otherwise, it would just be another kitschy logo.
“We are very pleased with the result, I just wish we had more things to put it on!” said Esther Isaac, Assistant Marketing Director of the RSCVA.
At the 2011 Addy Awards presented by AAF Reno, Stancan™ Design (aka “Stankin” for one brief evening) took home 15 Addy Awards, including four gold and Best of Show for DesignMatters. The work was commissioned by AIGA Reno/Tahoe for the annual event featuring AIGA medalist, Stephen Frykholm and a local designer chair competition. Design: Stan Byers, Kelly Wallis; Copy: Scott Mortimore.
“The truth is — as PaperSpecsGallery.com points out – this tidy, carry-in-your-back-pocket printed portfolio was a great way for “stan can design” to showcase his design and advertising expertise as well as his approach to that work.” – PaperSpecs Gallery
Here is another one of my favorite business cards, with a contemporary update. The first card I received from Bennett Peji at the HOW Design Conference in 1999. The studio tours that year raided his home. (There was a bit of a misunderstanding.) Imagine 30-40 designers showing up at your front door asking for a tour of your “studio” and the location is your home. Bennett was extremely gracious and calm under the pressure. He really sold me on the idea of being an AIGA member by his example that day.
This card is printed one side, 1C Metallic Silver on FOX River Confetti Midnight something or other (not sure if they still produce it). The special die-cut is memorable and quite a conversation starter.
Peji gave me another business card 10 years later at the AIGA leadership retreat in Portland, OR. This is a great example of keeping true to the original design while adding some new important information.
This card is printed two sided, 1 C Black, letterpress, on Neenah Eames – Weave, Tivoli Green 80lb. cover and finally, manually duplexed. I am super stoked I was able to sleuth this one out! Bennett tell me if I am wrong.