Naia Gelato Cup Packaging


Long term client and collaborator, Gelateria Naia, has extended their gelato and sorbetto into a new format – the 14oz small tub. On this project, their signature orange was used as a background for the color-coding used on each flavor. Presented mostly in a top down freezer in grab-and-go areas, having a strong color presence on the lid was integral.

A major update / minor evolution to this brand was shifting their name on the packaging from Bar Gelato by Naia (also their namesake and inaugural product) to just Naia. Originally Bar Gelato made sense because it was their only product. However with the addition of sorbetto to the line-up, food regulations and approval got trickier with how the brand name only accurately described part of their product line. With this most recent packaging, Naia takes the lead as the brand name, and sorbetto and gelato can be used as the product identifier. Hierarchy on packages is critical for both the consumer, stocker, and fulfilling legal requirements. Pistachio is shown here because it’s my favorite flavor.

From a production standpoint, the cup was designed to be a standard issue brand orange with universal information, with a white scalloped template area into which a circular sticker could be placed to differentiate flavor. This type of design works well for product lines where it is hard to predict exact quantities of specific flavors, where flexibility in quantity/distribution of flavors is key, and when very small runs of speciality flavors are common. Naia often produces seasonal or specialty flavors, always experimenting with local producers to find nuanced and specific flavors. The rim of the cup was also a universally produced element, while the top of the lid was custom to each flavor.

A series of icons associated with each flavor has been used across many of Naia’s products, so they were employed again to provide a subtle indicator of the simple and pure ingredients. The custom lettered blocky font previously used in the logotype is now the headliner, providing some visual crossover recognition, as consumers were used to seeing BAR GELATO large and in charge on the previous packaging. And now, for a National Geographic-esque photo of a herd of gelato/sorbetto migrating across the icy plains of your nearest Whole Foods freezer case.

Born to Bake Book Cover


Over the years I have done many projects and non-projects with my intrepid foodie friend, Jen Stevenson. From her first guidebook and blog, to watching her become an award winning author for The Picnic and The Campout, we have eaten our way through a decade of friendship.

On the side, Jen churns out young adult literature and publishes them as e-books – the latest being Born to Bake, a story about a teen who enters a baking competition to earn money to go to culinary school in France. To add another book collaboration under our belts, I created the cover for it. Bake it ’til you make it!

Holiday Gift Wrap AKA Pattern Palooza!


It’s that time of year again! The time when Danes, half-Danes, quarter-Danes and honorary-Danes go deep into Danish Christmas traditions, as previously documented here, here, here and here.

This year is extra special because I had the opportunity to design some scandinavian-inspired promotional gift wrap paper in collaboration with Laura Luethje from West Coast Paper Solutions and Randy Murray from Brown Printing. So without further ado…

Four rolls of West Coast Paper and Brown Printing collaboration on holiday promotional gift wrap.

Red ribbon and silver snowflake flurry gift wrap paper patterns.

To create a series that was Christmasy without being too over the top, I opted for some patterns that kept it classy – abstract red ribbons and a snowflake flurry. On the back a tiered landscape of wintertime activity is revealed in tonal grays with pops of red, making it easy to mix and match between the three designs.

Tonal gray gnome village pattern with scenes from winter.

Red ribbon and silver snowflake flurry gift wrap paper patterns, along with gnome winter landscape in tonal grays.

Gift wrap patterns on presents: red ribbons, silver snowflakes and tonal gray gnome villages.

The WCP holiday wrap promo happens every year, and this year I was lucky enough to have Laura ask if I would create the designs. While West Coast Paper donated paper and I donated design, Brown Printing donated printing for a final product of two 2-sided promotional sheets produced on 70# Titan Dull Text.

As a bonus, I slipped a non-holiday side onto one of the sheets. Hand drawn with black ink and digitally colored, the feather pattern is an excerpt of a twelve feather series from a few years ago. Hopefully it gives the gift wrap a life past December.

Illustrated feather hand drawn gift wrap pattern or wallpaper.

Illustrated feather pattern gift wrap with watercolor specs.

Return of the Love Bird


Another month, another Launch art show! Last month I showed an excerpt of ever-changing feathers. This month I am contributing a new format of my Love Bird enamel pin – namely giving it a frame and a bit more blue sky. In addition to a framed pin, there will be a gaggle of pins for sale at the very affordable art price of $10. Come to the show (info below), or read more about the original inspiration for my little love bird.

Portland’s First Thursday @ Conversa
Theme: Proud as I am
June 7, 2018 from 6-9pm
734 NW 14th Ave, Portland OR

Thanks again to Aldo, Susan and Julio for organizing!

Enamel bird pin blowing a heart kiss with rainbow pride wings.

Proud as I am launch art show at Conversa

Chocolate Wafer Concept Packaging


One of my favorite types of design projects is packaging – specifically food packaging. It is also one of the more fickle types of projects. Sometimes products miss their window of opportunity, sometimes start-ups aren’t able to get an investor to put the product on shelves, sometimes budgets fall through or a product line is re-oriented. Specialty products are sometimes explored up until launch, at which point they are deemed unviable. Once an entire project was derailed due to a macadamia nut shortage. You just can’t plan ahead for these kinds of things!

Because of this, I have worked on almost as many packaging projects that have been shelved than have actually reached shelves. Gelateria Naia is my one exceptional client that has taken every product I’ve worked on to market (see a few projects here and here, with more in the works!). Even the packaging projects that make it to market often take a YEAR OR TWO between packaging design and hitting shelves. This is like 1,948,465 years in “designer years” – it’s definitely not an exercise in instant gratification.

Last year I worked on chocolate wafer packaging for a company that packages US and European products for the Chinese market. Because of quality perception and some food scares, the design brief presented an interesting mix of designing in a way the Chinese market was used to (bold, zingy, pop!) while making the product look and feel European-based. Unfortunately the project was put on hold, but I wanted to share a direction from the initial design round (with a placeholder product name). A more traditional approach was selected as the final, where I got to practice drawing the Swiss Alps and milk splashes, but is not shown here because it hasn’t been released. So while not everything makes it to market, it doesn’t mean it isn’t sweet!

Concept packaging for chocolate wafers in four flavor ways: chocolate, vanilla, milk chocolate, and hazelnut. Illustration in a modern style but with traditional European motifs.

Code/Art Participant Pins


Woohoo! To follow up on the Code/Art donor pin from last month, I’m happy to share a series of three pins designed for Code/Art participants – girls in their tweens and teens who explore code through art & creativity in guided Code/Art workshops. I had my own button and pin collection in my younger years (read: 1985-1990) so working on this series was flashback fun. Plus any time I can work with an organization that helps girls GO FOR IT, it’s all I can do not to hire a skywriter.

enamel pins for girls who code - a "code girl" banner, </> heart, and code sunglasses

MOO cards has been a steady companion of mine to provide pin backers that are sturdy and good looking, and this time was no exception. Along with the pins, participants also get stickers to kit out their computers, peechees (do those even exist anymore??), or other flat surfaces. The style and colors were derived from their core brand, but the project had lots of room for exploration. Read more about Code/Art on their website.

stickers for code/art girls including "code girl" banner, code sunglasses, </> heart, <xx/> and code girl brooch

Code-Art Donor Pin


Last year I checked off a designer to-do by creating an enamel pin for a Design Week Portland event called Pin That Shit. After the show, the extra pins I had ordered were given out to people as both business cards and old fashioned goodwill. As with many side projects created Just for Fun®, people took to it – from Sparkle Daddy Aaron Rayburn to an employee at New Season’s who engaged my 3-year old daughter in a discussion about art while he checked our groceries. Love Birds for everyone!

love bird pin in the wild

After a Moo Card blog post including my Love Bird was published, future client Amy Renshaw reached out to me about designing a series of pins for her organization Code-Art. Code-Art encourages girls to explore coding through art, and puts on workshops to give girls the opportunity to learn coding within their own interest areas. HIGH FIVE Amy. The first of many pins I designed for Code-Art was a donor pin to gift to supporters of her organization. Inspired by projects made in Code-Art workshops, it is a modern twist on the classic brooch portrait. We used Moo Cards again to create the pin backer with matching spot gloss accents. SO SHINY.

code art girls coding camp enamel pin

The theme of being a pioneer, present in many of my side projects, drew me to this organization and especially reading the stories of early female coders who led the way in the field, such as Margaret Hamilton and Ada, Countess of Lovelace who is often recognized as the first computer programmer. Margaret was instrumental in the code for putting a man on the moon. GO MARGARET! Reading their stories and seeing the photos (below Margaret stands next to a stack of code used in the Apollo mission) makes me both proud and frustrated at the pace of the representation of women in so many roles of society.

Amongst many other things, these stories made me want to support Amy and Code-Art’s mission to the umpteenth degree. And if you’d also like to support or donate to CodeArt find more information here. As a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) all donations are tax deductible.

three photos of female coder Margaret Hamilton who worked for Nasa and helped with the Apollo mission

Olympia Provisions Holiday Card + 10% off


Tis the season for holiday cards and charcuterie. Following up on last year’s meat wreath, this year my client Olympia Provisions went for a more pyramid shaped meat art for their annual card – a stack of charcuterie bedecked with a merry star. Meaty Christmas!

Christmas pyramid of charcuterie - probably salami - from Olympia Provisions 2018 holiday card design.

On another holiday note, Olympia Provisions is hosting their second annual charcuterie box building party. Get your tickets here if you want to fill your own box or basket with meats galore and either take it home or send it to a lucky recipient.

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Enter METTERULES as a promo code for 10% off online at Olympia Provisions.