Designer: Susan Kare for Areaware Product Development: Alex Sperrazza Photography: Carson Fisk-Vittori & Anna Ottum
Susan Kare designed a set of textiles for Areaware using her background designing bitmap graphics for early Macintosh operating systems and applications as an inspiration.
I worked directly with Susan to narrow the collection to four patterns in black and white and color. I worked with the vendor in India through several rounds of sampling to create this line. Each piece is 100% organic cotton, machine washable, and double Jacquard woven creating a completely reversible textile. The Jacquard loom is an early form of a computer that automates the weaving process by using a punched card to direct the loom. This project marries the similarities between weaving and early bitmap graphic design.
Designer: Visibility for Areaware Product Development: Alex Sperrazza Photography: Carson Fisk-Vittori
Launched at Sight Unseen Offsight in June 2014, Visibility first debuted this collection as porcelain kitchenware. The ridges in each form is meant to provide a grip to the user and when filled with liquid, to refract light and emphasize their unique wave-like form.
This project was developed over the course of several years. Finding a manufacturing partner was the most difficult part. Although, once we established a relationship with the right partner things started moving more quickly. I worked between the designer and vendor through several rounds of sampling and final production.
Each piece is hand blown soda lime glass. Both the 6oz cups and 24oz pitchers come in three hand selected colors: clear, smoke, and cobalt.
Every Love began as a self-initiated project in February 2013. The goal was to extend Hallmark's LGBTQ product offering beyond a couple same sex wedding cards. I led a small team through project strategy meetings, branding, and design to create twelve cards to share with the leadership team at Hallmark.
We wanted to create a card line that could support the LGBTQ community through many different life stages: coming out, celebrating the growth of their family, Pride, grief, marriage and commitment, and transitions. We incorporated gender inclusive language and imagery throughout the line but were also direct in celebrating specific relationships.
Our mini collection inspired leaders throughout the greetings organization and sparked a change. Many of the cards we designed were immediately incorporated into existing greetings lines and a sub-team was created as a direct response to our project. See the latest at Hallmark.
The biggest problem in packaging bows is that you’re essentially filling a box with air. They have very little material or structure, yet take up a great deal of space. This solution keeps these things in mind. Clear circular dividers keep the bows facing outwards and adds a layer of structure so they won’t be crushed during shipping. Also, by designing a hexagonal structure with two windows, we were able to show off a great deal of product.
Magic Message Reveal Heart
This heart shaped trinket box reveals the beautiful and simply stated message, “Always remember I love you” when your loved one holds it. I had the opportunity to lead the initial form development for this product.
After our first round of form studies, a test was conducted to determine what size and shape users gravitated towards as well as how they interacted with the heart. From there, I was able to refine as well and collaborate with an engineer to choose mechanical components to support the interaction that met the test results. We determined that users picked up the heart many different ways but they all tilted the heart towards themselves. Based on these findings, we chose a tilt switch to activate the message reveal.
Again, with the user in mind I worked with a package designer and art director on the experience at shelf through the packaging. The biggest problem we had to solve was how to communicate this unique product without a “try me” function or a product-in-use. We were able to achieve this by printing the message the product reveals on the APET lid. The other design hurdle was the weight of the product. I spec'd a heavier APET to accommodate for the weight of the die cast metal heart. In addition, the product needed to be held securely but also be easily removed. I achieved this by designing a three prong vac form that would grab the heart from three different points but allow the consumer to easily remove the heart from its packaging.
Find Me Santa Beacon Packaging
Set to launch during the 2014 holiday season, Northpole is one of the largest retail programs Hallmark has created. A full length feature film will premiere on the Hallmark Channel in November 2014 and a collection of products will launch alongside. According to the story, the Northpole elves derive their magic from the snow and ice in their environment. I worked alongside a package designer to create concepts for the product line that extend the story through the packaging to create a cohesive experience at shelf. Once we determined a direction, I was able to model and grow it so we could determine the most cost effective solution without diminishing the effect we hoped to achieve. We were also able to pull vac forms for high quality selling samples. This product and it’s variations are the “hero” formats for the program and will be sold in Hallmark Gold Crown as well as mass channel retailers.