print design: twenty-fourteen

2014 marks the fifth anniversary of my mini-calendars. When I started this project, I was searching for something that would combine photography and design together, as well as be part "client gift", part promotional material. And so, the mini-cal was born.

In it's history, the images within calendar are from the previous calendar year. Travel adventures, observations close to home, some "themed" with concepts close to my heart {i.e. 2013 "Equus"}, some captured on a whim, some the result of photographic intention. 

Before we dive into 2014's edition, a look back on the previous pieces:

Twenty-Ten {2010} - The very first mini-cal. Featured images from life itself, NC to CT, small moments or objects. 4.25 x 5.5, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a kraft folio.

Twenty-Ten {2010} - The very first mini-cal. Featured images from life itself, NC to CT, small moments or objects. 4.25 x 5.5, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a kraft folio.

Twenty-Eleven {2011} - The Alaska Edtion, featuring images from our cruise through the inner passage in SE Alaska aboard the MV Mist Cove with The Boat Company {yes, the sea lions really were *that* close}. 5 x 5, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a glassine envelope.

Twenty-Eleven {2011} - The Alaska Edtion, featuring images from our cruise through the inner passage in SE Alaska aboard the MV Mist Cove with The Boat Company {yes, the sea lions really were *that* close}. 5 x 5, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a glassine envelope.

Twenty-Twelve {2012} - Images from around local farms, abandoned homes and other rustic travel adventures from '11 - featured in a vertical format. 4.25 x 9, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a kraft open-end coin envelope and sealed with washi tape.

Twenty-Twelve {2012} - Images from around local farms, abandoned homes and other rustic travel adventures from '11 - featured in a vertical format. 4.25 x 9, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a kraft open-end coin envelope and sealed with washi tape.

Twenty-Thirteen {2013} - Oh Equus. How you are close to my heart. This edition features images from the previous year of my life in horses, all models shown I know and love. {And of course my own Lola makes several appearances} 4 x 6 horizontal, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a hand-stamped muslin bag with kraft pennant tag.

Twenty-Thirteen {2013} - Oh Equus. How you are close to my heart. This edition features images from the previous year of my life in horses, all models shown I know and love. {And of course my own Lola makes several appearances} 4 x 6 horizontal, on 14pt recycled matte with soy-based inks. Packaged in a hand-stamped muslin bag with kraft pennant tag.

And so, when it came time for 2014, and I looked back on all of the life changes, memories and images the previous year has held, the choice was obvious. This year's fifth-anniversary edition would feature photographs from Rocky Creek, a place that has become so special to myself, my husband and our family and friends over the past 12 months. 

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For some receiving this calendar, the images are familiar, as they graced our wedding RSVP cards not that long ago. For me, the images will keep my mind and heart motivated through 2014 as we work to share this property with others in need.

And on the inside cover, this quote:

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass spraining up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."
// Eleonora Duse

{Copies of 2014 still available - contact me if you would like one!}

design: honey labels

Oh, matte black. How do I love thee?

When we set out to create packaging for our inaugural honey season, we wanted as much of the amber product to show through as possible. We sought high class, but wanted to still resonate as a pure, local product. We hopes to accurately represent each individual farm location, as the honey will taste slightly different based on what is growing in each area. {For example, Rocky Creek is home to a rare Sourwood tree that makes an exquisite honey.} And, we wanted it to stand out, but stay simple. 

So, we started with a hex jar, to align with the tile flooring we have in our honey processing house, and of course, honeycomb. We drew from the clover element within the logo for River Taw Farms (or first location for hives) to create the bee graphic, and kept the typeface clean, sans serif and delicate. And we utilized the space on the top of the jar lid to allow as little label to cover the honey itself. 

Combined with some quippy copy, a matte-metallic stock and a pop of color throughout, we felt confident releasing this "black label honey" to local vineyards, small general stores, boutique restaurants and gift stores in the greater Charlotte-Statesville-Cherryville area. There may be a few jars hanging around in our homes and offices too, ready to give to those who show up on our doorsteps.

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As with any design project, it's "never done" -- and there are already a few edits I would make to our next run. But, product design is one of those challenges that requires both an analytical and a creative approach. In the case of the honey jar labels, one has to make sure that (a) all "required" state/local info is on the label, (b) that is it is correctly conveyed to the end user in such a way that it grabs their attention just by sitting on a shelf, (c) that it stands out amongst *many* competitors in this market and most importantly, (d) that the label actually FITS the jar correctly, especially when it is a unique or custom size. We worked with Frontier Label in our "backyard" of Greenville, South Carolina on this project, and would recommend them to anyone. I am sure that our product design will evolve over time, just as anything does, but for now, simple is sweet enough.

Interested in purchasing a jar of honey, or bees to start your own hive? Contact me for more information.