Friday, July 8, 2011

Design Suggestions

In my other life I am a beer writer.  I try to write about all facets of beer from beer reviews to beer industry to breweriana.  Most recently, except for my weekly beer blog, I proposed a book about beer and food pairings.  It was an interesting writing exercise and something I hadn't done before. The proposal contained a chapter list, proposed chapter setups, two sample chapters and a market survey. I haven't heard back about that proposal, but when I do I will be sure to let you know.

One of the more interesting proposal topics I had to address was how can I help market the book.  This got me brainstorming and I started considering shelf markers.  Shelf markers are the small cards you see in wine and beer stores that rate the wine/beer.  This card and its score is how many people choose a specific beverage.  Well I decided to use that idea but make it my own.

My shelf markers won't rate the beer, if my marker is on the beer then you know it is a good beer.  However, I want improve the drinker's experience by suggesting a food pairing that will take that beer to a whole new level.

Design Considerations:

  • I wanted the card to be easy to read.
  • I wanted the card to be easily recognized.
  • The card had to be easy to use so a store manager could easily print, cut and tape to a beer.

The finalist: 

Design Notes:
  • I have cleaned up the extra text and removed the wording “food.pairing” as it is quite obvious that these are food-pairing suggestions.
  • Just incase it isn’t obvious I have made a larger cooler (as in refrigerator) marker that could be taped to the cooler window that would briefly explain the “food.pairing” cards.  Design coming soon.
  • While I liked the key hole cut-out design from the first round, I began to realize that virtually no one would take the time to hand cut each card.  The design wouldn’t look as good with white paper surrounding the top and so it had to go.
  • By removing “food.pairing” out of the “key hole” I was able to eliminate extra text and make the beer’s name more prominent.
  • I got over my need to have the HOP dominate the design but I couldn’t eliminate it totally. 
  • I am trying to brand the place setting to be synonymous with “food.pairings” so I incorporated the HOP design into the silverware.

Special thanks to my wife, who at  5:30 am this morning after I had posted a different set in three different places (that will teach me to post designs before I show them to her ) said "Have you considered removing the spoon and "x-ing" the fork and knife?".  Genius!

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