When the local high school hockey association decided to change their name, they approached me to design their new logomark. They voted to rename their team "Icemen". When I asked if they had any ideas of what they would like. "Well, a man made of ice!" Simple enough!
I was happy to create the illustration of a man with a snowy mustache & eyebrows and a long icicle beard. Another sub-logo was created for smaller apparrel items such a coats and hats.
I would love to work on another team hockey logo someday, because this was just way too fun!
Design and Illustration: Kelly Esterby
Firewoods Traveling Pizzeria
Bonnie and Dave Dobbs built their own pizza oven in their backyard and invited friends and family over for pizza parties. After many exclamations of "Your pizzas are amazing!" and "You should start your own business!"... they decided their peers were right! They ordered a pizza oven trailer and Firewoods Traveling Pizzeria was born!
Firewoods creates gourmet artisanal, wood fired pizzas with fresh ingredients (many from Bonnie's garden) and unexpected flavor combinations.
The logomark utilizes a classic look with a unique icon of the pizza peel within the fire. It is endorsed with the tagline "Wood fired, highly desired."
River Bend Vineyards
River Bend Vineyards needed a fresh new look to gain more shelf presence in the retail market. Their current packaging didn't break through on the shelf and grab consumers' attention at point of sale. With the redesign, we kept the signature river icon which represents the Chippewa RIver that flows right next to the vineyard. At the bend of the river, a different Wisconsin native animal or flower is showcased. The icons, in turn, help the consumer to easily remember which varietal is their favorite. I created a new logomark utilizing the river graphic and a small "r" and "b". It looks great as the top signature on the bottles.
WIth the success of the redesign, River Bend Vineyards branched into "Reserve" wines which have a more luxurious and premium feel. They wanted these wines to have a completely different asthetic, but yet still easily belong in the River Bend family of products.
The Single Barrel American Zinfindel is a black bottle with a matte black label. Spot varnished grapes adorn the sides. The River Bend logo is embossed in a beautiful gold foil.
The Late Harvest American Gewurtztraminer is a white wine with a gold label. It picks up the same grape pattern as its counterpart, but has a rich autumnal feel. Behind the label, the gold and red pattern shines through the product adding an element of surprise for the guest.
In addition to packaging, I also create ads and special promotions like posters and t-shirts for the vineyard.
Photography by: Steven Braker
"Explore Wisconsin" Poster Illustration by: Erik Christenson
While working at Target, I oversaw the design and art direction of the Archer Farms packaging line. In one year, we created almost 4000 skus in this line. It took a village to work on this project! There were days when 3-4 photoshoots were happening. The photography of the Archer Farms is rich and full in color. Props were color coordinated with the flavor band for easy differentiation. We paired the products with appealing side dishes and fresh ingredients against a rich wood backgrounds and fabrics.
I worked on special projects like the Archer Farms Reserve Coffee line— beautifully packaged in an embossed tin with the flavor bands stickered for ease of product change. The bag of coffee was nestled inside the tin. Sales doubled on this product and the design won the prestigious AIGA 365 Award. We also explored new packaging structure ideas like a resealable cereal box that was easy to pour and had no inner liner.
The Archer Farms line branched into Organics. We changed the background to cream for light airy feel. The photography of this line is bright, fresh and simplistic with minimal propping and hints of modern farmhouse aesthetics.
Creative Director: Jeanette Carrell
In-House Designers: Holly Robbins, Pamela Epstein, Kelly Esterby and Pam Randall
Design Agency: Boom Island
Photography: Mette Nielson, Marc Macemon and Dennis Becker
Art Directors: Julie Lyrek, Scott Kazukewicz and Jane Kelley
Pet Essentials Packaging
I worked on The Pet Essentials package line redesign. Pet Essentials is the pet basics line carried at Target for everyday products like food, bathing, rawhides and play toys. The logomark is similar to a dog/cat collar tag and become the hangtag for non-photo items on items such as toys and treats.
The photo packaging system created color blocking per animal to help consumers shop easily per pet lines. The cat items were blue and the dog items in red. If future pet items were added to the line, they would get their own coloration (example, hamsters would be green).
For bath items, we kept the color bar in the existing color block... but had the backgrounds be white to represent cleanliness and freshness.
The overall photo sets for these products were so beautiful in person. We discovered that by keeping the sets monotone, it really showcased the product and created alot of "pop!"
Some fun facts: The kitty really is sleeping in the cat napper. I ran her around the set with a toy until she got tired. We put her in the napper and she actually fell asleep. We couldn't believe it.
If you look closer at one of the packages, we took some cat selfies and put them on a frame on the wall. Can you find it?
Design and Art Direction: Kelly Esterby
Animal Training: The Animal Connection
Photo Styling: Rene Hari
Photographer: Joe Michl
Dog Days of Stockholm
The Dog Days of Stockholm was a new festival in Stockholm, Wisconsin that celebrates people's love for books and dogs (two great things put together!) The festival needed an identity that embraced both literature and pooches.
The logomark features a dog jumping over a book and plays off of the word "tale." To promote the event beforehand, we made bookmarks featuring dog "tales" that local businesses could hand out. Book totes, t-shirts and buttons were sold to create buzz and excitement.
The festival featured a dog talent show, dog agility demonstrations, dog adoption center, dog related product vendors, book vendors, dog book authors and dog crafts for kids. Trophies were created for the winners of the doggie talent show with categories like "looks most like his owner" and "best smile." The day was hosted by WCCO's Pet Kessler.
We created fun eye-catching posters that utilized dogs and books. Perhaps, the funnest photoshoot ever.
Design and art direction: Kelly Esterby
Photography by: Barbara O'Brien
Shown are various logomarks I have worked on over the years.
Act 2 Halloween Treat Bags
During Halloween time, Act 2 makes mini bags of popcorn that parents can hand out to kids as treats. The design firm Mackey Creative hired me to come up with an "out there" concept for these bags.
I thought it would be interesting to make the packaging be more fun and character-driven. Due to the printing process of the bags, the artwork prints best with flat colors and simple artwork.
I illustrated the witch, vampire and frankenstein in a friendly style. All of them LOVE popcorn. Popcorn good! This line could easily extend to a ghost, mummy, pumpkin, skeleton, werewolf or a cat.
But alas, this concept was never chosen. Sigh.
Lucy's Soap is a line of handcrafted goat milk soaps. While brainstorming with Julie (the owner), we decided to rename the brand "Lucy's". Lucy was Julie's grandmother who inspired her love of the country and farming. It was also the name of the first goat Julie purchased to start making her lovely soaps.
The packaging has a clean, simple, but yet high-end boutique feel. The logomark graces a lovely goat illustration with Lucy's in a gorgeous script font.
While working at Target, I oversaw all the design and art direction for the Market Pantry private label line. I changed the photography to have more elaborate propping and more appetite appeal. The original photography was more minimal in tone with lots of white space and the consumer was having trouble shopping between flavor skus.
We also increased the logo and product name size for easier readibility. We created an icon system that called out the health benefits.
We created over 1000 Market Pantry packages per year!
Nutri-Dyn carries a product line called "Dynamic" that is exclusively sold in fitness centers and doctors offices. They wanted their line of products to have a better retail shelf presence so it could easily move into that market in the future.
Their existing product line labels were very similar with a large Nutri-Dyn logomark and dark blue coloration. They wanted created a new identity for the name "Dynamic" and create a new brand within the Nutri-Dyn family. The new logomark has a plus sign that is the symbol of how adding these products into your diet can enhance your health and wellness.
The challenge to this project was two-fold. How can we create a design that appeals to the gym crowd but can also appeal to the consumer who is looking for healthier options?
We kept the background white for freshness and health. A bright color band helps distinguish between different product flavors. For the gym crowd, gorgeous black and white fitness photography is showcased in the background. For the health and wellness gurus, the photography changed to fresh fruits and vegetables.
I also helped created printed brochures that coincided with the new branding look and feel.
Target Food Avenue Kids Meal
To support Target's Ready, Sit Read program; we created a Food Avenue package that took on the appearance of a book. It features J. Otto Siebold's fun illustrated characters with a small keepsake book tucked into the front flap of the box cover. Games are featured on the inside cover.
Pillsbury Ready to Bake
Pillsbury's Ready to Bake cookies make baking easy! These pre-sliced cookies transfer easily from tray to cookie sheet for an easy-to-bake treat. The package design utilizes a similar architecture with each sku retaining its own personality with fun illustrations and stylized typography. The back panel contains games and mazes for kids.
These designs were created while working at Coleman Brandworx.
Pumpkin Illustration: K&K Studios
Bunny & Chick Illustrations: Rick Loberg
Omega Fields is a company that produces flax supplement products for animals. Animals benefit from the many wonderful health properties of flaxseed (like a shinier healthy coat and quicker muscle recovery.) Omega Fields approached me about redesigning their line of products. They were currently using metallic bags with a sticker label on the front and back. They wanted their product line to feel more polished.
Omega Fields already had established relationships with certain "animal ambassadors." These animals have been taking their products and their owners could vouch for the many benefits that flax has to offer. The product line design needed to use already existing photography of the ambassadors and still keep consistent throughout.
Each sku has its own coloration so it was easy to identify the different products from one another. A duel picture system was formed to showcase the product or to show multiple pictures of the ambassador. We moved to fully printed bags for a premium feel.