When Martha Stewart Everyday products were available in Canada (first at Kmart, then at Zellers, then at The Bay, then at Sears, now not at all) I used to save some of the imagery on the packages of the items I had purchased: the labels on a set of tea towels, the cardboard backing of a set of cutlery. You see, part of being a design addict is that you cannot help but sponge up the inspirations around you and begin in earnest to collect and store and compartmentalize all of your clipped and cut-out treasures. Between the savaged paper shopping bags whose logos I admired and the bits and pieces of scrap paper torn from various packages stuffed into a set of drawers, I simply could not go on hoarding. And so, most of these cuttings were relegated to the recycle bin several years ago.
Still, I'm an archivist at heart. And part of the fun of having a blog like this is that I can gather and arrange various design inspirations. (No more clutter!)
As mentioned in an earlier post, much of the design we've seen on the packaging of Martha's products at Kmart and Macy's was the result of a collaborative partnership between Doyle Partners design firm and in-house designers at MSLO. Since 1997, most of the packaging at Kmart was designed by Doyle and the team at MSLO. More recently, the packaging of the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's was given special treatment by Doyle, which also designed the new Martha Stewart circular logo. Doyle is headed up by its founder, Stephen Doyle, who is the husband of Gael Towey, chief creative officer at Martha Stewart Living.
I've gathered a few examples of the sublime exercises in effective branding and marketing below, and upon review have fallen in love with the bold use of colour and the graphic use of font and digitals on so much of the packaging all over again. Indeed, she packaged it right!
In the photo above, Stephen Doyle works laboriously on the plaster cast of the new Martha Stewart logo, which was launched in October of 2006. Doyle opted for a plaster cast rather than a computerized imaging technique to create the logo so that a more free-handed and natural look to the font could be achieved. This not only increases the logo's friendliness, it also makes it far more difficult for competitors to replicate a free-hand design. The inspiration for the new logo came from coinage and wreaths. Martha and her team wanted a logo that would imbue a sense of value (with the classicism of an old Roman coin) as well as impart a feeling of welcome to those beholding the image.Gathered en-masse this way, the Martha Stewart Everyday boxes of kitchenware look utterly bold and engaging. Note the use of enlarged digitals and simple, solid colours, many of which are sharply contrasted. The liberal use of colour is something I have always loved about the Martha Stewart design aesthetic.