Product Label Design – Collaborating With Local Artists

Product Label Design – Collaborating With Local Artists

Ever sat down in a bar, looked at the back bar shelves and asked yourself, “Who designed those liquor labels?” versus wondering about their taste. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, unless you are me.

There are so many product label designs that range in different sizes, colors, and shapes. Who can judge which one is better than the other? When it down right comes to design, there is not one single correct answer but many. Regardless if you like a design or not, the most important question is, “Would you remember it?”

With the wide range of products, a label can easily get lost on the shelves. Sometimes taking an approach that’s off the beaten path may help your label stand out and if not be memorable. These designs should be thoughtful and carefully crafted to not steer away from the essence of the product.

Back Bar Project has been working with CreateHive for over six years now. You can see their premium import collection of spirits on all the top shelves in quite a few of the hottest bars across the U.S. Some brands of you may have already seen are Giffard, Sotol Por Siempre, Bigallet, Nuestra Soledad, El Jolgorio, and much more to come.

Artistic Collaboration

The Back Bar Project team keeps us busy designing their collateral – from labels to packages to product sell sheets, as well as advertisements, posters, etc. From time to time they introduce us to local artists from the distilleries regions to collaborate on projects. Such collaborations create unique labels that bring the culture and brand to life. To have local artists collaborating with our design is an honor and privilege. Two brains are better than one, amirite?

One thing you can surely say about Back Bar Project spirit is they look and taste amazing!

Updating Your Brand – Biscottea

Updating Your Brand – Biscottea

BISCOTTEA has been with CreateHive for almost 7 years already. These shortbread cookies are sold all over the world and we are proud of being the studio behind their brand.

Updating Your Brand

This year we worked with BISCOTTEA to revamp their brand. Part of the challenge of updating any brand is keeping continuity between the old and new. Having a strong yet minimalist brand is key for an easy transition. In the case of BISCOTTEA all shortbread flavor package designs kept their stripes, yet colors were updated, and new photography (by Sunita Martini) now gives the whole design a new clean look. In addition we are in the process of designing BISCOTTEA’s new website and are excited of the upcoming launch.

Other than seeing them on shelves at Costco, Caribou Coffee, Delta Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, and other big retails, BISCOTTEA is now sold on Amazon. I admit I’m bias but really, you must try their shortbread as they are so yummy!

Here are some photos taken by BISCOTTEA’s team of their latest convention. They shared their booth with other brands, many of which we designed as well. Derek Still, a co-founder of BISCOTTEA is the good looking guy in the photos.

Portfolio Showcase

Portfolio Showcase

Took us long enough but the shelves are finally up, showcasing some of our design work. It is a such great feeling to see the final products on display! As designers it does not get any better than that.

Please don’t forget to send us final print materials of our designs, so we can proudly add it to the shelf rotation!

Internet domain and hosting conundrums – by Erez Benari

Internet domain and hosting conundrums – by Erez Benari

The availability of cheap domain and website hosting services like Wix, HostGator and GoDaddy have made website ownership as common as cellphones. However, if not managed carefully, owning a domain or website can make you a target for hackers, and in some cases, things can get ugly.

The main challenge with domain ownership is that it’s managed by companies which employ regular people like you and me. Some of these companies are well-managed and secure, while others are more susceptible to various types of attacks. Using different techniques, from cracking a user’s email through advanced social-engineering attacks, crackers have been hijacking domains for years, often causing huge damages to the original domain owners. For example, this story describes the battle Diigo had to go through when their domains was hijacked for ransom.

Even when a domain registrar has strict and secure policies regarding domain transfers, this doesn’t guarantee our safety. For example, in the case of one of CreateHive’s own customers (who shall remain anonymous), a Canadian company used a legal loophole to forcefully and secretly take over an American domain named owned by a former-partner.

The big question, of course, is what can we do to prevent this from happening. Well, ultimately, if the hijacker is willing to go to any length, not all attacks can be prevented, and that is a risk we need to learn to live-with (similar techniques can and have been used to hijack phone numbers, and even mailing addresses). However, there are a few best-practices we should all follow to make us lesser-desirable targets.

First, for any account that supports it (especially email), enable two-factor authentication (2FA), as well as any other security features that are available. For example, Gmail supports two-factor authentication, so that’s a no-brainer, even if it does make life a little more complicated. When setting up accounts, make sure you use long and complex passwords that can’t be easily guessed. Try to avoid using similar or identical passwords across multiple services, and avoid setting your account-recovery questions to something that’s easy to find (that’s how the Fappening happened!).

Another thing to avoid is using your domain for your email, or at least, use an external email (like gmail) for the primary and administrative accounts. The reason for this is because if someone hijacks your domain, that gives them control over your email as well, which would allow them to harvest sensitive business data, block major operational work, and even use the account to crack other services.

When buying domains and setting up hosting, make sure you use a well-known and large provider which is in your own country, and prefer one that has a good reputation for customer support. I know that it’s tempting to choose a 10$/year hosting instead of $100/year, but those 90 bucks could be the difference between sleeping well at night and losing thousands of dollars while your domain is pawned. Also, try to avoid sub-registrars and hosters (those are companies that pretend to be a hoster or registrar, but actually just re-sell a service by someone else). Yahoo does this, for example, as well as 1dollar-webhosting.com. Another thing that could help is buying a domain-privacy, if the registrar allows it (most do, and it’s not expensive). This isn’t a real blocker for any serious attacker, but it will deter many who are looking for easy prey.

Finally, one thing that may be harder, but worth considering, is trying to design your business in a way that doesn’t make you too dependent on your digital assets. It’s the classic idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket. One step could be using multiple email addresses and making sure customers know them all (as well as your phone number). If you sell online, offer your products through multiple venues like eBay and Amazon, instead of only via your site. Also, if you do have multiple online presence points, make sure you monitor them all routinely (for example, if you are listed on google maps, check the listing at least twice a month).

In closing, it becomes apparent that in today’s world of cyber crime, owning a domain and website is not as simple and trivial as it may seem. However, the answer is not to shy away from the internet, but to realize that security planning needs to be part of our routine. Just like we install locks on our doors and alarm systems in our offices and stores, so must we invest thought, time and money in securing our digital assets. With some clear thinking and planning, most of us will never fall victim to cyber hijackers.

How We Boost Creativity

How We Boost Creativity

Everybody has their own way to boost creativity. Some read, others watch movies, walk outdoors, enjoy delicious foods, explore museums, etc. I enjoy all of those, but mostly I need my puzzles, those are my brain food.

Why puzzles you may ask? I crave the challenge that forces me to think outside of the box. As a designer it is good practice, as they require a clear and analytical approach. That practice is what helps me to bring new ideas to the table and to effectively manage the design process.

In a world overly branded, it is not enough to get inspired by our surroundings, hoping to improve existing concepts. We, designers, need to INNOVATE!

Lucky me, Sunita keeps bringing me new puzzles. This one has the right balance of fun vs challenge.

Now, what boost your creativity?

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