Wake ‘N Bake was a tough one to take on; sometimes the direction has already been cemented and you have to find ways to massage an idea you may not be 100% behind. The client was happy with the design used for the tap sticker of the previous year’s release and simply wanted to “get that on a can”. The core concept of the coffee cup and sun were must-use icons, and the color palate was originally free to play with, but then was directed specifically very early in the process. I still tried to exercise a little creative freedom in terms of tint and shade shifts of the colors and their placements. I adjusted the hues of yellow and blue to create interest and energy, while keeping the overall weight of the design light and in tune with the focus of the design.
The last piece of the puzzle was incorporating outside Art Direction. Having reached a bit of a stalemate in the design, a local design agency’s Founder (also on the client company’s Board of Investors) was brought in to help blend the client’s asks with the direction and design I’d chosen.
Midway through the design, the original client asked to completely get away from the personality of it and it was sterilized, presumably due to fear. Ensuring even the subtle references to cannabis were removed (I fought for keeping the clouds), the design felt unfinished and empty and the Art Director was able to bridge the gap while I explained the reasoning behind the decisions I made in the design.
Building political capital and providing the client with their perception of a win paid dividends as we got the design to the finish line.
My list of words in my design brief and exploration were: coffee, blonde, light, and for some fun I made sure to subtly work in high. It WAS a part of the brand of course, but it’s important to think about the level and visibility of your client. Weed and dick jokes are fine when you’re only going to turn and burn a limited release, but ordering hundreds of thousands of cans that will be available in stores, bars, and even Target and Walmart needs a touch of subtlety and couth.