The artist collaboration aimed to connect Starbucks products with up-and-coming artists. I worked with our in-house team of designers and sales to identify twelve artist with an aesthetic that would compel the Starbucks customer. After further reviewing art and establishing contact with artists, I narrowed down the selection to 4 artists and negotiated contracts that would allow us to propose their work to Starbucks. Examples of artwork were chosen and applied to water bottles to then be shown to Starbucks.
As the lead designer at Stephanie Johnson, my process started with comparing future trends in fashion, accessories and home with past sales to create a materials and finish story that would be easily crossed merchandised. It is important to retailers that carry Stephanie Johnson products that the line have the availability to mix and match. The 2017 A/W line showcases thoughtfully curated prints, colors and materials that can pair across collections creating multiple options for merchandised stories. Multiple rounds of material swatches were sourced from China and implemented in the line. In addition, I designed a train case bag that debuted this season.
I worked closely with a freelance designer to update our zipper pulls from fabric pulls to custom metal Stephanie Johnson pulls. This was an important step in elevating the value of the line and was also most cost effective. A/W 2017 also debuted the use of YKK zippers as an added selling point.
The following four distinct CMF stories were designed for a customer exclusive program. One of our largest customers carrying the Rabbit line was looking to carry new items in wine that would be elevated in color and finish, justify a higher price point, and be differentiated from their existing products that are primarily black and natural stainless steel.
Inspirations were found in other product categories such as consumer electronics, high end beauty products, and home décor. Colors and techniques range from deep navy with metallic accents to trendy warm tones to speckled black plastic and silicone. The four directions give upscaled options in a well-curated product lineup.
The following four Star Wars bottles were designed and manufactured as an exclusive line for Williams Sonoma. I selected graphics from artwork that was provided by LucasArts and then adjusted to fit the product. I worked with our operations team and factory to achieve a variety of finishes such as iridescent white, metallic silver and high gloss paint. We went through multiple rounds of product sampling to achieve the desired results to spec.
As terrazzo has become a trend in building materials, home décor, graphics and textiles, we have tested adding speckles into our plastic products. We are able to achieve the look in PP, ABS, injection molded silicone and compression molded silicone.
Rabbit launches their freezable cocktail line for S/S 2019 in speckled blue. The freezable whiskey glasses, beer glasses, swizzle ice pops, king cube, and crushed ice trays all have silicone parts that are compression molded with white silicone speckles that are infused throughout. The speckled silicone differentiates our products from others in the market place and is a product appropriate technique that gives the line an extra chilly feel.
The Rabbit Champagne Cork Catcher and Champagne Sealer were designed not just with the function in mind, but with the vision for a subtle and sophisticated tonal finish. It was our goal to have a texture break on both products that would be both satin and matte. The products achieve this look with a satin vacuum-plated finish that is applied before two transparent matte coats. As shown, we tested a few previous versions that had metallic paint, all-over satin vacuum plating and all-over chrome vacuum plating before coming to our final tonal finish sample.
The painterly silicone hydration sleeves came from an exploratory materials exercise to create a silicone product that looks like it has paint strokes in it. This is achieved by starting with a base silicone color that is in strip and adding multiple smaller pieces of colored silicone to the outside of it. When smaller pieces of the other colors are added and then molded, it creates a look that mimics a brush stroke. The dimples in the sleeve mold also help to achieve this look. Painterly brush strokes motifs have become very popular in many product categories such as stationary, wallpaper, pillows and phone cases to name a few.
Shown are both renderings and actual photos of samples.
The original container for the compact bar tool set was a clumsy plastic case that was due for an update. We wanted the product to be more wearable and giftable. We moved away from a plastic case to a textile wallet design. I worked closely with our industrial designer on the design, with our engineer and multiple of our factories to source and manufacture the wallet. We sourced materials with the factory that makes the metal bar tools, as well as one of our other trusted soft goods factories to find the materials and quality that we desired.
I sampled multiple versions that were all nylon (not shown), and that had a variety of logo treatments (shown). The purpose was to have options in quality of materials and design, while being sensitive to price point. After thorough research of men's accessories, I chose colors and materials inline with the Rabbit brand and positioned the products as giftable purchases.
The freezable cocktail is a new product that allows you to make a frozen drink without a blender. You just prepare the contents of your frozen drink in the silicone carafe, freeze it, and then easily squeeze to make the contents pourable. The product has a coozie to help protect your hands from the cold.
Rabbit products are traditionally for everyday use and this is one of the first ever products in the line that is seasonal and designed for warm weather. With that, I chose a color pallet that combined new seasonal colors with existing core colors. It was important to protect brand identity while carving out space for a product that was more playful and fresh. I worked with engineering and our factory in color matching all of the components, as well ensuring that the artwork on the die line was correctly executed.
The four lamps shown were designed while I worked at Foreside Home and Garden. I worked closely with the factory on the application process of the ceramic flowers as this was a new technique for the factory. They were very resistant at first, but they were eventually able to achieve the effect and now use this effect on their in-house designs. The lamps were well received at the AmericasMart in Atlanta and quickly sold out.
For the S/S 2020 launch, Chef’n will be launching frozen pops. I looked to children’s parties and frozen treats for inspiration for the color and finish concepts for this product. Bright colors and large speckles were perfect for this product. We are using a new factory and I am working with our engineer on teaching them how to add large regrind speckles into the silicone compression molded top. We have had success with this technique with multiple other factories and physical samples are photographed and shown on the last slide.
We recently on-boarded a new ceramic factory for our Starbucks North America business. With on-boarding a new factory, we needed to explore their capabilities as they are relevant to marketplace trends. We sent images from in-store shopping and online research with color specifications and descriptions for sampling.
After the factory created samples and provided technique specs, I implemented the techniques to 3D renderings in KeyShot. The 3D renderings and physical samples were then presented to Starbucks for future products. We will continue to use these techniques for in-house products, as well as other Starbucks markets.