Designer of the Month: February 2016
Savage Cat Food® takes your cat’s food “back to the wild”. They provide raw, certified organic, prey-based food that contains actual animal muscle tissue and bone. The food is sourced from sustainable local farms, and Savage Cat Food® processing helps retain active bacteria that is normally lost in cat food options. Packaged in 100% recyclable boxes, the containers easily fit in your freezer.
We spoke with co-founder and former creative designer, Joseph Abraham about what makes Savage Cat Food® such a great option for your cat’s diet and the thought-process behind their branding package.
Q: Joe, from the information I’m getting from your personal site, you appear to be a wearer of many metaphorical hats. Could you please describe your role with Savage Cat Food and the services you provide, independently of one another?
A: I am one of three owners and founders of Savage Pet Inc., which makes Savage Cat Food®, a healthy raw food for cats. I previously oversaw the branding and design aspects of everything in the company, from print, to web, to trade shows. I have always worked on websites and have honed my design skills over the years.
Q: What sets you apart from other creatives in the industry?
A: Most of the people in our social circles brew craft beer and make artisan foods. We noticed that the pet industry was outdated, and decided to bring our creative spirit into the trade. In the same way, our product’s commitment to quality and health is the most passionate I have seen in cat food. We wanted to make something that stood apart from the others, both in design and ingredients.
Q: The theme of this branding package appears to be hard versus soft. You use a light and fluffy rounded sans-font to highlight the phrase “Savage Cat Food”. Your logo is of a wildcat with large sharp fangs, yet just below that is a photo of the cutest baby kitty in the world. What made you want to design with this juxtaposition in mind, rather than committing to a more aggressive tone?
A: More specifically, our logo is a saber-toothed tiger. We want people to think of their house cats as small tigers and lions, because cats are predators. I have to give credit to my friend Chadwick Gantes (Gantes.co) for creating the logo and brand guide with me. And we use that guide to dictate all design. The round font just worked at the time and still works now. As far as hard versus soft, I’ve never really thought of it like that. I have thought of it as minimalism with very strong directional lines. Having visual direction is difficult with minimalism, you have to tap into fonts and space in a way that becomes what others would think of as “obsessive” or even “sociopathic”. As for the kitten, who can resist, as you said, “the cutest baby kitty in the world”?
Q: What do you like the most about our Clear + White plastic cards?
A: We had the cards before we made any other tangible material. They look cool, and I can’t remember giving a card to someone who was not impressed. When our business was in the early stages the card really made an impact, because it was the first impression people got of our company. Being different than other business cards really helped us to get some leverage early on.
Q: Your labels are in our kraft sticker stock. Why did you not want to carry the kraft look over to the business cards?
A: Those labels are on a glass bottle with dark contents, so a clear label would have been too difficult to read. Our cat food is packaged in custom kraft boxes that were printed locally (peekpackaging.com) so everything ties together nicely. We use the clear aspect in other areas of our design, such as exposition displays.
Q: As an entrepreneur, what advice can you give to people like you who are good at many things, but may not necessarily know what is the best direction to head in?
A: Read lots of books about people who have done something like you want to do. Build relationships with people you want to be like, and make those relationships a priority. Don’t expect encouragement, but appreciate it when you get it. Be flexible and know when to listen.
Q: What kind of finishing option, or stock, would you like to see Morning Print carry in the future?
A: I love the clear + white plastic, but I would love it even more if I could make white + foil + plastic. We would love to have our current card with gold foil. I also would like to see a kraft sticker with a gold foil such as those on wine bottles. I also would like to see smaller stickers for labels.
Q: Finally, you’ve been printing with us for a while, what keeps you coming back to Morning Print for your printing needs?
A: You can’t beat the speed, price, and quality. Even with international shipping, the turnaround is quicker than some local companies. I am familiar with Morning Print’s attention to quality, and I know what my designs will look like before I get the actual products. For example: Morning Print really is great with bleed lines. They are almost always exactly where they should be. For me as a designer, margins are key and a bad margin can ruin a good design.
Morning Print would like to thank Savage Cat Food and Joe Abraham for contributing to this blog post, and their ongoing support of our products + services. For more information on Savage Cat Food, please visit their website.
Please leave any questions or comments below!