Sensory Design: Annual Report Cover

What a lovely example of using the sense of touch to deepen the experience of this report annual report. The cover and inner pages react to the warmth from your hands. A sensitive design made more interesting and memorable using the metaphors and sensory design. This report has also been created in an iPad app, which has the same reaction to touch.

Created for Adris by Bruketa&Žinic OM.

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Getting a bigger slice of the feedback pie [INFOGRAPHIC]


3 tips to establish a brand voice


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Sensory Branding Video

Table tent uses

In honor of National Beer Drinking Day…

Establish consistency with a brand handbook

Going green? Font matters

Wine Tasting- A sensory experience

Creative QR codes

3 tips to establish a brand voice

What is brand voice? It is the unique language, tone, and word choice a brand uses. Establishing a clear brand voice is more important than ever, thanks to the constant social media conversation between customers and companies.

But brand voice isn’t just heard through social media. A brand also needs to establish a clear, consistent voice through many channels including blog posts, newsletters, advertisements, in-store communication, internal memos and communication, promotional materials, direct mail pieces, sales pitches, and networking introductions. A brand without a defined voice can be viewed as schizophrenic across communication channels, leading consumers to view the brand as less trustworthy, inferior to competitors, and less memorable.

  • When defining a brand voice, take an in-depth look at the way business is done. How are employees expected to communicate with consumers? Even routine tasks, such as responding to emails can translate into how quickly businesses should respond to consumers. Take one minute to respond to a Tweet, but one day to respond to an email, and the brand voice becomes schizophrenic.
  • Shape your brand voice to talk with consumers, not at them. Don’t alienate with confusing buzzwords or acronyms. Discover what else your target market is interested in, and use the knowledge to your advantage. Businesses selling luxury travel may find their consumers are also interested in fine wine and food, so they should incorporate these topics into conversation.
  • Word choice is also an important element of a brand voice. If sales people offer short and to the point answers to questions, but blog posts use confusing technical terminology, the voice is schizophrenic. Be sure to speak the consumer’s language. At a restaurant, if a hostess is very formal and dress code is enforced, but a server speaks very casually to guests, there may be a disconnect between the brand voice that needs to be addressed.

Do you have questions about establishing a brand voice? Contact us!

Sensory Brand: The W Hotel

The W Hotel uses purple as a design element as a subtle gesture that adds to the guest experience. In a previous post, we mentioned that purple symbolizes a lifestyle of luxury, royalty, and class – all of which perfectly align with the W Hotel brand. When a guest stays at a W Hotel, they are treated like royalty – the staff anticipates guests’ needs, requests, and strives to achieve perfect guest satisfaction. The W uses purple and other exotic colors to ensure that design elements within every hotel communicate the service guests should expect when staying at the W.

The W prides itself on being an innovative, contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand. The hotels are “a world of sensory experiences,” and the W uses these experiences to create loyal guests and a recognized and established upscale brand. In addition to consistent color schemes, the W Hotel has created a brand language, and offers guests a guide to the terms it uses to describe seemingly ordinary things, like the pool (Wet), restrooms (WC), and elevator (lift). This use of insider language gives people the feeling that they are a   part of the exclusive club of W Hotel guests. Just by taking part in separating ordinary things from the general vocabulary of people, the W lets guests in, and forms a community.

Blue Cocktails

Blue design isn’t appealing to the senses in the food realm of restaurants, but behind the bar, it’s a different story. People are hard-wired to associate blue food with things that are toxic or will poison them, a blue drink has the ability to add a splash of color people crave.

Maybe it’s the tropical blue that Blue Curacao (made from the Iaraha Citrus) creates when added to a perfect margarita (or other cocktails) that causes people to like the drink. The bright blue reminds them of a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean by mirroring the crystal clear coastal water. The relationship between “blue” and “drink” is a good one. Phrases people grow up with, such as “the clear blue water” and “icy blue lakes” make blue sound like a healthy color to consume. It makes sense that people view blue drinks as ice cold, calming, and refreshing. Complete the cocktail with a splash of bright color, like a lime wheel, lemon twist, or plump cherry and you have a crave-able drink!

We want to know: what’s your favorite blue drink?


How typography influences menu design

In a previous post, we discussed a little bit about how typography can impact a menu, but we barely scratched the service on the influence it has on the restaurant brand experience.

A menu’s typeface, when put to correct use, can be the window into a restaurant’s kitchen, environment, and even its culture.  It can form the impression that keeps your guest entranced by your brand after they are greeted and seated, but before they taste the food you have to offer. While it may be tempting to get fancy and elaborate with fonts and typefaces, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, your guest must be able to read the items on your menu. This means that when choosing a font it is best to keep the lighting in the restaurant and the age of your customers in mind. You should also try to avoid clutter by spacing items and sections so guests can process what is on the menu. Everything associated with your specific restaurant brand should target your niche market and reflect its needs and tastes, including the readability of your menu.

There is some debate on the perception people have when they have trouble reading a menu. Some menu engineers say that the harder a menu is to read, the perceived value of the items increases, with some restaurants going so far as to hand out reading glasses to patrons, while others have seen a sales increase that coincides with better legibility.  Identifying your brand and target audience will help with choosing a specific theme for your typeface.  Keep in mind that if you do choose a hard-to-read font, you do not want to cross the line from “difficult and intriguing” to “impossible to see, I’m not coming back.”


Have you seen any menus that are hard to read and deterred you from returning? We’d love to hear about it!

The design of wine labels- uncorked

Not everyone is a wine expert, and sometimes we need a little help in choosing a bottle. Do we ask for help? Occasionally, but usually we just look at the label and find one that looks best, or sends a message we respond to.

Wineries are constantly looking for ways to stand out. Most people buying wine aren’t at a winery – they’re in a grocery or liquor store.  Selling a bottle before someone has tasted it is not easy. This places a lot of pressure on the wine label.  The design needs to grab the attention of the buyer, convey certain vital information about the wine (type, red or white, grape varietal, region of origin, surgeon general warning, health information, etc.), and tell a story that aligns with the experience the buyer is trying to create. The experience created arrives from sensory design, which is design that evokes an intuitive response by engaging one or more of the senses.

Modern wine labels are designed to stand out.  A perfect example is Fat Bastard, a wine from Southern France that uses its unique name and a sitting hippopotamus to play to the idea from their website that “most people bought a bottle because of the name and returned to buy cases because of the quality.” This technique has worked very well for Fat Bastard, which is now the best-selling French Chardonnay in the United States.

This doesn’t mean that all wineries should rename their wine and put an unexpected animal on the label.  The wine label must align with the brand and positioning of the producer.  The label may have a traditional French chateau, indicating the region where the grapes were harvested. Or it may have images of the family that created the wine, with the different generations of family members indicating the maturity and age.

Next time you’re choosing a bottle of wine, maybe you’ll notice that the label has a bit more influence on you than expected. Or have you already noticed? We’d love to hear about you favorite label!

Going green? Font matters







10 Sustainable tips for print and graphic design

1. Print in Century Gothic. Century Gothic uses 30% less ink than Arial, and is considered one of the most frugal fonts.

2. Use recycled paper. each 20 cases of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water, and 4100 kwh of energy. It also eliminates 60 pounds of air-polluting emissions and saves 8 cubic feet of landfill space. That’s a LOT of saving. (Bonus: some recycled paper products have an interesting texture creating a sensory design element!)

3. Buy paper derived from a sustainable forest. These trees are actually grown to be used for consumer products. The initiative has helped curb illegal logging and destruction of forests in North America.

4. Use soy based ink. It might dry a little slower, but soy based ink is much more environmentally friendly than it’s alternative which is petroleum based. (Bonus: provides more accurate colors!)

5. Alcohol free printing.

6. End product recyclable or biodegradable. Try to use products that are good for the environment even when you are done using them.

7. Shop locally. There are less transportation costs and resources used when you buy from the supplier down the street versus the supplier on the other side of the country.

8. Use digital options. Send out coupons through e-mail, and let consumers show their inboxes on their cell phones instead of asking them to print the e-mail.

9. Print double sided. Use less pages when possible.

10. Utilize page space. Why do you need margins that are 1.5 inches wide? Utilize the space on every page by decreasing margins and using a smaller font size.

Do you have any sustainability tips?