PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Blackbird General Store Identity (Video)
If there’s someone in your life who still somehow disputes that “packaging is everything,” we humbly suggest that you deposit them in the Blackbird General Store at your earliest convenience. While it’s true that this “modern, chic” little shop in Old Town Calabasas (Calif.) offers a host of tempting gourmet foods, jewelry, toys and accessories, what separates it from the dozens of other “general stores” you’ve no doubt traipsed through over the years in the west is the tasteful, unifying identity crafted for it by EnZed Design. What’s particularly impressive is just how much mileage they’ve managed to get out of their logo, which beautifully mimics the distinctive typography and complexity of illustration that were all the rage in 19th Century America.
Thanks to decades of westerns on television and in the movies, the phrase “general store” conjures up a certain aesthetic: feed sacks, pickle barrels and sawdust covered floors — in other words, textures galore. EnZed Design used this to great advantage.
To watch Sabine Lenz discuss the Sky Bubble Pattern Box click here or on the video below:
To start with Genghis Kern printed business cards on two 90 lb. Cover, Neenah Paper Crane’s Lettra 100% cotton Pearl White papers [Get Swatchbook] and then duplex laminated them together for an 180-lb. chunky treat. The gorgeous logo covers the front completely, with period-specific-looking typography on the reverse.
Then there are the letterpress-printed hangtags, which do fabulous double duty as they not only show off that logo big and bold on the back, but the front is used as a gift tag, featuring two different designs that border on the sublime courtesy of some sharp-lined borders and illustrations.
Continuing that smart use of texture: pinewood gift boxes that feature the logo laser-etched into the wood. Removing the box cover reveals offset-printed tissue paper that shows off the blackbird and flora of the logo to full advantage.
The effect of all this is something like HBO’s “Westworld:” an approximation of the Old West but much cleaner and prettier than the real thing. Yee-haw!
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.