Mar 23

It’s springtime here in beautiful Boulder, and Team Oblique has been busy as a bee. After winning several projects at the tail end of last month, we’ve been hard at work cooking up some tasty new designs. Allow us to introduce you to one of our fabulous new clients, Aspen Mesh, who chose us among several Colorado design firms to revamp their brand with a bold new logo, custom stationery suite, and website overhaul.

Aspen Mesh provides a supported service mesh for managing microservices, so their users can spend less time worrying about infrastructure and more time working on code. They’re experts dedicated to the success of the businesses they work with, building trusted partnerships and solving problems before they even arise. Basically, if your business’s tech team needs a better way to manage microservices, Aspen Mesh has got your back!

We met with their team to conduct a brand strategy workshop, and identified several key values from which to build their voice. With these in mind, our goal was to pinpoint ways we could position Aspen Mesh as frontrunners in their field while preserving their laid-back attitude—not only do these guys really know their stuff, but they’re also awesome to work with. We wanted to convey that Aspen Mesh has the expertise to take the complexity out of microservice management, and is committed to building trusted partnerships with their customers.

After reviewing a handful of creative design approaches, the client chose a logo with clean, angular lines and a simple sans serif font. We selected colors in hot magenta and bright green hues, evoking both innovation and playfulness at once. Our goal was for the simplicity of the design to underline both the services Aspen Mesh provides and the experience of working with them—that is to say, totally headache-free. We’re pleased with the outcome: a logo that’s versatile, visible, and engaging, without being overly complicated.

Next up, we’ll be diving head-first into work on the stationery suite and website redesign. Stay tuned!

Feb 20

Sometimes a company is built for seamless branding. Our Boulder graphic design team got to dive head-first into the refined life on our recent work with Tersa Steam, a cutting-edge product that revolutionizes the way we clean and care for our clothing. At first glance, Tersa Steam appears to be an unassuming mirror or wall decor piece. Look closer, and you’ll see just how incredible it really is, and how it quickly refreshes and revitalizes clothing in a matter of minutes. It’s a movement everybody can get behind, except those who absolutely adore spending their free time doing laundry.

This was an exciting project from the jump. Firstly, the Tersa Steam is just plain cool. Not only does it bring us one step closer to living in what we thought “The Future” would be like when we were kids, it’s physical proof of the power of crowdsourcing.

Some smart dudes from St. Louis saw a problem, thought up a solution, tinkered a bit, threw it up on IndieGoGo, and boom. Tersa Steam lives. Now, people are spending less time in the laundry room and hampers are filling up at a much more reasonable pace. Truly, this is refined living.

Oblique helped Tersa develop their brand messaging, created their logo and tagline, an designed a stationary suite and a new IndieGoGo splash page that went live just in time for CES. The work we did was key in pushing Tersa to hit its crowdfunding goals, driving this extremely innovative product to market.

We wanted to make sure Tersa’s branding would jump out to the right people. We started with the foundations of Tersa’s message and tweaked it to speak to our core markets. Our goal was to spark intrigue with groups like Millennial and mid-market professionals, frequent business travelers, hospitality C-suite groups, hip work/live spaces, and college housing.

We wanted these groups to view Tersa as a product and brand that understands their desire to look, smell, and feel great fast, without cutting corners; to see Tersa not as a shortcut, but as a refined way to tackle one of life’s most frequent chores in today’s demanding career environment. With this in mind, our branding team arrived at the perfect tagline: Living Refined.

For the logo, our graphic design team wanted to capture the allure of the product itself while also hinting to consumers what Tersa Steam does. We accomplished this by alluding to water with blue and complementing it with black as a nod to the sleek design of the product itself. We designed the ‘e’ to look like an abstract timer to communicate the quick 10-minute process needed for Tersa Steam to revitalize clothes. Because this is such a new and cutting-edge product, we went with a modern sans-serif typeface that appears understated, but also conveys confidence. And really, confidence is what the Tersa Steam is all about. If you look good and smell good, you also feel good. It’s the transitive property of Tersa Steam.

The product is awesome. Its story is awesome. The guys who made it are awesome. Needless to say, we feel pretty awesome about the working with Tersa Steam. We hope you’ll check it out.

Feb 6

Ginger Graham had a dream: to open a pie shop where people would gather to swap stories, laugh freely, and, of course, eat delicious pie. But when she teamed up with chef Deborrah Traylor to make the dream a reality, she had no idea how their simple vision would grow to become the Fort Collins culinary extravaganza that is Ginger and Baker.

Now a 20,000-square-foot community center with a bakery, restaurant, market, event space, and cooking school all rolled into one, Ginger and Baker’s story begins (as these stories often do) with humble origins. The century-old historic building that housed the Northern Colorado Feeders Supply has served the people of Fort Collins since 1905, when sheep and sugar beet farming formed the backbone of the town’s economy. Ginger and her team lovingly restored the two-story brick building to its former glory, and built an exquisite metal addition. The result is a striking blend of old and new, uniting Fort Collins’ agricultural past with its bright, shining future.

When it came time to create branding and designs for their venture, the G&B team approached several Colorado design firms to find the right fit before settling on Oblique Design. They shared their vision for a big-time eatery with a small-town feel, so that whether you’re grabbing a slice of pie at the Cafe, meeting friends for dinner at The Cache, or enrolling in a class at the Teaching Kitchen, you know you’re in good company.

We wanted every piece of the design package, from the typography to the color palette, to evoke the sensation that visiting Ginger and Baker is like visiting family, like listening to your grandma tell stories from way back when. To step into Ginger and Baker is to reach out and touch the very fabric of Fort Collins’ rich history.

Even the menu reflects these ideals. Featuring innovative offerings made from local ingredients, you won’t find any imported meat or seafood here. What you will find are dishes inspired by Northern Colorado’s bountiful rivers, fields, and farms, which change frequently to incorporate seasonal fare.

All this is to say, when Ginger and Baker chose us as their Colorado design firm and asked us to reinvent their brand, we knew we had our hands full. But branding is our bread and butter, so we felt confident that we could deliver designs that perfectly encapsulated what G&B is all about, and deliver we did: Our toolkit provided over 70 pages of logos, fonts, colors, patterns, and illustrations to be used both in print and online. We carefully crafted each element to embody the sense of community, comfort, and familiarity you get when you walk into Ginger and Baker—a feeling not unlike coming home.

Jan 9

Lively, thrilling, and highly creative, 2017 was a wild ride for Oblique Design.

Once again, we dabbled in the restaurant industry as team Oblique won the pitch with Ginger and Baker, Fort Collins’ newest dining experience. While Ginger and Baker is, no joke, the destination to grab your morning coffee and pastry, they’ll keep you coming back for more. Whether it’s a casual lunch, an upscale dinner, an event in their stunning space, or a fine wine tasting in their well-stocked cellar, you’ll feel right at home. It’s a little raw here. It’s a lot real here. Built on tales told and yet-to-tell, Ginger and Baker is at the heart of it all. The Ginger and Baker team approached Oblique Design to evolve their brand and create a 70+ page toolkit to be used across all print collateral, marketing materials, packaging, and website design. We delivered, and have loved seeing our designs come to life.

In the technology and software arena, we collaborated with clients such as BDI, JNBridge, PUHL, and Instream Water. Check out our handiwork in BDI’s new logo and website; JNBridge’s product icons; PUHL’s logo (website launching in a few weeks); and Instream Water’s logo, video, and app. Not to toot our own horn too much, but we feel pretty great about the creative impact we’ve made on all of these brands.

Oblique excelled at naming new companies in 2017. With over 123 years of industry experience, Talon International easily tops our list. A leading supplier of customized zippers, managed trim solutions, and Tekfit Stretch Technologies, Talon International has a diversified customer base of 950+ manufacturers representing over 200 brands. Oblique Design had the privilege of renaming Tekfit, one of their main business units. The Tekfit technology transforms an otherwise non-stretchable fabric into one that’s incredibly flexible and comfortable. After legal approvals, trademark searches, and patent office requirements, Talon International settled on ADJUSTEC for their new business unit name.

Throughout the past year, we expanded our work in the beloved and burgeoning skincare industry. Package design is our passion, and we were crazy excited to work with both Bjorn’s Bees and Cause+Medic in 2017. Originally conceived in Sweden, Bjorn’s now makes their honey and bee-based skincare products right here on the Front Range. Oblique created seven package designs for Bjorn’s, including body lotion, toothpaste, salve, lip balm, and more. And speaking of salve, when it comes to CBD-infused body lotion, body oil, tattoo balm, and pain cream, Cause+Medic’s got you covered. Oblique worked with savvy CBD industry experts at Cause+Medic to create eye-catching and relevant packing in a super competitive retail space.

We’re psyched to say that 2017 was basically just one giant celebration of our 15 Year Anniversary. If you haven’t already, check out our previous blog entry to read an in-depth interview with owner Janice Ferrante. Discover her personal thoughts on the advertising industry and how branding is changing. Plus, you won’t want to miss her words of wisdom on moving forward as a boutique agency owner.

It’s been quite a year! We laughed, we cried, we kicked some butt. Team Oblique would like to thank each and every client for trusting us with not only your brand, but your company vision and future growth. We strive to make your lives easier, more insightful, and a lot more creative.

Cheers to a fabulous 2018!

Nov 20

We all have clothes lying around that need a quick chemical-free fragrance steam, a handy anti-bacterial whirl and a de-wrinkle lift. Two young guys from St. Louis saw the need and jumped on it to start their own company called Tersa Steam.

With over $79,298 already raised on Indiegogo since September, 2017, they are on the fast track to success. Tersa Steam is the new and innovative way to steam your clothes – without ruining them, and the hassle that steamers and irons bring. Did we mention the entire process takes only 10 minutes? You can pinch yourself now.

When Tersa Steam came knocking at our door for a Brand Strategy Workshop, Logo Design, Tagline, Stationery Suite, Indiegogo Landing page and Trade Show Booth designs for CES, where we really going to say no? We think not, these guys are onto something BIG. Not only with consumers, but big hotel chains and corporations as well. Two thumbs up.

How does it work? Simply place your clothes in the wall-mounting device. Turning it on, insert your pod of choice, press a button and walking away. Literally. Turn the power on and continue with your morning routine. Grab coffee, eat breakfast, or just relax and read the newspaper while this machine steams, de-wrinkles, and freshens your clothes for work, school or even a night out.

We think it’s genius. Don’t be shy, join Oblique in backing them today.

Nov 6

Marijuana use and legalization is a controversial topic of discussion these days. While many states have made it legal to get high, cannabis laws have brought us other benefits as well that can be enjoyed by a broader audience. Although not everyone may be a fan of THC, I think we can all enjoy the benefits of CBD.

“What’s CBD?” you ask. It’s a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis that’s associated with relaxation, stress relief and other wonderful things. CBD has regenerative effects – repairing skin, healing wounds and reducing scar tissue and because of this it can now be found in skincare products. You may be wondering why Oblique would care about this. Or can you guess?

That’s right, we’re writing to introduce you to our newest client, CAUSE+MEDIC! CAUSE+MEDIC is an all-natural skincare line combining the healing properties of cannabis with other active botanical ingredients, to enhance skin health and radiance. To us they’re a dream client offering a dream product. CAUSE+MEDIC has hired Oblique to redesign their logo and packaging as they seek to place their products in spas across the country. Sign us up for a CBD mint infused massage pronto!

Once you’ve experienced their products in the spa, you’ll want to buy some for use at home. If not just for the beautiful packaging Oblique will design, you’ll want to own them, because they’re amazing products with great restorative qualities. If that doesn’t sell you, maybe this will. CAUSE+MEDIC products incorporate a variety of consciously selected botanicals and are responsibly sourced and cruelty free. All of their packaging is recyclable or made from recycled materials. And best of all, they pledge $1 from every sale to a charitable organization of your choice. What’s not to love?

As you can tell we’re totally smitten and we think you’re about to be as well. Check them out at Branding and packaging photos to come, so check back regularly to see the finished product.

Sep 26

We recently designed several apparel items for one of our local clients, BOOM Properties. We teamed up with a local apparel company, Goodbye Blue Monday, to design hats, t-shirts and hoodies. One of our TEEM co-workers even volunteered to model our swag and we had a great time running around Pearl Street taking pictures of her in BOOM’s new apparel.

The designs that Oblique created for BOOM Properties clearly stands out from all other property management companies. Our killer designs are modern, modular, and shows how this company pushes boundaries for their own clients.

Team Oblique is chomping at the bit to design cool products for your company. Need a company hoodie, trucker hat, water bottle or lighter? We’d love the opportunity to create branded gear for you. Come to us with your challenge and we’ll design a kick-ass representation of your brand!

Sep 15

I guess you could say Chef Ann is our latest celebrity crush and all the recent media hype she’s received has made us giddy. We’re huge fans of this renegade lunch lady and her initiatives as she works to reform US school food programs one district at a time. Oblique has recently teamed up with the Chef Ann Foundation to create a fresh new brand for their new program, the School Food Institute. We came up with the name, mission statement, logo, tagline and website copy for this thriving organization.

If you’re unfamiliar with Chef Ann Cooper, you won’t be for long. Her goal is to create an organization that grants children daily access to fresh, healthy food in their school cafeterias. At this time Chef Ann oversees the cafeteria food preparation for 50 different schools in the Denver area, which leads to 13,000 meals prepared each day. With the introduction of programs such as the School Food Institute, these numbers will only continue to grow.

The School Food Institute is an online educational program that provides in-depth training, operational skills, and strategic vision to food service professionals. These skills will help to bring healthy and sustainable food into lunchrooms across the nation. The program also hopes to bring attention to issues within the school food system and inspire change among them. Already, they have been recognized for their outstanding efforts in changing the Denver school food system and they recently received a $520,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation that will allow all Colorado food service workers to enroll in SFI courses at no cost. It’s encouraging to see so many school districts coming onboard and participating in this outstanding certification program! You can read more about Chef Ann and the School Food Institute in recent articles from the Denver Post and the New York Times.

We’re proud to have developed the face to this impactful name that is already making a difference in our local Colorado community, and in communities across the country. You can learn more about the Chef Ann Foundation or donate to their cause here.

Aug 31

Oblique is moving down to the big city… Pearl Street! Our new office will be downtown at TEEM’s co-working space, right off of Broadway and Spruce.

Our new space offers an environment that maximizes productivity working alongside highly-skilled, motivated professionals in our industry. TEEM’s tenants are like-minded creatives, striving to advance their own businesses in this vibrant, energetic environment where ideas and execution thrive. This community will provide a sounding board for creative concepts, a team to brainstorm alongside and a competitive environment in which we’ll be challenged to constantly improve our craft.

The Oblique team will be moving in the first week of September. What does this shift mean for our clients? We will still consist of the same small, niche kickass team, but we’ll be working in the heart of a creative incubator and saving money with the intention of passing the savings onto you.

Come visit us in our new space. There’s free coffee, happy hours every third Thursday and did we mention that dogs are welcome? We look forward to welcoming you there!

NEW ADDRESS:  2088 Broadway, Boulder CO, 80302
NEW PHONE NUMBER:  303.718.9811

Aug 22

Long have I awaited for the day to not call myself an intern but an actual professional. Well today, it still hasn’t come. With a year of school still to go and new experiences on the horizon I refrain from being a self declared professional and am putting my drive on cruise control. But, my time here at Oblique has gotten me that much closer. These mentors/colleagues of mine (now friends as well) are legit. They know the in’s and out’s of the agency community. Whether it is in advertising, branding, design, or just knowing how to be honest with your partners and clients, they know it all. Here are a few lessons I learned along the way.

When you have multiple clients, with multiple projects, all with multiple due dates, organization is a must. While this sounds simple, it’s not, one missing file can spell disaster for an entire project. Have backups, have backups of the backups, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

You’re not always going to hit a home-run with the first design or idea you have. Everything in the agency community is trial and error. Having version 2.6.3 is not uncommon, you must learn how to be in tune with your client and their vision. While making suggestions is a must, it takes adaptability between both sides to have a finished product that is satisfying but also creates lasting value for the client.

Don’t be Afraid to Learn
Good teams are created by having skillsets that are different but still work great together. Finding your niche and adding value to the team is the best way to help out. And when you don’t know something, ask! Don’t be afraid to learn, and take your mistakes as teachable moments.

While these lessons were learned at work, they can be applied to life as well. Make sure everything you do can be used as a way to improve yourself. I know I did.