Festive Favorites

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As we are finishing up our work week (and dreaming of our long weekend in sun, bbq’s and red, white & blue outfits) we’ve gathered some of our favorite 4th of July treats, inspiration and history. Enjoy!

We’re always thirsty here are Fuzion, these delicious looking red, white & blue drinks will be sure to get us in the festive mood.

Finally, a designers take on fireworks.

Quenching our inspiration thirst today with these vintage firework packages.

Looking for the best firework displays?

We are lucky to have Americas oldest Fourth of July parade here in RI.

Although fireworks may seem like pure magic, they’re actually pure science. See how fireworks are made.

Think you know your 4th of July History? We love History.com and Column Five’s history of 4th of July infographic:

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Dunkies to Put an End to the Double Cup

Dunkin’ Dounuts could change the iced coffee, double cup New England phenomena for good. They have been testing alternate cups and plan to phase out the foam cup this year, because after all polystyrene is bad. What will New Englanders do? Without our trusty, environmentally un-friendly double-cups, New Englanders will never look as cool, or happy as this iced coffee blow-up we designed:

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Fuzion’s iced coffe blow-up design for DD.

Today alone, we have 3 guilty double-cuppers in the Fuzion office. Our design intern, Emily; one of our designers, Justin and cofounder Wayne all sporting double-cupped, condensation-free iced coffees.

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Emily, Justin & Wayne, the guilty double-cuppers in the Fuzion office today.

If your not familiar with the double cup, boston.com explains:

“Double cupping, in case you’re not familiar, is a practice particularly customary to New England that goes as follows:

1. Purchase an iced coffee (or tea, if you must) from a Dunkin’ Donuts location.

2. Shamelessly request a foam cup in the equivalent or greater size.

3. Insert iced coffee (or tea, but why?) into foam cup.

4. Bask in the superiority of having a condensation-free beverage to hold.”

Following Starbucks initiative to use a complete line of recyclable or reusable cups by 2015, Dunkies will be changing their cups sooner than you think. Supposedly, New York City has a ban of all styrofoam cups in the city into effect this July. 536 Dunkin Dounut shops throughout five boroughs will comply with the ban and start using a “double-walled paper cup”.

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Dunkin Dounuts possible new recyclable, polypropylene cups. Image credit to Crain Communications, Inc.

What do we suggest? Dunkies should take tips from Venezuelan designer, Enrique Luis Sardi design of the cookie cup for the Italian coffee brand Lavazza… Yum!

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Fuzion’s Chance to Impress the High-Rollers

Recently we’ve partnered with two local companies, Fulfullment Services Inc. (FSI) of Walpole MA, and Taylor Box of Warren RI to create a specialty package for Caesars Palace ‘Seven Stars’ VIP members. The specialty package that presented to them a Samsung tablet (pre-loaded with a custom app to track members points and benefits, along with a handful of games). Since Fuzion is full of packaging designers, Mike Kirwan owner of FSI came to us for our expertise and wanted our help to create something that was more than just a box. The package needed to look and feel high-end while creating an experience as it was opened. Have you ever bought something where you enjoyed the experience of opening the package as much as the product? Just think – a beautiful soft-touch, all white, un-opened iPhone box sitting on the counter… you can’t resist right? Caesar’s wanted something similar, after all this needed to impress their highest spending customers while still reinforcing their brand.

As soon as we were briefed on the scope of the project, we collaborated with Taylor Box, a company who specializes in manufacturing specialty boxes, to create a one-of-a-kind box that could be produced here in Rhode Island. We generated some concept sketches for the box and list of materials we thought would suit the over-the-top style of Caesars palace – black embossed covering material with silver foil stamping and the inside was flooded with red peach board, that you couldn’t help but touch. The structure nestled the tablet on a platform suspended above the cords and accessories held in a compartment beneath and was bound by a black satin ribbon. The package was held by a magnetic closure that perfectly snapped as it closed. The project was a great challenge for Fuzion and was fun to put ourselves in the shoes of a high-roller. The cherry on the top, was that it was all made in the USA.

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Images thanks to Taylor Box. Check out their post about the project: http://blog.taylorbox.com/box/box-of-the-month-tablet-box-for-total-rewards-vip-members/

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Toy Fair 2015

We made our way down to New York last weekend to Toy Fair 2015 to meet with some of our clients, create new connections and see what’s new in the toy industry this year. The trip to Toy Fair is always slightly overwhelming, yet always exciting and inspiring. Many of our current clients were featuring packages, branding and booths we have designed. Although the weather pushed us back a day from getting to New York, we finally made it and were thrilled to see what’s new.

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Fuzion has recently partnered with the China based toy company, Auldey, designing identity for numerous brands and helping them create larger than life booth graphics to grab attention down the busy aisles of Toy Fair. We have been working with the brands: Sky Rovers, Wave Racers, Race Tins and a slightly younger line, Super Wings exploring packaging structures to better showcase the product as well as creating logos and packaging line looks to fit within the US market. Remote controlled items were a big trend this year at Toy Fair, and Auldey was one of the best. The Sky Rover Voice Command RC Helicopter was a huge hit and featured on CBS morning news as “A Toy of the Future”. Another new brand that Fuzion helped create was Wave Racers. This unique race car line has a patent pending motion sensor that lets the user control the speed of their car – the faster you wave, the faster your car goes! This inventive toy earned Wave Racers a prestigious spot in USA’s Top 6 Toys at Toy Fair 2015. We would like to think the branding and packaging had a lot to do with it!

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Auldey Sky Rovers Packaging & Booth Graphics by Fuzion
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Auldey Race Tin Packaging & Booth Graphics by Fuzion

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Auldey Wave Racers Packaging & Product by Fuzion

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Auldey Sky Rovers Packaging & Booth Graphics by Fuzion

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Auldey Booth Graphics by Fuzion

Little Kids

It was also exciting to see the Little Kids Inc. booth at Toy Fair as we have been working on various projects with them. One of the key items we have worked on this year was updating the iconic “Fubbles” packaging. We worked closely with Little Kids on creating an updated, more modern look for the logo and packaging to better display the colorful bubble toys and differentiate the brand from other competitors. According to Jim Engle President and owner of Little Kids, their newly introduced Fubbles “Bubble Bot” (that Fuzion also designed packaging for) was a huge hit.

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Little Kids Fubbles Logo & Packaging by Fuzion

Little Kids also debuted their expanded novelty line at Toy Fair this year. We helped them create a fun and playful line look that is carried across many different products – “Blizzard Blast”, “Zombles”, “Putty Mania”, etc.

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Little Kids Novelty Items, Packaging by Fuzion

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Little Kids Moji-Mi Logo, Packaging & Character Illustration by Fuzion

Last but not least, we worked with Little Kids on creating a brand look for a new product, Moji-Mi – a line of silly, talking characters. We developed the logo, packaging line look, character illustrations and various PDQ displays. They are set to ship to Target stores this March!

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Fuzion taking a #MojiSelfie

Learning Resources

At the Dallas Toy Fair in early October, we were lucky to meet L.Perry, the VP of Marketing at Learning Resources who was looking for some help on their packaging. The 30-year-old company specializes in high-quality educational products and was ready for a packaging refresh. This project was a great challenge for us as Learning Resources has about 8 different sub-brands. Fuzion developed color and icon systems that delineated the sub-brands while nesting them under an overarching brand look. We carried the concepts onto multiple packages to create various planogram arrangements. Currently, we have also been working with them to update their website to match the new packaging look.

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Learning Resources Booth

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Learning Resources Packaging Refresh Concepts by Fuzion

Kid Galaxy

Kid Galaxy, a long-time client of Fuzion, was also showcasing a lot of our designs. They have an RC Car line, as well as “Morphibians” RC Amphibious Vehicles. Fuzion helped branding both of these projects along with vehicle deco. Also in the booth was the Electronic Birthday Candle that sings and lights up until you blow it out and the musical “Top Hits Pen” that sings as you write, which Fuzion also created the packaging and deco for.

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Kid Galaxy Morphibians

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Kid Galaxy Morphibians Packaging by Fuzion

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Kid Galaxy Top Hits Pen & Musical Birthday Candle Packaging by Fuzion

Playmates

The senior VP of Playmates, Gina Beebe took us on a tour of the booth to see the enormous world of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle products that we had a part in creating. We were impressed with the dioramas and the wide breath of product offerings. The Fuzion product team partnered with Playmates in developing products for Half Shell Heroes, a line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a younger group of children. Fuzion designed a variety of products: Role Play and Bath toys (squirters, vehicles & playsets) all developed around the iconic TMNT crew.

Playmates Half Shell Heroes by Fuzion

Playmates Half Shell Heroes Role Play Toys by Fuzion

Playmates Half Shell Heroes by Fuzion

Playmates Half Shell Heroes Bath Squirters, Vehicles & Playsets by Fuzion

Not only did we love meeting up with clients and seeing some of our work, it was really inspiring to walk around the show seeing this year’s trends in products and branding including logos, packaging and positioning. One booth we were impressed by was Hape Toys. Not only are their products beautiful and high-end (found mostly in specialty shops) they do a great job at carrying their brand onto all aspects of their company. The booth was spacious and not over crowded with product, translating a quality feel to their brand. The booth was full with lots of white space and bold splashes of red graphics. Hape Toys was also showcasing a recently inquired “Kruse by Kathe Kruse” an organic softgoods line, which had high-end set up boxes with beautiful simplistic graphics for their packaging, something not seen often in the toy industry.

We were also intrigued by the brand and packaging of LightUp!, a California based company that has created a product to help kids learn about and have fun with circuits using magnetic snapping blocks and an app on a smartphone or tablet. They took a very “Apple”-ish approach to their packaging, using a teal color box with a simple white logo.

We also had fun playing with Wiggles 3D, ‘Bellz!’. The game consists of a magnet wand and 40 custom bells in 4 colors and 3 different sizes. The goal is to use the magnet wand to pick up bells of only one color, which is a simple concept, but surprisingly difficult… and addicting! This game is not only fun for kids but would be great for a family game night or even a group of adults. We were impressed by Wiggles 3D’s safe use of magnets, embedding them into the product to reduce the risk of choking on the magnets, which has been a problem in the toy industry recently. Not only did we think ‘Bellz!’ was innovative as a product, we thought the packaging approach was quite smart as well. The pouch not only holds all the pieces but also unzips to become the area for play.

And of course, we were excited about the larger name companies reveal of some of the newest toys: for examples, Mattel’s interactive ‘Hello Barbie’ – using “Siri”-like technology will be received in the market as well as Mattel’s team up with Google creating the new high-tech ‘View-Master’. As always there is also an enormous amount of licensed toys that are so fun to see – Jurassic Park, Disney’s Frozen, Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

All in all, our trip to New York was interesting and inspiring. We got to see many of our projects showcased as well see what’s popular and trendy this year. We were able to make many new connections and are excited to see what this year will bring!

Fuzion’s Recent Restaurant Branding

It has been a busy (and productive) few months here at Fuzion Design filled with new clients, new projects and new team members! We are excited to share some branding projects that have come to life recently. Two new restaurants have opened up sporting Fuzion logos!


Va Presto by Scotto | New York, NY 

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Va Presto by Scotto Store Front at the old Daily News building, 220 E. 42nd St. New York, NY

We were approached by John Scotto (owner of the Italian hot spot Fresco by Scotto in midtown) with a new restaurant concept – Va Presto. The concept for the restaurant was an Italian “fast-casual” environment – think your favorite Italian restaurant meets Chipotle, meets your local Farmers Market. The menu includes fresh, handmade healthy Italian options – handmade gluten-free pizzas, pastas & sauces made fresh daily, sandwiches and salads – all on the fly.

The secondary concept to the restaurant was the twist. Scotto was inspired by bicycling, especially Tour de France & bicycling races. This project was a lot of fun for us, the concept was so different and specific that it really challenged us as designers. At the kickoff we were given the basic interior colors and layout of the restaurant, yellows and grays mixed with steel, marble & walnut.

We became inspired by our research of classic bicycling posters, vintage maps, Tour de France memorabilia and pieces of the bicycle itself. We presented a collection of concepts encompassing what we felt the brand should look like.

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Va Presto by Scotto original logo concepts

After some revisions with the client, we finalized the Va Presto by John Scotto logo using a simplified fork graphic, bicycle gear holding shape and grunge texture. We used a bold san-serif font, feeling strong and modern to grab your attention on the busy streets of New York. Adding “by John Scotto” in handlettering softens the logo and brings a comforting touch to it.

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Va Presto by Scotto finalized logo

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Va Presto by Scotto suggested collateral

Va Presto by Scotto doesn’t currently have a website but if you want to learn more, visit their twitter account. They have been posting tons of yummy food pics for you foodies out there. They are located in the old Daily News building at 220 E. 42nd St. New York, NY – check them out if you are in the area, they have been getting lots of attention from local blogs and magazines.


The Cutting Board | Providence RI 

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The Cutting Board store front at the Providence Place Mall, Providence RI

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The Cutting Board at the Providence Place Mall, Providence RI

We were approached by the owners of The Cutting Board to create a logo that fit the a local & rustic feel but with a modern twist. In conjunction with Morris Nathanson Design, who designed the interior, we explored various options for the brand before coming to a final conclusion, referencing chalkboard typography, handlettering, vintage neon signs and traditional ‘deli’ logos. Our finalized logo was influenced by rustic letterpress typography, slab wood and various kitchenware.

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The Cutting Board original logo concepts

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The Cutting Board finalized logo and icon

To carry out the overall brand feel, we proposed coordinating signage, collateral and t-shirt designs.

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The Cutting Board suggested collateral

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The Cutting Board uniform t-shirts

Want to see all the fresh deli delicacies at The Cutting Board? Check out their website for the menu. If you’re in the Providence area, be sure to stop by and check them out next to the Dunkin’ Donuts at the Providence Place Mall. We’ve already been twice!

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