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Creative Habits

Posted on February 22, 2011

Photo by Pamdora?s Box

?I?m just not feeling very creative today.?

As a creative person, having an ?off? day creatively is going to happen, whether because stress or pressure or even the occasional migraine. It is especially difficult to mumble these words when a deadline is looming and your canvas is as blank as the day you created it. This sets in a panic that will only further hinder those creative juices. (Eww!)

But there ARE things we can do to help prevent (or, at least, lower) these creative blocks.

Answer: Creative HABITS!

Now, you?re probably thinking one of two things. Either ?I already read all the creative mags/blogs/tweets. I?ve got my creative bases covered!? ?OR- ?What?s a creative habit?? If you?re subscribing to PRINT and HOW, reading or click on any interesting links in your Twitter feed, you?ve probably found an article that gets your creative wheels turning. Ideas pop into your head for a random logo or website design. A new font spurs a whole list of ideas for how it can be used. Suddenly you feel a little more ALIVE!

But this is only where it starts. You need to DO SOMETHING with this sudden creative energy.

It doesn?t have to take long. Draw up some quick sketches for those logos. Download that font and play around with some creative ideas. Heck, even create a quick layout for a new website. Get your ideas out of your brain and onto a piece of paper or your computer. This pushes your creative process from short and sporadic to actual creation of a design. The act of actually DOING takes your thought process to the next level.

The more times you take these random bursts of ideas and create something concrete, the easier it will be to ?be creative? when deadlines are looming and clients are calling. The habit has been formed. Just remember, the ?creative brain? is like any other muscle?the more you work it, the more easily it performs. So go out there and WORK IT!

? Post written by Cristy Wiza.

The Redesign for the Designer

Posted on September 3, 2010

? Post written by Cristy Wiza.


?That is EXACTLY what I was looking for!?

As a company that creates a lot of design pieces for our clients, this is a phrase we at Moxie love to hear. Or rather, we love to hear any variation of this phrase that means the client is happy with what we created specifically for them. And since we?ve been around for? a while, we usually have a pretty good sense of what will make our clients happy.

Except when WE are the client.

Let me explain. As designers, we have an arsenal of creative concepts and ideas just floating around in our brains, waiting for the perfect opportunity to wow our clients with ?EXACTLY what [they are] looking for!? And for those times where it?s an especially creative or unique project, we have our hidden resources to inspire and entice the super extra creative juices (eww!) right out of us. In short, one way or another, we will deliver.

However, the catch 22 of design is that, as designers, we have so MANY amazing ideas just bouncing around in our heads that to focus on just ONE for ourselves is? well, a challenge. It?s more of an epic brain-battle of ?we could do this? or THIS? OR THISSSS!!!? and it ends up being a round-robin of creative brainstorming with no final product. It doesn?t help that we?re also an office of perfectionists and the idea of settling on a design that is great (but not perfect) is just not an option.

So the brain-battle continues. The meshing of what our company does, who we are as a team and what we will provide for our clients into a super/awesome/amazing unique/bold/organic/strong logo/website/business card/image.

Sure. Yeah. No problem. I?ll have it to you by end of the week.

It only represents everything we are as Moxie.

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What Makes Good Packaging “Good”?

Posted on July 23, 2010

This past week, Moxie had the opportunity to tune into the PaperSpecs Webinar sponsored by Neenah Paper.We love listening to people who are just as excited as we are regarding the little things in life that make us happy.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve purchased numerous products based solely on their packaging design. Just try walking past the Archer Farms products at Target and YOU tell me how hard it is to ignore that pretty packaging staring back at you!

The bottom line is that packaging as a visual is POWERFUL! (Buyer beware…you’ve been warned!)

Below is a TOP TEN list of what makes good packaging, GOOD!

1. Protection (How the package protects it’s contents)?Example: Does a “freshness” seal on your bag of chips, really seal in the freshness??

2. Organization (Keeps all the components together)?Example: The shiny iPhone is staring up at you from it’s luxurious box, begging you to pick it up. The cords and charger are neatly tucked away for your convenience. Every square inch of the box serves a purpose.

Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10

Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10


3. Theft Deterrence
Example: The tiniest valuable products may have to be clam shell packaged. This type of packaging is an injury waiting to happen. It takes virtually 15 hours to open it. But at least I can purchase a 32 GB USB drive, knowing that the product is securely inside the packaging.

4. Display
Example: Packaging that displays a pattern that continued when showing multiple products next to each other.


Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10

Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10

5. Branding
Example: The classic red color, the white script font, the shape of the bottle…what brand is it? If you guessed Coke, you’re right! Coca Cola is a perfect example of how a brand’s identity represents character–while at the same time has become a staple of American society.

6. Marketing
Example: Marketing your brand is all about storytelling. Stories are memorable, making your business or brand memorable. It’s a way to relate to the consumer.

7. Prestige
Example: Ladies, we know your hearts melt at the sight of this little blue box. Enough said.


Image from

Image from

8. Shelf Presentation
Example: If you walk down an isle and see a “sea of blue” packaging, I bet you’ll want to stop to see what it is. Wow, I used a lot of “sea/see” words…enough to get me confused!


Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10

Image taken from Paper Specs presentation on 7.23.10


9. Experience
Example: How does your package “feel” when you hold it in your hands? Since packaging is 3-dimensional you have an opportunity to influence the senses.

10. Authenticity
Example: The way packaging shows the true essence of the brand. There is nothing distracting about the packaging that deters the focus of the brand.

Well, there you have it in a nutshell! If you’re concerned that YOUR product or brand may be failing in any of the areas listed above, feel free to contact us, and we can help bring your packaging and identity to the next level.

? Post written by Ashley Holl
(Post inspired by the PaperSpecs Webinar sponsored by Neenah Paper on 7.22.10)