I embarrassed myself at the Gift Fair booth of Blue Q, the Massachusetts-based company, founded in 1988 by brothers, Seth and Mitch Nash. The dieline has already featured at least four different product lines from this company: Miso Pretty, Total Bitch, Wash Away Your Sins, and Mental Case. I, however, totally blanked out on the fact that each of these very different-looking products are from the same company. Mitch patiently explained to me how their company uses different designers (in-house and otherwise) for different projects. A little research turned up a 2005 interview of Mitch by Steven Heller about Blue Q’s working relationships with various designers (and other topics).
Haley Johnson is the designer, illustrator and copywriter who is behind Blue Q’s “Boss Lady” brand. Boss Lady has a hilarious, western dominatrix thing going on—(reminds me a little of Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley)—and really illustrates the importance of strong copy writing. In addition to the illustration and graphic design, Haley wrote all the tough-gal, romance copy including such nuggets as “Send
Dry Lips Packing,” “Dig in you heels,” "crack the whip” and
“Drive a hard bargain”. Read what she has to say about the project after the jump...
(more to read a lots more pictures of Boss Lady packaging)
I referenced illustration of a certain type from Westerns to Pulp Fiction in my attempt to master a style. The character is original. I had my sister in mind as I created her. (My sister is not a cowgirl, but she is bossy and she has a puffy hair-do!)
The copy was the result of finding a language that got directly to the point. No need for flowery extras. All of the other graphic elements are custom made also to support the spirit of the action and invoke a feeling of quality and earthiness.
(My son just reminded me that there’s also a Detroit Cobras cover of a song by Davis Jones & The Fenders entitled, “Boss Lady”)
...and I don’t know why, but I'm just really drawn to those "extra bossy” coasters.