Emmet Ritter

designer artist ✡︎ activist

Emmet Ritter

designer artist ✡︎ activist

My senior year, I took a Brand Identity Systems class, where we spent the term analyzing brand identities and building our own rebranding of a popular product. I chose Milkbone Dog Treats, because it has a well-defined branding system, and I wanted to try marketing it to a modern, niche audience. I saw the need for product packaging that could appeal to dog owners in a trendy and fashionable approach.

First, I collected examples of Milkbone’s current branding across packaging and social media. I took notes on what was working and what wasn’t. Milkbone has had little changes to their branding since its conception.

Next, I gathered inspiration for three different design directions and drafted 25 ideas for a new logo. I received feedback from my classmates to narrow down my three strongest ideas. The directions to create an icon that utilizes negative space, the more geometric shaped icons, and the details icons, although unique, were not relevant to the tone I was going for.

The next step was to flesh out three logo drafts. I wanted to make a logo that is approachable and easily identifiable. Milkbone’s current logo is a simple bone with text. My strongest design, seen in the middle, pushed that idea by taking the dog bone shape and adding a friendly dog enjoying the bone.

[Insert information about what the branding means, the audience im going for, why I picked the elements I did]

After refining the logo, I began expanding on the brand by including a color scheme, font style, lock up with type, and secondary design elements.

After refining the logo, I began expanding on the brand by including a color scheme, font style, lock up with type, and secondary design elements.

As the brand identity developed, it was able to be applied to deliverables and mock ups. There were three categories for the deliverables: Fun merchandise, professional stationary, and realistic product application.

The first round of mock ups were examples of doggy “swag” that depicted dog models wearing Milkbone branded hats and collars. This idea of a Milkbone clothing line was a vision I had from the start. It was surprisingly difficult to find free mock ups online that were for the niche of dog clothing. My solution was to design hat mock ups and then photoshop the hats onto dogs.

The second round of mock ups focused on realistic applications of the brand to products that would be used and enjoyed by dogs, such as food bowls and dog treat packaging.

The professional stationary included a letterhead and business card that would be used by Milkbone corporate.

Next I created a brand analysis and creative brief for the new and improved Milkbone rebrand. This analysis goes into detail on the choices I made, and touches on my process exploring both the old and new branding style. The creative brief picks apart the artistic aspects of the rebrand, and applies the choices I make to the audience I am targeting.

The final deliverable for my Brand Identity Systems class was a 5 foot by 1.5 foot page that combined all our design elements into a cohesive presentation. We presented the final printed piece to the class. 

I enjoyed getting to design a canvas in an unconventional dimension, but I also wanted to experiment with adapting it to a more applicable format.

After the class ended, I reworked the 5 ft page format into a digestible series of Instagram squares that could be posted to my personal account and still communicate the same information.

This project to rebrand an already existing brand challenged my creativity and I learned a lot about communicating my design decisions throughout the term. If I were to do this project over again, I would have spent more time designing secondary logos and finding a way to incorporate a secondary and tertiary color palette. Overall, I’m satisfied with the final products and really enjoyed getting the free reign to produce my own branding system.