Scope of work: Presentation, Brand Strategy and Positioning, Communication Strategy, Identity Design, Visual Systems, Naming
The United States Postal Service brand has deep relevance, longevity and historical legacy but has not kept pace with culture. The brand must respect or convey a core human value or signify something important in our times. The thesis should add meaningful discourse to a cultural or global conversation.
Challenges: $5.5 billion annual retiree health benefits mandate, stifling future investments. Shorter Post Office hours, or even Post Offices closing. $41 billion net losses in the past 6 years. Main source of income comes from mail services, and mail volume is declining. Americans communicate more often through email, text, social media, than letters. Long lines. Constantly unmaintained. Confusing communications. Deteriorating infrastructure. Ever-increasing amount of junk mail. If the United States Postal Service does not change what they are doing they will either experience: public bailout, privatization, or extinction.
Final Deliverable: A thesis presentation was given at the SVA Theatre on July 23rd 2013 to SVA staff, faculty, mentors, alumni, and the public.
Through research of the United States Postal Service, and research of current and future trends we discovered three insights.
1. Insight: The need for personal connection and community. Opportunity: The United States Postal Service interacts with every single American home and business on a daily basis.
2. Insight: Access is becoming more important than ownership. Opportunity: The United States Postal Service has an infrastructure that gives people access to goods and services across America.
3. Insight: Security, privacy, and trust are the biggest concerns that arise from collaborative consumption. Opportunity: Federal laws protecting the sanctity of U.S. mail make it a trusted, secure and reliable brand.
Strategy is to leverage three of the United States Postal Service’s attributes: security, community, and access to diversify a now mail dominant service model into a flexible service model. Where the universal service obligation of the Postal Service can provide Americans with better ways to communicate.
Our job is to make your world bigger. To enable connections. To support your dreams. To build a stronger nation. We are the USPS. Connecting the nation one person at a time.
Allowing Americans to decide how they want mail delivered to them through: frequency, location, and specified senders.
Provide a secure digital identity to protect people’s anonymity and reputation.
Create a secure and efficient online marketplace, where people can sell, buy, and rent from each other. Letter carriers would be able to safely deliver items to people locally and nationwide.
Offer an escrow service for Americans allowing them to pay for goods or services online securely.
Every government outlet, such as DMV, IRS, student loans, emergency services, etc., can be accessed in one digital account.
Broadband internet access to every American. When the Post Office Department was formed with the Constitution the founding fathers believed every American had the right to communication, which then meant letters. Internet access today would continue the United States Postal Service’s obligation of ‘binding the nation together.’
Proposed name change from United States Postal Service, a limiting name which suggests only postal products and services, to something more widely encompassing. A name such as United States Progressive Services suggests a continuously positive forward movement.
In 2005, the MoMA Design Store launched the first of its Destination: Design series that brings products from different cities and countries from around the world to the museum’s store. So far, the series has brought products from Finland, Denmark, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Japan, Seoul, Brazil, Portugal, Istanbul, and Mexico. Its latest edition is Destination: NYC, a collection with approximately 200 lifestyle products including home accessories, furniture, paper goods and jewelry.
In 2013 the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, the class was given the assignment to develop multiple brand strategies to tell the story of Destination: NYC. Was one of select students to present to MoMA’s senior curator, Paola Antonelli.
Scope of work: Identity, Display Design, Advertising, Promotional E-Commerce, Communication Strategy
Strategy: People all over the world have an undeniable attraction to New York City, a cultural phenomenon. The desire for the city has transcended generations, seen when huddled masses yearned for freedom on Ellis Island. Drawn to the center of activity which is New York City. Where people are compelled to leave their mark through skyscrapers, fashion, and art. New York City is magnetic.
Challenges: How will this help me introduce my personal brand? How can I meaningfully build an engaging story every day? How can I contribute to a larger dialogue rather than create an insular experience? How can I encourage an audience to share my content? How can I create something newsworthy and/or worthy of a broader discussion?
Approach: Each day for 100 days I’m going to think of a new idea for the internet, and the people who could benefit from the idea. Once I have the idea for a website, app, or pogo stick rental service, I pick a brand which would be a good strategic fit for a brand extension. Finally, I illustrate the idea. The process so far has been challenging but also extremely rewarding to research topics which were completely new to me.
Assignment: Professor Dr. Dan Formosa gave each student a lemon and simply told us to photograph the lemon and display the fruit in a compelling way to our personal Facebook accounts. The goal was to get as much attention as possible. The only caveat was that we weren't allowed to tell people about the competition.
The Solution: Designed a fictitious album for Indie band Vampire Weekend and named the album 'Lemon Sounds.' Created a teaser website for the 'new' album, lemonsounds.com. Also, created a track listing of songs, as well as a 15 second teaser video for the Lemon Sounds album.
Results: 114 Facebook likes. The Lemon Sounds album was covered by many music websites: Pitchfork, Vice, NME, Consequences of Sound, Spin, who all thought the album was real until they later found out from the record label it wasn't. Interviewed by DIY. Radio interview for ABC Triple J. Conversations started with the hashtag, #lemonsounds. Received a fruit basket full on lemons from Vampire Weekend's record label XL Recordings with the message, "we're not bitter."
Scope of work: Identity, Packaging, Web Design, Naming, Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture, Art Direction
Challenges: Create awareness for a new brand: Dash, kitchen products. Develop a brand architecture to differentiate product benefits for diverse retailers.
Solution: Researched the housewares industry, conducted interviews and surveys with key target audiences. Positioned Dash as a brand dedicated to helping people improve their health and wellness. Combined strategy and visual identity into a brand essence, “Unprocess your food.” The brand essence focuses on a healthy lifestyle by preparing and consuming whole, natural, and unprocessed foods. Developed a brand architecture and a sub-brand, ‘Dash go.’ The architecture was able to clearly distinguish marketing strategies to meet each customer’s needs. Designed a logo, visual system design and guidelines to reflect Dash’s uniquely passionate and customer-focused brand.
Studied: How to create innovative packaging for every kind of product from food and beverage to beauty and personal care to toys and home products. Market-driven assignments which reinforced in-depth study of branding strategies, trends, concept development, and environmental issues. Combine marketing information with an understanding of people, culture, and the consumer mindset.
Scope of work: Save the Date Invitations, Environmental Design
Challenges: Design print materials for a destination wedding in Playa Del Carmen, as well as a keepsake for the newlyweds.
Solution: Designed ‘save the date’ invitations with a travel theme to let guests know the wedding was out of town. Designed a poster for the wedding where friends and family made their mark with fingerprint leaves on a bare tree.
Benefit for Judy Calabrese
Client: Calabrese Family
Scope of work: Invitations, Flyers, Tickets
Challenges: Design print materials to build awareness and raise money for a benefit.
Results: All of the cost for hospital bills were covered. Thank you to all who came to the benefit and showed your support.