Creativity comes in small packages

[Kim Rogala] If you recognize the tin above, you were either at this year’s The Dieline Package Design Conference or you have a friend who brought you some swag from it. These breath-freshening conversation starters were compliments of Karl Heine, principal of creativeplacement, and kHyal, chief fiZzicist at fiZz Agency. I talked to Heine about the ideas behind the self-promotion.

How was the idea for the Creative Placemints tins born?
The promotion was created specifically for our 25th anniversary in the creative placement business, which is officially in spring 2013. I was kicking around ideas with a client for fun. I wanted to come up with a clever way to promote “creativeplacement” using a play on words. I came up with “creativeplacemints” and “creativeplacemats,” but didn’t want to use a generic product from a promotional company and stick our logo on it.

kHyal and I worked on the project together in what we call “individual collaboration.” We explore concepts on our own, then merge our ideas. kHyal’s focus was copy, branding, web design and sustainability issues. I worked on the design, typography and production.

How did the tins find their way into the hands of conference-goers?
Luckily, the opportunity to participate at the conference came after we were under way with the promotion. We placed a tin on every seat of the main auditorium during the kickoff event with Debbie Millman and Brian Collins, and we had a small booth in the main exhibit area where we handed tins out. We also produced a promo postcard that was included in The Dieline swag bags. It mentioned the mint giveaway at our booth and a special offer that we incorporated into our referral program.

In addition to the tins and the postcard, you designed a website as part of the promotion. Why?
CreativePlacemints.com involved a three-part strategy. We wanted to create a packaging promotion showcasing earth-friendly processes and materials, impart a sense of cleverness and humor, and launch our new rewards program for referrals. The program rewards people who refer a candidate that we place in a fulltime job…with an iPad, iPhone or lynda.com subscription.

How did you decide to use Mohawk paper for the cards inside the tins?
It started with the idea of adding an insert card to identify our partners and processes. The Mohawk Via felt insert connects the audience with the website to allow direct access to all of the project’s fabricators and creators. Our print specialist Jeff Appel thought that, based on our aesthetics, a textured, eco-friendly stock would work best, and contrast with the other smooth finishes on the tin and labels. It was also important to us that all components of the project were produced in the U.S.A.

Tell me about the label on the top of the tin.
We wanted to achieve a modern feel with a retro twist. The talented Gerard Huerta did the hand lettering for the labels, which are digitally printed with a copper foil transfer. You can find out more about production here.

What can we expect to see next from creativeplacements?
kHyal and I recently did a soft launch of Thrilling Projects, a new brand identity to highlight and encapsulate the many projects we’ve worked on together that don’t fall under a specific category of our current creative business models. The website will be up and running by January 2013. The most recent “thrilling project” we worked on was a strategic marketing promotion assignment for the Designers & Books Fair at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York during late October.


Karl Heine and kHyal. Photo: ©Tyler Jayson 2012.

creativeplacement places top talent throughout the greater New York metro area and key locations throughout the country. Approaching 25 years of creative recruitment and management experience—the company has developed what it calls “a highly effectual talent evaluation method”—creativeplacment ensures perfect matches for candidates and clients.

Photos courtesy of creativeplacement

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