Peak Pips is a company graphic designer Suzanne Pettypiece dreamed up as part of a brand identity course she’s taking at School of Visual Arts in New York City. As part of the project, Suzanne developed a creative brief: “Inspired by the Texas/Mission Almond found in Greece, Peak Pips is a recently launched luxury nut company that packages perfectly-sized, ready-to-eat servings of the finest quality nuts.”
As such, I knew I needed to develop packaging that not only reflected the quality the company stands for, but also something that stands out on the shelf. After doing research on potential competitors and the product itself, I knew the company logo had to be modern and clean—not “nutty” or “woodstock-y”—and stand in for any microbrand that I might develop down the line. Thus, the packaging is void of clutter, letting the vintage illustrations (plant and seed—or pip!) carry the product.
Research, sketching. Some of my past designs for completely different projects (literature events) also influenced it. One thing our instructor said is, in branding, it’s important to blow the concept out—do exactly what everyone else isn’t doing in that product/company’s area, which can be a real challenge when just about every market is oversaturated. But I just remembered that when I was reading up on almonds, and went with it.
I think literature always influences my designs, no matter the subject matter, in a sub-conscious sort of way. But the inspiration also comes from the research I did on almonds. There’s always some element of playfulness in my designs. I live in New York City—live and work in Brooklyn—so it’s hard not to be inspired by just about everything here, including the hand-lettering on doors and on parking lots, the murals people do on the plywood that surrounds all the construction, and the personalities. Lately I’m most inspired by the instructors I’m learning from at School of Visual Arts.
I’d say to be ready to jump in, no matter how intimidating a project may be. If you’re a practicing designer, you have some skill that you can leverage to accomplish any project, and if you own it, you can use it to really make it stellar. So push down that inner critic and go for it!
About Suzanne Pettypiece
Suzanne Pettypiece is a Brooklyn–based designer, who is passionate about the written word, content organization, and—most of all—eye-catching, yet functional design. She focuses on designing brand identities (her favorite!), websites, books, event collateral, and large scale signage. She studies design at the School of Visual Arts. See more of her work on Behance.