Reveal your genius design self!

Who designed this awesome Hot Sauce bottle? Like, seriously, who is the person who actually sketched out this bottle design and said – “This would be cool.”?

Three of the most saturated categories in grocery are SALSA, COFFEE and SPICES.

As a package designer, I’m always so excited when a new product breaks through in one of these categories because it must have a really good brand position.

 In order to actually make it to a grocery shelf it takes so much work. If you’re a startup, this means probably years of thinking about your product, tinkering with the recipe, giving to friends and family, selling at a farmers market before you ever find a buyer who is willing to pull another product to put yours in. Once you get there, it takes a lot of marketing and money to stay there.

I’m a member of the DFWCPG (Dallas Fort Worth Consumer Packaged Goods). They host in-person and virtual events and it’s free to join. These events are where I meet people on their entrepreneurial journey to get their product on the shelf. The buyers will tell you that nothing is more important than a unique product offering and a great founder story. I’m getting off-topic, sorry. The reason I’m writing this post is because I purchased a new hot sauce last month. Granted, this product is made by Herdez, a well established brand with many products. I’m sure it was a little easier to get this product in the store but it’s the BOTTLE and the DESIGN that made me buy it. Scratch that – its the BOTTLE that made me buy it. The label design is nice but it’s this adorable, fit-in-your-hand-size avocado shaped glass bottle that I’ve never seen before. The lid even has a pebbly texture like the outside of an avocado from Mexico (not a California avocado). A first, I thought it was their guacamole salsa in a new package but it turns out that it is a new product that Herdez launched in October .

POM, Truff, Mrs. Butterworths Syrup, Method Soaps – all products with unique bottles. Here’s the thing – you can’t go buy unique bottles somewhere and just put your product in them. They have to be designed and prototyped and then commissioned to be made – and in large volume. A glass company is not going to make you 1,000 custom bottles for your locally famous hot sauce. That opportunity is reserved for the established and the rich. I got to go to the Pepsi Innovation Lab in New York a few years ago and while I was there, I saw that their team of designers was working on new bottle shapes and they were making their prototypes with 3-D printers. That is the stuff that package and brand designers dream of right there.

What’s my point again…right – Herdez hot sauce.

So many topics that I could spin off of this but I’ll wrap it up by saying to the person that designed this bottle for Herdez Hot Sauce – “Please comment on my post – reveal your genius design self!”


Inside the Dallas Morning News, literally.

Dallas Morning News staff writer, Maria Halkias gave me a personal tour of the DMN offices last week in Downtown Dallas. Maria wrote a front page story about my client, Wicked Bold Chocolate founder, Deric Cahill, last year and she offered to show me around the news room. Maria interviewed me about how my company transformed Deric’s brand and package from a farmers market start-up special to a professionally branded line of chocolates on the shelves of Whole Foods, Sprouts and thousands of Walmart stores.

The Dallas Morning News has won nine Pulitzer Prizes and is the oldest continuously operated business in Texas, dating back to 1842 where it began publication of The Daily News in Galveston.

Designed by Gensler, DMN occupies the historic Old Dallas Central Library next door to the Statler Hotel. My favorite feature is a running ticker that you can see from the street level windows. Check out the pics of the office here.  

Weed, Sandbox and Branding in the METAVERSE

Three white House of Grass weed hats sitting in a row on a blue abstract background.

Weed. The newest thing in lifestyle branding

Despite its reputation, marijuana is a legit segment loaded with brands selling the benefits and lifestyle. From cute, innocent little gummies that help you sleep, to uber cool street wear by Cookies, big brands are getting in on the growing consumer base which, by the way, includes senior citizens says the New York Times . Not only is it big business on this planet but the metaverse could be the new frontier. Read what FastCompany has to say about pioneers like Snoop, Vans, Gucci & Nike.

Studio B is in the business of branding. In this case, the brand is House of Grass– a dope hat company–that opened an online store during the week of 4/20. Aimed at weed enthusiasts, golfers, skaters, hat-wearing fashionistas, the “House” launched with 4 hat styles and 4 designs–all crisp, all white. It’s an apparel brand with distinctive decorations and a convenient little tag that can hold your golf tee or a blunt. The brand is at ground zero for marketing but they’re open to the future.

Branding in other worlds

Let me paint a picture for you. You build your website and activate your social and maybe you even have an actual brick and mortar store in THIS world. But what about brand building in the other worlds? What? Crazy? Stupid? Well, hellllloooo, the concept of the future is suppose to sound crazy – that’s how it works. According to the brand team at House of Grass, they’re working on a pop up shop inside Sandbox right now. “It’s more about learning how it works and getting comfortable there than actual sales. BUT, we have seen how an online experience results in a physical delivery of goods, so, we won’t rule out sales!”

Open a store in the metaverse!

Enter Tyler, Anel, and Jerry – real estate agents offering space for lease in Tron Tower – inside Sandbox. It’s a few blocks from Snoop Dogg’s district – just past the Chipotle – wait that’s Roblox – I’m getting my metaverses confused. Tron Tower offers space in their futuristic multi-story building where you can office, open a storefront, exhibit art, or just have a bachelor/ette pad when you need to get away from it all…Ahhh.

Curious? Chill out and click some links:

weed and golf

weed and fashion

chipotle inthemetaverse

Check out this HubSpot blog post that features terms you need to know and early metaverse opportunities for brands.

Snoop Dogg’s NFT collection

Fast Company’s take on the topic


Studio B develops brands anywhere people shop. Get a dope hat here .

Girl walking next to Black and White illusion wall in Deep Ellum in Dallas, TX. Wearing a blue shirt, jeans and house of Grass Fuzzy Buddy Hat.