Mark Oliver receives AIGA Fellow Award.

The honor the is highest from American Institute of Graphic Arts chapter.

Mark Oliver received the first Santa Barbara Fellow Award, the American Institute of Graphic Art’s highest honor. The award was presented in recognition of Mr. Oliver’s significant personal and professional contribution to raising the standards of excellence within the design community, and for his contributions to his community at large.

“I am delighted that the AIGA has recognized one of our legendary creatives. Mark Oliver is the perfect fit for this honor, demonstrating that great design has no boundaries,” said Patty Devlin-Driskel, president of the Santa Barbara chapter.

A member of the AIGA since 1983, Oliver’s design career has spanned more than three decades. His firm, Mark Oliver, Inc., has clients throughout the United States. In addition to receiving more than 450 national and international awards, his work is included in the permanent collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.

His work is “some of the freshest, clearest, and most strategic design… Santa Barbara would not be the place you see today were it not for the vision, style, and hard work that Mr. Oliver brought to it. He’s a true Santa Barbara legend,” noted Marty Neumeier, designer and author of the best-selling business books “The Brand Gap” and “Zag.”

Over the years, Oliver has given back to his community by co-founding the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and working with more than 20 nonprofit groups. He is board president of the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance and a member of the Brooks Institute Board of Trustees.

“It is a great honor to be presented with the Fellow Award,” Oliver said in accepting the medallion. “I am thankful for how wonderfully the design community has appreciated my work, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the AIGA.”

Founded in 1914, the AIGA is the nation’s largest association for professional design,with 22,000 members. AIGA Santa Barbara is one of 67 chapters nationwide.

Mark Oliver, Inc. is a full-service brand communications design firm. It specializes in consumer packaged goods brand-building and packaging design.

The king and his sweet court.

King’s Cupboard had an unusual problem. Their chocolate and caramel sauce packaging was too pretty. Designed mainly for high-end food boutiques and gourmet shops, the client felt it lacked the necessary impact to attract the consumer in regular grocery aisles, either natural or conventional. As the fastest growing arena of sales for the successful Montana-based business, the advantages to be gained by making changes to the packaging were compelling.

The firm asked the branding team at MOI (Mark Oliver, Inc.) to come up with a solution that would punch up the product’s presence on the store shelf. We told them that consumers spend less than 2.5 seconds considering a product, that what works visually has to work immediately, that there are no second chances — and that differentiation is key.

Our segment review showed that 90% of the competitive set did not include a photo of the product in use; however the best-selling brands did. Another find was that consumers guiltily admitted eating the product by the spoonful straight from the jar. The wonderfully natural human behavior trait became part of our copy and broadened the appeal of the product.

King's Cupboard Branding and Packaging

The design solution for the primary display panel was a visual narrative showing photos of the product in use, the “spoonful” copy, modified visual cues that would maintain some the old brand equities, and product color coding. A warm, appealing story completed the backside narrative. The brand redesign covered all the products and corporate identity materials.

Personal care products packaging design: the wrappings of enchantment.

The promise of looking fresh and youthful is beguiling. The demand for products to achieve those looks is constantly growing. Personal care products that deliver results using healthier and more pure ingredients are a fast growing segment of the competitive category. Now, more than ever, people seek brands containing all-natural ingredients. While Earth Science was ahead of the pack in recognizing this important lifestyle trend, they faced competition that constantly updated positioning and graphic imagery. Earth Science made a proactive decision to maintain a leadership position by refreshing their own brand and packaging.

Earth Science Branding

The team at MOI (Mark Oliver, Inc.) audited the line and the competition and proposed these objectives: Redesign the trademark; create a system identity that the consumer could quickly recognize; and prioritize and simplify label information, making the redesigned trademark the #1 point of the packaging line. The design team set about creating multiple designs reflecting the objectives. Once finalized, MOI handed off the project to the firm’s in-house group to implement. “The new, unified packaging program has provided the product line with a far greater shelf presence,” noted Mark Oliver, principal of the firm. “In a busy category, organization of packaging is crucial. This design program nicely balances organization and creativity.”

Earth Science Packaging.