kraft mac and cheese (kmc) for adults

In collaboration with Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) and D&AD London.

A good first ‘dip’ into Brand Experience/Activation for the junior graphic design students. Making them appreciate the necessity for researching their audience, developing a solid ‘big idea’, and understanding the need for engagement between the audience and the brand via appropriate touch points.

Over the last couple years, people have been buying less kraft mac and cheese;  they’re buying private label mac & cheese because it costs less, buying new mac & cheese brands they haven’t seen before, or are stopping buying it all together, in favour of different categories, like ramen.

To continue growing, KMC must connect with a younger and more diverse audience. These consumers have a deep emotional connection to KMC that started in childhood, but that more than anything, today, they see it as a kids’ food brand. Show this audience that KMC is as relevant and exciting for them today as it was when they were kids.

Create a *brand activation that speaks to older Gen Zs and younger Millennials by connecting to what they care about in culture, and showing them that KMC is there for them whenever they need some reassuring comfort.

PAWS B2B (emphasis on information design)

While still keeping with a focus on information design, and the presentation of data, statistics and other information, this brief required the students to create B2B pieces for the PAWs no-kill shelter based in Chicago. The aim was to promote awareness of the organization to Chicago corporations and companes with the aim for them to donate.

Romeo & Juliet

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Scott Kanoff

 Performances November 2-5 and 9-11, 2023

What can we say? It’s the greatest love story of all, and there’s never been a better time for an immersion in the timeless poetry, passion, light and shadow that Shakespeare’s classic offers. Amid endless distractions, generational anxiety, and a deeply divided community, two young lovers risk all for something pure and true.

The more popular themes are typically the most difficult to create artwork for. We decided to go down a photographic route with this one, featuring the actual actors playing the lead characters. The idea reflects a love story, with reference to Verona and the night sky, but loaded with undertones of angst and death.

Welcome back!

Even though it’s still 100 degrees outside, the fall ’23 semester is underway.

Here is the main gallery poster, outlining all the wonderful exhibitions and Visual Voices we have coming up this semester.

And here is the first of our prestigious Visual Voices lectures in the Fall 23 Series….


Congratulations to the Graphic Design Class of 2023. Now get out there and make an impact!

Click the photograph. See the talent. BE AMAZED!

Single Person (Gourmet) Meal

You can choose any single serving meal of your choice, but it must include at least three food items to constitute a ‘meal’. It doesn’t necessarily need to be healthy, however neither should it be considered fast food. Consider its nutritional value and obviously – its appeal – It shouldn’t look out of place on the table of a restaurant. It can be a meal that can be eaten cold, or requires some basic preparation, and is most likely part of a wider brand ‘range’ on offer. I would recommend you walk around some grocery stores and look at what they have to offer as the initial part of your research (yes, this involves stepping away from Google!). This doesn’t necessarily mean you are looking for an existing single serve meal already out there – You are creating a new one here, with ultimately the legs to spread across a range.

Observe where in the store the single serve meals etc. are placed. They are made to ‘shop and go’ in many cases – Individuals grabbing one on their lunch break, or rushing home after work. They may buy several of them as part of a larger shop or just by itself. Research recipe websites for this type of meal and use those as your single serve choice instead – remember – gourmet, quality… not fast food.

Once you have decided on a meal (and initially you should have several options to choose from), your challenge is to create visually appealing and accurate (name, description, ingredients, logo’s etc.) surface graphics and in particular to create packaging that is in keeping with the brand, innovative, easy to carry, easy to stack on a shelf or hang in multiples. Your packaging must contain EVERYTHING required to prepare and eat that specific meal.

And perhaps most important of all – while visually appealing on the shelves, alongside the competition – it should be constructed, in a way, using materials and resources, that will have little or no impact on the environment. Research recyclable, biodegradable materials (including inks, glues etc.) and look at innovative existing packaging such as the examples below. Don’t be afraid to look ‘outside the box’ (haha, get it?) by researching non-related packaging directions, such as origami.

Deliverables: A fully mocked up final single serving meal packaging. With all surface graphics, images, including all the necessary text required for your particular meal, such as meal name, subtitle (perhaps?), description, ingredients, bar code, required food association logos, if applicable and the *Hyvee logo. While you may not necessarily be able to find/use all the specific materials you want to, try to present your mocked-up concept as accurate to the final packaging as possible and ensure you describe the materials that would actually be used in your evaluation report.

*This would actually be a Hyvee own brand. They are trying to promote an ‘up market’ tone of voice with this particular product and your design should reflect this.

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