Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

The moral to this case study is experience is the key to getting it right the first time. That’s why Water Lilies turned to Works Design Group when the frozen food manufacturer decided to launch its own brand. Water Lilies wanted to pitch its new brand Mandarin Market to the difficult notoriously competitive market of premium club stores.

Works Design had lots of experience working on packaging for other products that had won shelf space in club stores such as Costco.

The result? A perfect pitch that gained Water Lilies a spot in one of Costco’s regions.

Now that’s success and it came from the experience of Works Design Group on packaging and Water Lilies on making all-natural frozen Asian food.

Read all about it here:

Packaging Propelled Private Label Manufacturer to Costco Success — Water Lilies had been making private label frozen foods for years. When it decided to launch its own brand, Mandarin Market, the right packaging landed it a spot in Costco on the first try. Read about what made this kind of success possible in this case study published in Package Design magazine.

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OK, it’s safe to let this secret out: I don’t drink beer. At all. But that didn’t stop me from writing this case study on Ballast Point’s package redesign for this San Diego craft beer and spirits producer.

That’s because as a reporter and writer I don’t let anything get in the way of getting the article done and done well. Ballast Point products aren’t sold in Missouri yet, but no worries. A few extra telephone calls and photographs and I learned exactly what the package design looked like.

It’s not what I know or don’t know, drink or don’t drink. It’s my drive to learn everything I can about any subject I’m assigned that makes me love my job, and I think that passion for getting it right no matter what shows in this case study for Package Design magazine.

Take a look and see what you think.

Rebranding Brews Sales — Ballast Point craft brewery got a fresh look — and improved sales. Read about how MiresBall made this craft beer and spirit producer stand out in the crowded market.

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As a freelance writer, I love unusual assignments, like the one I received from Sarah Redohl of the Columbia Business Times. She wanted me to find the origins of the rock and stone so visible in Columbia’s buildings.

Seemed simple. How hard can it be to find a hole in the ground that produced enough rock for much of the University of Missouri’s White Campus as well as many fine homes along the older parts of Columbia?

So much for simple. Until 1971, Missouri quarries were barely regulated. People could open one — and close one — without much left in the way of documentation. Old maps didn’t help much. Old documents simply referred to the quarry south of town. How south? Where was town when that 1906 document referred to south of town? As the town grew, so did south of town, of course.

But shoe leather and research helped me find tales and documentation on past quarries and nearly forgotten industries, including Columbia’s brickworks. We used to have eight of them, the most recent one closed in 1984. I talked the remaining owner of that firm, Liz Kennedy, who was kind enough to show me the brick samples she kept in her backyard. She told me her family’s company furnished the brick for much of the MU campus, many for buildings now fated to be demolished and replaced. Soon that legacy of local brick could be lost as well.

Except for this article and this reporting.

The Rock that Built Us –Doug Mertens of Mid-Missouri Limestone fights the image of quarries as dirty, dangerous places. Instead, he says they’re essential to life as we know it today, supplying not just building materials, but the necessities for infrastructure from streets to sewer drainage. At one time, Columbia, Missouri boasted 30 quarries and eight brickworks. Today, many of those quarries are forgotten, built on or around. Today, one is part of a local park, another is the behind a university building. The history of Boone County’s quarries translates into the stone and brick buildings that still stand today.

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Looking for a writer who can dig into almost anything and come up with a well-written, snappy piece for a magazine, website or online publication? You’ve found her.

A 10 1/2-hour time difference didn’t keep me from connecting with a source and historic information that had literally been dug up and carted away didn’t keep me from completing another assignment.

I write articles, case studies and posts for websites and consumer and business-to-business publications. Topics I’ve covered  have included international studies, rock quarries, pet-food packaging, Fulbright scholarswomen business enterprise certificateshistoric homes and health issues such as cancer and arthritis.

As a writer I cook — take a look at this first-person travel essay on Moroccan cooking classes.

I’m easy to work with, professional and a fiend about accuracy and deadlines.

Take a look at my clips and give me a call at 573.424.5749 or email me at dobrien387@gmail.com.

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As a freelance writer, I never let anything keep me from completing an assignment — not even a 10 1/2-hour time difference for one source or an unreliable internet connection for another source.

For this piece, I interviewed one person via email, because her training schedule in Pune, India, kept her from making our appointments to talk via Skype. I interviewed a source in Rwanda via Skype text messages because her internet wasn’t fast enough to touch base by Skype.

No matter. I got the story — and my client the International Center at the University of Missouri got the news they wanted for their website.

Read the piece below:

Study abroad paves the way for post-graduation opportunities — The way to Dubai, a master’s degree and a position as news director at Rwanda’s first private television station started with study-abroad programs for these three University of Missouri graduates.

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Case studies tell an in-depth story about a particular item or approach. Here are two case studies which tell the stories of two different kinds of package redesign, taking you behind the scenes to learn why and how a company decides to put time, effort and money into a new look for their product. Each case study includes insights from the entire team on the redesign, including company officials and the artists involved.

Fresh Story — The Honest Kitchen embarked on a redesign to let the package tell the story of the fresh, raw dehydrated pet food designed to nourish pets and appeal to consumers. The illustrations of Natalya Zahn explain the what and how of this trending type of pet food.

Modern, Vintage, Hip — Kellogg’s wanted to make sure the retro packaging they created for design-savvy retailer Target communicated that the packages were special, and not just old, forgotten boxes of cereal. Using hand drawn art, the packaging for Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Froot Loops rekindled nostalgic feelings and reinvigorated consumer interest.

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As a freelance writer, I’m learning all the time. For this article, I needed to study up on art, academic success backlash and dairy cow reproduction. The result is an article that highlights the benefits of scholars going to abroad for the scholars themselves , their students and the University of Missouri.

I also learned that Fulbright scholars are open to a wide range of study, literally from the fields of Ireland to ancient cities. The use of the amazing photographs and several subheads make the article super accessible on the website of the International Center of the University of Missouri. Take a peek at the article: Bringing it back to MU.

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