One of the most challenging aspects of leading a design agency is being asked to define “what we do.” “Do you have a design philosophy?” “What is your style?” We constantly field these questions from prospective clients and even potential hires. As creatives, we never like to be hemmed into one definition. We are more often looking for ways to share what we’re not than what we are. But… there is something that Freshmade excels at, and it does help define much of the work that we do. …


A note from Vanessa Doll, Director Client Services and Partner at Freshmade:

When I introduce Freshmade to prospective clients, I tell them there are two things that set us apart: the effectiveness and quality of the work we put out, and the highly curated team that we have built.

When I say curated, I mean something very specific. We are a boutique agency doing the volume of a mid-sized agency because we have built our team from a unique amalgam of experience, talent, and relentless drive.

Our group is also 76% female, all of us at different points in our…


There are many things that were different about me in my twenties… mainly less wrinkles and less pounds. My career was my priority and I was determined to work on the best teams with the biggest clients. As a young marketing professional, I started from the ground up at Landor Associates working with clients like Kraft Foods and Proctor & Gamble. This career path gave me the exposure to working on brands like Capri Sun, Planters Peanuts, Crystal Light, and Febreze. I even had the opportunity to help name and bring products such as MiO and McCafé Coffee to retail.


Deciding to develop and launch your own food product is an exhilarating — and intense — endeavor. Introducing your product in a tradeshow environment (be they today’s covid-19 inspired virtual versions or a more traditional in-person exhibition) is a key milestone in the initial path to success, an intuitive way to expose your product to buyers and retailers alike.

And because it’s often the first step in what is hopefully the lifelong success of your new offering, it’s easy to see why all of your focus is on the tradeshow alone when approaching your package design. While you may believe…


Illustration by Joseph Baum

If properly tapped into, there are aspects of emerging brands that can give them a leg up on large CPG corporations. I posit that there really is a “best of both worlds” approach to branding and marketing that merges “huge” and “on its way.”

In Part 1 of this blog series, From Tampons to Tomatillos, I reflect on my experience working on the Femcare business for P&G. I also ask the question: how can the practices of large CPG brands inform marketing strategies for well-established and emerging brands in the produce and better-for-you industry? …


In branding and packaging design, it’s essential that we communicate the benefits and story of a brand in a way that touches the consumer to the core. While my title may not have the term “marketing” in it, I share the same objectives and investment in the success of a brand or product. There is no way for our design and branding agency to know all of the challenges our clients face from every single angle. However, the more we can learn about them and their company story, the more we can truly deliver on the promise of authenticity consumers…


Two Freshmade teammates reflect on the five ways their design agency careers were influenced by working in the restaurant industry

Vanessa Doll (L) and Elayane Merriwether (R) sling it at the office

Top 5 Ways Working in ‘The Industry’ Informed My Social Media Career at a Design Agency

by Elayane Merriwether — Social Media Manager

Being a bartender is no small feat. There is an unspoken code and respect among us. It’s a demanding role that requires a serious skill set and a damned good ability at making small talk. If you can master the beautiful chaos that is bartending, you can take on anything. With over a decade of experience, from college bars to martini lounges and private celebrity parties for P. Diddy and Steve Aoki, I’ve seen and heard a lot (most of which I wish I hadn’t). But long shifts and getting caught in the…


Talking about finances can be challenging — even in a business relationship — but it doesn’t have to be.

Illustration by Joseph Baum

Recently, I was having a cup of coffee with my co-worker and she said, “You are good at having difficult conversations with clients.” It spawned one of those moments of professional self-reflection when you see yourself or certain circumstances through the eyes of another. The first thing I did was to, of course, graciously accept the compliment. The second was to wonder, “what the hell is she talking about?”

I honestly can’t remember the last time I have had a particularly difficult conversation with a client. Sure, they have happened… in previous positions at creative agencies, and a LOT in…


A Blog Series: Reflections on my experience working in CPG branding and design with P&G, applying it to the produce industry, and what the fresh sector continues to teach me.

Illustration by Joseph Baum

Working in CPG branding and design makes you an expert in any number of the weirdest things. For example, I can tell you every size maxi pad and tampon that exists in the entire world. I can identify them by color, and indicate the cultural implications of those products are in most countries. This kind of information doesn’t exactly get me trophies on Trivia night. However, it was imperative knowledge for the seven years that I worked on Femcare at my former agency, LPK.

During my tenure, I worked on varying CPG branding and design projects. Through it all, my…


A Blog Series: Reflections on my experience working in CPG branding and design with P&G, applying it to the produce industry, and what the fresh sector continues to teach me.

Musings on my professional journey

Working in CPG branding and design makes you an expert in any number of the weirdest things. For example, I can tell you every size maxi pad and tampon that exists in the entire world. I can identify them by color, and indicate the cultural implications of those products are in most countries. This kind of information doesn’t exactly get me trophies on Trivia night. However, it was imperative knowledge for the seven years that I worked on Femcare at my former agency, LPK.

During my tenure, I worked on varying CPG branding and design projects. Through it all, my…

VANESSA DOLL

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