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The majority of my design work has been for Midland Reefs Ltd., a family business working as a distributor for products related to marine aquariums. In this capacity I have made both print ads and product packaging, using Illustrator and Photoshop.

Adverts for Print

Adverts were usually made to a specification, with blurb and images provided in most cases. These three adverts were published in national magazines such as UltraMarine Magazine and Koi Magazine.

Reef Scientific Frozen PodMix - 1/4 A4 page

  • Reef Scientific was Midland Reefs' own-brand product range; the branding and style were kept deliberately similar.
  • I took all of the photographs shown here; I also bred the baby clownfish!
  • The main background photograph wasn't quite wide enough when the clownfish was placed properly for the composition; I airbrushed some extra background on the left.

JBL - 1/8 A4 page

  • JBL is a big manufacturer for a wide range of aquarium and terrarium products; Midland Reefs sold small quantities of their goods on to shops that couldn't afford JBL's minimum order.
  • The individual stock images and logo in the advert were provided by JBL, but required significant editing.

SICCE WaveSurfer/Voyager - 1/4 A4 page

  • SICCE are an Italian manufacturer of pumps and other electricals for aquaria.
  • This advert was based on the style of their Italian ads, but tailored to the UK market.
  • The jigsaw-pieces had to be remade due to the plug sockets on the WaveSurfer being European in their stock photos.

Product Packaging

Reef Scientific had a fairly minimalist approach to product design, partially for the aesthetics and partially to keep costs down. We would usually use white, silver or clear labels and print in only black or teal.
I was responsible for creating the logos and photographing the finished product for press releases and other promotional materials.

Reef Gel - three variants

  • Reef Gel was a superglue that could be use to attach corals to rocks, even curing underwater. The glue had some dangerous chemicals, so warning text and CLP Irritant graphics had to be included.
  • The standard bottles used plain white labels and packaging.
  • The Pro variant was a thicker, easier to work with variant. Wrap-around metallic silver labels were used on the outer packaging, making non-black printed onto them also look metallic.
  • The tube inside the Pro box also required the warning labels, but ink tended to rub off, so heat-transfer labels were used instead. I spent time looking into the legislation to make sure the CLP irritant label did not require its orange background.

Coral Detox

  • Coral Detox was a concentrated disinfectant used to clean parasites and infections on corals.
  • A clear, diffuse label was used on the front, with a white label on the back containing information for use.
  • The int on the front label didn't stick as well, and could be cleaned off by the disinfectant. However, the information on the back stayed intact. To prevent this, we included syringes, so the bottle didn't require tipping.