What's Inspiring Us...

Gold is good. And, a crystal obelisk is even better!

christinestevens | February 28, 2012 – 5:22 pm
Filed Under: Awards

The American Advertising Federation of Houston‘s 50th Annual ADDY Awards Show and Gala was this past Saturday, and we’re still celebrating!  Why?  Well, we were honored with 3 Gold ADDYs, 1 Citation of Excellence and a Special Judges’ Award – Judges’ Choice.  We couldn’t be more thankful for our amazing clients that have allowed, pushed and sought our very best work.  We are beaming!  And, we’ll post photos of the awards shortly on our Facebook page!
B19 LogoTwo of our Gold ADDY’s and one Citation of Excellence were for our work with Clark Cooper Concepts restaurant, Brasserie 19.  The logo system, the preview night invitation and the entire in-restaurant brand system were each honored.  And, the holistic brand system was especially honored with a Special Judges’ Award – Judges’ Choice award by Ricardo Cardenas, Executive Creative Director of Orci in Los Angeles.  Read more about Orci on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!  And, keep a look out for a clip of Ricardo describing our work to be published soon!  Thank you Ricardo, your coin is in the mail!



Dole Nutrition Institute

Our third Gold ADDY was awarded for our work in developing and creating the Dole Nutrition Institute’s Dole Garden Kit.  Dole and its institute are other star clients of ours.  We’ve loved working with their teams and look forward to many more exciting projects this year and in the future.  It still amazes us that we had the opportunity to produce such a wonderful product and program.  It all started with one small idea – look what it grew into!  Keep an eye out for upcoming product launches for the Dole Nutrition Institute! In the meantime, you can keep up with their announcements on their Facebook page and by joining their healthy conversation on Twitter!


Where do we go from here?  Well, the team is back to work creating some amazing new concepts for both of these amazing clients.  And, the work is off to be judged at the AAF 10th District ADDY awards show!  ADDY’s Round 2, here we come!

You’re Invited! To an event, to be loyal, to eat and celebrate!

christinestevens | February 24, 2012 – 9:10 pm
Filed Under: Awards

The ADDY Awards are TOMORROW and we are getting more and more excited!  Just about as excited as we were when our good friends and good clients Grant Cooper and Charles Clark opened Brasserie 19  in 2011.  In fact, it was the invitation for their preview night and all the branded pieces you will find in their award winning restaurant that landed us our two final awards!

We won a total of four awards and the third piece is in category 10B, Special Event Material. (You can read more about our first and second winning pieces here and here) Charged by the Brasserie 19 team to create something fresh, memorable and most importantly, precious, this is what we came up with:

Brasserie 19 Invitation

Designed by Associate Partner Jim Miner, the invitation consisted of a printed piece as well as a custom branded 2’’ medallion.  Setting the tone for the night, the invitation instructed guests to present the medallion for entry into the event.  It was a very special evening for hundreds of the team’s closest friends to celebrate Houston’s newest destination restaurant.  Later distributed to their very best customers, these medallions have also become the markers of an exclusive, and subtle, loyalty program.  Owners of the medallion will present these on their tables once they are seated and the wait staff will immediately put in motion a number of small privileges that are certain to make the evening a little more special.  (Note:  We’re terribly sorry, but we don’t have any extras.)

Our fourth and final winning piece is in Category 53, Consumer, Local.  This award category has allowed us to present nine of our favorite branded pieces that all contribute to the strength of the execution of the Brasserie 19 brand across all consumer-facing touch points.  From the coasters andplacemats, to the business cards of their management, everything is branded Brasserie.

B19 Sample of Branded Items

We even had the opportunity to custom design their private labeled wine bottles, an effort that not only extends the restaurant brand but also embraces the personal brands of both wine-loving owners who have become well known for their extensive offerings and just-above-retail pricing concept.

B19 Wine: Red and White

Again, if you haven’t eaten at Brasserie 19 yet, you definitely should.  Make a reservation on the Facebook page.  Their food and service are equally amazing and it will surely be a night to remember.  Oh, and they’ll drive you home!

Brasserie 19 Car Service


Healthy Food, Healthy Families, Healthy Excitement!

christinestevens | February 21, 2012 – 7:10 pm
Filed Under: Awards

Dole Garden KitThe countdown is on and there are only 5 days until the AAFH ADDY’s!  As we collect our skinny ties and break out the liquid eyeliner, we thought we’d share another project with you that will be honored in this weekend’s show.  Our second award is in Category 13B, Specialty Advertising for our wonderful client, Dole Food Company .

Acumen has enjoyed our relationship with Dole and we have had the opportunity to work with many of their divisions over the last few years on projects ranging from packaging and product design, to branded-space installation, to participating in their internal innovation program.  As our relationship deepens, we are looking forward to an exciting 2012 and beyond with more exciting products and projects to share soon!

This particular project was an exceptionally exciting one that was born out of a very spirited innovation + ideation session we participated in on the Dole campus in early 2010.  And, this was our inaugural project with the Dole Nutrition Institute.

It began as a challenge to create and build unique products that would advance the Nutrition Institute’s mission “to cultivate the seeds of knowledge and provide the public with definitive, easily accessible, scientifically-validated information on nutrition and health.”

The Dole Garden Kit was born.  “Designed to teach kids how food goes from field to fork, the Dole Garden Kit is packed with everything you need to start your own vegetable garden.”

From forming a partnership with Ferry Morse Seed Company, to compiling and writing the garden journal complete with nutrition facts, recipes and gardening tips, to the design of the program itself and the packaging, Acumen and the Dole Nutrition Institute were on to something very special.  This comprehensive kit provides an opportunity for families to learn how and why it is healthy to grow and eatcertain fruits and veggies.  Focusing on their top 12 Superfoods from Carrots to Pineapples, the garden kit containseverything they would need to start and successfully grow their own healthygarden.  Fun, educational and of course, healthy.

We do love Dole.  We love their Nutrition Institute.  We share this award with them and every partner and friend that made this kit possible.  Now, back to creating.  There is much to complete for a few 2012 launches!  In the meantime, join the healthy conversation on Twitter!

Accolades, ADDY’s and Appetites

christinestevens | February 20, 2012 – 5:33 pm
Filed Under: Awards

B19 Dix NeufThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the American Advertising Federation of Houston’s (AAFH) ADDY® Gala and Award Show and the team at Acumen Design couldn’t be more excited to be involved.  With four entries winning awards, we are counting down the days to the event. We want to give you all a little sneak peak of our winning work so, over the next couple of days leading up to the show, we will post a little bit about the designs we are so proud to have honored.

First up, Category 72 Logo for the Brasserie 19 Logo System.  Since joining forces with Clark Cooper Concepts in 2010, we have had the opportunity to develop a number of branding projects with their group. We couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done for their Brasserie 19 concept that has been chosen for this award. Created by Associate Partner, Jim Miner, the entirety of the brand identity, marketing and communications strategies, menu design, business collateral, packaging design, signage development, specialty and promotional elements, etc. are all based on the strength of this mark.

“Working with Grant Cooper and Charles Clark is a joy.  They not only recognize, but insist on great design.  They know the value and want to see it come to life in every one of their restaurant concepts.  We are happy to oblige,” said Jim.  He added, “They embody everything we look for when choosing our clients.  And, we look forward to many more successful projects with them and their team.”

A nod to an international passport stamp, this mark is fresh yet timeless, playful yet sophisticated and has been described as “simple and gorgeous” and “evoking the spirit of a classic French eatery”.  Thank you @CultureMap and @HoustonChronicle for the mentions, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

So, if you have visited, we’d love to know what YOU thought.  And if you haven’t, you definitely should make a reservation.  Their food and service are equally amazing and it will surely be a night to remember.  Bon Appétit!

Jerry’s Tequila Blog

christinestevens | September 15, 2011 – 9:58 pm
Filed Under: Uncategorized

Anyone who has visited our offices, has undoubtedly spent some time in The Agave Lounge.  It has always been a part of our offices, it is part of our culture, it is where we occasionally find some liquid inspiration.  We love Tequila.  And now, Jerry is writing about it.  Check out his new blog at: http://jerryacumen.wordpress.com/ and learn about the origins of our Avage Lounge, the bottles in it and why you should love Tequila too.

Enjoy. Visit often.  And, of course, always comment responsibly.