PARKER GEISSLER


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By industry standards, its polo shirt was one of the market's best. It at once defined the company in sales, yet trapped it from telling the story of what the brand could be. This brands story needed to unfold naturally and follow a logical path rather than an emotional one. This is the part of the product story that I wrote. It developed from the right side of my brain and was written by the left.

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I was approached to create a contemporary line assortment for a global manufacturer. I realized that the key to making all this happen was not to think like a giant but rather the opposite. My mantra became make the new pair of shoes as comfortable as the old ones. How do you seamlessly integrate new items into the consumer's life? You make them think that they have been there all along. 

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Branding is the art of communication. For Vivian Maier, I turned my attention to the art of telling a story without words. From Isda & Co to Diadora, O'Neill to Fred Hutch or Cutter & Buck, every project I have worked on retains its own special brand of Dharma. Dharma is a principle that is difficult if not impossible to define. A products Dharma is its true place in process: in time, in vision, in awareness, in thought, deed and being. Here are some examples of Dharma being revelaed through the art of branding.

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I was called back to a company I worked for years ago. I was asked to direct design on a contract basis in an effort to get the product back on track. I had previously run an extremely successful business there, and going back held a certain amount of intrigue in how I could affect their bottom line. Creating the product came effortlessly and my intuition allowed me to speak to the customer, not very differently than it had years before. I had a certain advantage in being one of the creators of the company's greatest growth. Here are some outtakes of the product that in the end signifcantly exceeded projected sales forecasts.

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I have developed functional fabrics used in sleeping bags to fabrications used in home funishings. Textile design and constuction play an important role within the consumer experience. Fabrication gives meaning to products, be it a technical product that features performance properties or the romance of storytelling yarn dyes. Textiles connect with the consumer in a relevant way with performance, pattern, texture and touch. They tell a story as well as perform a function. I think of it as part of product branding. Here is a small sampling of the thousands I've designed that represent casual to updated classic.

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Design has entered an era where the bottom line sometimes takes precedence over creativity. Simply said, if it doesn't sell it doesn't work. Designers need good business minds to reach the target audience and corporations need seasoned designers who know how to expand the core business. Strong merchandising and design go hand in hand; one can't exist without the other. You have to get into the head of the consumer to understand when they want to be comfortable and when they want to be surprised. It is the psychology of product development. Color is a key element in setting the stage for successful consumer relations. You can make it new, but it needs to work so the consumer identifies with it. Here are some outtakes of color mood minus the accents.

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For a product to be successful you need to play up to the consumer by offering designs that fulfill their needs and wants. Designing for active lifestyles isn't a slam dunk; you can't fake form or function in today's performance market. Technical products need to function, but they also need to suit the changing trends of the marketplace. A historic Italian name can't hurt when modernizing a brand's personality. Here are examples of my performance products, with all the technical athleticism and complexity you can think of

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When you design for a global giant you have to remember that you are designing with the world in mind. Love of the outdoors applies to the guy in seat 32b on his way to NYC or the couple ahead of you in the checkout line. For almost five years, I found myself designing for a company at the intersection of mass market and the great outdoors. With sales exceeding $2b, the company was at its best and product was everywhere. I understood and identified with the brands story. Here are some examples of a truely unique outdoor biography I had the pleasure to help build and move forward.

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Sometimes when building a product how you get there is just as important as the end result. How something is created speaks to the consumers needs and wants. I think it is important to keep in step with the consumer and what they expect. No one said it better than Steve Jobs when he said great products are a triumph of taste, of "trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then trying to bring those things into what you are doing." 

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A strong design and merchandising background taught me that active product can easily evolve into cool street wear. Meaning, subtle details can become high profile elements that can reach from the active field to the asphalt. Here are some outtakes that are hip but yet add vintage comfort to today's contemporary urban jungle. The Tartan Army is a name given to fans of the Scotland national football team.

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Developing unique and strong imagery creates an environment for creative ideas to thrive. A great image, even if simplistic in its form, can be extraordinary in making a statement and setting the mood for a brand. Here are some of my outtakes for womenswear, menswear, direct mail and advertising. Some are point of purchase and others are presentation branding tools.

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I began my career working as the muse for the branding genius Sara Little Turnbull. Sara was considered one of the country's leading industrial and commercial designers. Sara is most noted for her work at Corning Glass, 3M, Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Pfizer, Marks and Spencer, Volvo, Nissan and NASA.  Working for Sara was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Evolution of life and our surroundings inspires me to create designs with functionality and purpose. From hardscape to landscape, here are some samples of my work that remind me how lucky I was to work with America's best. Sometimes it is what you don't see that's most important in solving the problem.