Makeover Challenge

2016 Makeover Challenge Competitor: Iron Design Inc.

Posted: August 17, 2016 by
Linda Casey

Iron Design Inc.


Founded in 1993 in Ithaca, NY, Iron Design is a strategic branding design firm that develops cohesive brands for small- and mid-sized organizations. With a focus on establishing new brands and re-energizing mature ones, their work takes a long-term strategic approach to developing and enhancing clients’ businesses, with projects spanning branding, naming, packaging design, web design and communications design. Iron is devoted to de-mystifying the brand development process for their clients. “We’ve earned our success the old fashioned way,” says Todd Edmonds, creative director and founder of Iron Design, “through hard work, constantly challenging client assumptions, and believing in the importance of thorough project management.”


Iron’s creative process has evolved over 20 years to respond to the needs of its constantly growing and changing client pool. “We begin by evaluating and reviewing client needs and expectations, and then dive deep into our own research to get an un-cluttered, outsider perspective on the project. Seeing the project from a 360-deg view helps to keep our thinking clear and fresh, and can really cut through the clutter,” says Edmonds.

But that’s not really the unique aspect of its process. “One of our key differentiators is how we engage our clients to participate in our collaborative design process with us,” he adds. “Through conversation, Iron challenges our clients to dig more deeply into their understanding of their own brands. This not only pushes clients to bring their perspectives to the table, but empowers them to become vested in the outcomes, and ultimately creates really successful solutions.”


When St. Lucia Distillers in the Caribbean needed a fresh brand design for its new handmade rum TOZ (Troy Ounce of Gold) that could reach out across the Atlantic and entice the American consumers, it asked Iron Design to help create the brand packaging.

“The final solution that was selected from our engaged brand process was refreshing,” Edmonds says. “Our design team focused on the contrasts between the intensive hand-made distillation process and the elegant perception of sipping a sample of the rich, golden rum, to capture an original brand personality. Using metallic gold foils, foil stamping, 6-color PMS label printing, and subtle hangtags, the design combines luxurious materials with rough-edged wood textures and typography to help convey the rustic, yet regal aesthetics of this exotic rum.”

Iron Design also extended the brand with TOZ White Rum packaging, and applied the new design to all the various bottle types and sizes for international distribution.


View Iron Design Inc.'s 2016 Makeover Challenge concept here.