Hill's Pets - Standing Out is in the Bag

Penelope Dullaghan tote bag for Hill's Pets - Scott Hull Associates

The setting: a crowded veterinary conference. A sea of animal lovers all gathering pamphlets and brochures and business cards. Ooh-ing and aah-ing over the latest in pet care as they bump elbows with their furry-friend-loving peers.

So how do you stand out?

Hill’s Pet Nutrition worked with art director Erin Lewis and our artist Penelope Dullaghan to design a well-made, colorful tote.

We asked Erin a few questions to understand more. Here’s what she had to say:

Scott: Let’s start off with a bit of background about the Hill’s Pet Nutrition tote bag. Why a tote bag? Erin: At the veterinary conferences, attendees (veterinarians, vet techs, office managers, students, etc.) pick up lots of “stuff” from various booths, along with any notepads or tablets/laptops they want to have with them during sessions. Many exhibitors provide bags, but most of them are the poly-weave type and heavily branded. We wanted to provide a more premium bag, both in material and design, that was also exclusive to Hill’s. Enter Penelope!

Penelope Dullaghan tote bag for Hill's Pets for cats - Scott Hull Assoicates
Penelope Dullaghan tote bag for Hill's Pets for cats - Scott Hull Assoicates

Scott: What were the client’s expectations? Erin: The client wanted something fun, colorful, pet-centric and unique that would appeal to millennial females. The design needed to include the logo in a subtle way, as well as both cat and dog designs.

Scott: Why did you choose to collaborate with Penelope Dullaghan for this particular project? Erin: We were already familiar with Penelope through working with her on the Tom’s of Maine brand (also owned by Colgate). We were particularly inspired by her work drawing animals. She has a specific way of bringing out the personality of an animal without being cutesy.

Scott: What were some of the thoughts that fueled the direction of the design? Erin: The design needed to be instantly appealing to a broad audience of professionals in the veterinary community while standing out in a populous crowd of attendees. The screen-printed totes needed to not only entice those in the booth already, but also serve as tiny billboards to other attendees who hadn’t yet made it to the Hill’s booth.

We wanted the pet art to be fun, playful and healthy, and for the tote to be eye-catching from far away. Our goal was for the bags to create a conversation among conference attendees – “Where did you get that bag?” – as well as ensure our tote stood out in the crowded landscape.

Scott: What did Penelope bring to the project? Erin: First of all, Penelope makes my job easy because she always goes above and beyond. She has a lovely way of hand-painting delicate details that convey personality without seeming overly produced or stuffy. Her illustrations feel hand-crafted, unique and engaging. She also took the extra step of creating coordinating liner patterns that complimented the outside design. It’s those extra little details that really drive people to reuse the bag when they get home. Penelope’s designs have that one-two punch of both energy and longevity.

Scott: How did the tote bag go over? Erin: Really well! The Hill’s Pet Nutrition team liked the whimsical design combined with the fun liner pattern. The bag was very popular with attendees, which made the booth a true destination in the exhibit hall.

Thanks so much, Erin!

Penelope Dullaghan tote bag for Hill's Pets - Scott Hull Associates
Penelope Dullaghan tote bag for Hill's Pets - Scott Hull Associates