Founded in 1933, Sta-Lube has evolved over the years from one of the first waterless hand cleaners for mechanics, to the go-to high performance oil in the 1940's and 50's, and is now home to a broad list of lubrication products. They were present as sponsors in the first SCTA event at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1949 and even sponsored the famous So-Cal Streamliner, AKA "So-Cal Special," that was a HOT ROD Magazine cover car 3 times in the 1950's. Sta-Lube banners and billboards can be seen in many historical photos of early circle track races and roadster shows. Original and reproduction 50's era Sta-Lube decals still hang on hot rod fenders all over the world.
While Sta-Lube's product line expanded over the years, much of the branding and packaging had developed a industrial look that was a far cry from its storied past. The brand was ripe for a refresh.
After extensive creative work with enormous reverence given to the brand's history, VisFire completed a complete redesign of the Sta-Lube product line. Our approach was focused on minimalism and nods to Sta-Lube's past.
As a result our design was the winner of the New Packaging Showcase In The Category of Marketing at AAPEX, Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo.
On one hand we had the widely distributed current logo, very familiar to certain market segments. There is no doubt it still had value to the brand. On the other hand we had a series of historical Sta-Lube logos used until the 1960's. It was still very popular in nostalgic circles. The challenge was creating something fresh that would be memorable to both market segments with minimal changes.
Early concepts kept the current logo fonts but incorporated nostalgic design elements. We also made dozens of variations on the 1950's script logo, as it had wide variations of character and stroke weights throughout the years.
The right balance between nostalgia and brand equity was eventually hit. We mixed a modernized version of the 50's script logo, the current oval theme, and a "since 1933" tagline.
We also updated their historic motto, "Intentionally Better Products," with a slight variation, "Intentionally Better Lubricants."
Now onto packaging, which had its own place in motorsports history.
"Taken at the 1951 Bonneville Nationals showing Doris Stinson Lutes attaching Sta-Lube cardboard boxes to the grille of her class C Deuce roadster, this image shows how Sta-Lube's presence grew in racing circles." - Jay G. Fitzhugh, Rodders Journal; Image from the Greg Sharp Collection
Early in discovery we noticed a phenomenon, consumers were recreating their own vintage Sta-Lube gear. We even found an Australian fashion company creating vintage Sta-Lube denim and eBay sellers marketing reproduction Sta-Lube stickers.
This prompted our team to create a series of Sta-Lube branded merchandise and promotional material including vintage shop signs. Every last box of Sta-Lube shirts were grabbed up during their release at SEMA.
Our team proudly created the first Sta-Lube magazine ads and catalogs produced many years.
VisFire is a full service creative firm. We elevate enthusiasts brands through traditional graphic, industrial, and web design. We execute projects in the form of web and mobile development, illustration, packaging, photo shoots, video, ad campaigns, and customized printing.
We define enthusiast brands by companies whose customers are or are soon to become brand advocates. These are our clients. They don't compromise on quality and are setting new standards for the competition.
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