Rejuvenating A Classic - In Brand and Packaging

Sta-Lube was a fixture in the early hours of the American hot rodding culture and helped nurture the automotive aftermarket and racing industry as we know it today. Our team was honored to contribute to the brand's next chapter.

BEFORE

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.

Sta-Lube block

after

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.

Sta-Lube

AWARD WINNING DESIGN

As a result our design was the winner of the New Packaging Showcase In The Category of Marketing at AAPEX, Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo.

Sta-Lube

We began with re-envisioning a historical logo

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  • Sta-Lube
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  • Sta-Lube
INITIAL STRATEGY: LOGO REFRESH

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.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS:
Sta-Lube
FINAL SOLUTION

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."

Drawing from Brand History

A key element to the brand's refresh was the recreation of the midget car illustration once used on Sta-Lube's racing oil can by Gus Maanum, famous 40's and 50's automotive artist. - We even created one of our own, a 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe, as a nod to Gus.
Sta-Lube
Sta-Lube

Translating History into New Packaging

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

Package Redesign

Label concepts initially spanned 1940's era design to modern conceptual imagery. Eventually we found the right look in a minimalistic design that paid homage to Sta-Lube's most famous oil can design.
Although the foundation was now laid, we were faced with the problem of differentiating the wide variety of lubricant and grease formulas available.
We employed an elegant solution of silhouettes and a differentiated color palette.
Sta-Lube

INITIAL DESIGN CONCEPTS

  • Sta-Lube
  • Sta-Lube
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  • Sta-Lube

BAR & CHAIN

LUBRICANT

Sta-Lube

ENGINE ASSEMBLY

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Sta-Lube

GREASE

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GEAR OIL

Sta-Lube
Sta-Lube

The Finished Product

Generating Customer Enthusiasm

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.

Photo Shoot, Magazine Ad, and Consumer Catalog

After being entrusted with this historic brand and working for almost a year, we had the final product in our studio for the first time.

Our team proudly created the first Sta-Lube magazine ads and catalogs produced many years.

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ABOUT VISFIRE

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.

Sta-Lube
1-855-840-2600
Sta-Lube
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