Lucky Grape: A design consulting company
By James Robert Watson, PhD
Lucky Grape started with Jim and Sean meeting for idea sessions over coffee. Soon, however, these meetings moved to chips and margaritas, and then dinner. The two sought to discuss design in general and specifically in central Oklahoma. They assessed, shared ideas, and sketched possible solutions - primarily just for fun. Then they realized they should share their expertise and they formed a consulting business, Lucky Grape, in the fall of 2006.
Some of those Idea Session locations
Starbucks (at least 3 different locations), Qdoba (best chips and queso in the 5-state region), Red Robin, On the Border (best quesadillas and we helped our server get bonus points - twice), a sushi place on May, Bahama Breeze (now closed - but no correlation to our being there), Noodles, a coffee joint in Bricktown, Coach's at the Ballpark, Carlito's at Penn and Memorial, and Texas Road House.
Naming the business
Sean and Jim were sitting in Red Robin on Memorial Road in Oklahoma City. They were talking about names but not coming up with anything they liked, so they walked across the parking lot to Qdoba to get margaritas, chips and queso, and use their wi-fi connection. Not everybody would have noticed the grape, the single grape in the large parking lot hidden by the night. This lone grape somehow survived the day without running away, being eaten, or getting smashed by a car. In honor of its resiliency, courage, and triumph, their design consultancy was named Lucky Grape.
Purposes of Lucky Grape
• Educate users about the value of good design
• Upgrade design consciousness
• Impact perception of design
• Improve quality of life
• Increase profits
• Provide a bit of order in a chaotic world
• We don't make wine. But, if we did, it would be better, more efficient, tastier, and make things easier for the drinker
• We simplify life for through innovative design and solving problems in a new way
• We make things better, we make things easier
• We fix stuff that isn't quite broken
What Lucky Grape was about
• Travel, success, stuff that works, sightseeing, eating out
• Human experiential design
• Human interaction with the environment
• Traffic flow, wayfinding, navigation, orientation
• Connections among people and what they encounter
• Connections between spaces and how users respond to those
• User's point of view and impact
• Solving relational spatial problems
• Merging users with their journeys
• Decluttering the earth
• Producing solutions that make positive interactions
• Persuades decision makers to improve their space
• Brilliant ideas
• Having fun
Theories on why that grape was alone in the parking lot
• It was thrown by a teenage girl who, while not mature enough to deal with rejection, felt mature enough to get angry and throw some cross words at her former teenage boyfriend.
• An elderly plump frumpy woman was quietly snacking on a bunch of grapes when one escaped and fell on her lap and to the ground when she got out of the car.
• Circuit City, nearby, was having a special - free grapes with any purchase over $200.
• A teenage gang fight went horribly wrong when one group used fruit as projectiles.
• Industrious ants carried a few grapes from their vineyard in Luther, Oklahoma, to their nest on the east side of Yukon. They had stopped for a restroom break in that parking lot and the two ants assigned to grape duty had had enough and they casually left the grape in the lot, hoping no one would notice that they were empty handed the rest of the journey.
• A crying child strapped in the back of an SUV, tired of watching SpongeBob Squarepants, threw a hissy fit (just what is a hissy?) - the grape was the unfortunate object that received the wrath of the child.
The Lucky Grape logo was created by Sean and Jim while sitting at a Starbucks in Edmond. Purposefully avoiding a computer, Jim borrowed a felt-tip pen from the barista and Sean had some paper from his journal. They did some old-fashioned sketching. Influenced a bit by Arts & Crafts typography, the type was tweaked to convey a sense of order and clarity.
The logo gives honor to the very grape that was found - only the type gives clues to its shape. The small dot in the vastness of space symbolizes the tiny grape in the large parking lot. The gray concrete of the parking lot and the green of the grape are reversed to symbolize the greatness of the tiny grape in relation to the large parking lot.
The cross bars align - since we emphasis 'detail' it cleans it up a bit. It also helps put the focus on the grape by not detracting with the randomness of the type bars. Also moved the grape dot and grape to the 'P' intersection.
Inspiration: A few favorite words of wisdom
"To be good is not enough when you dream of being great." - School of Visual Arts
"Good, better, best; never rest, until good be better and better be best." - Dr. Seuss
"If you do common things in an uncommon way, the world will notice." - George Washington Carver
"If better is possible, then 'good' is not enough." - Unknown
"Good enough never is." - Debbi Field, founder, Mrs. Field's Cookies
"You miss 100% of the shots you never take." -Wayne Gretzky
Beginning of Friday nite idea sessions: 2006
Name: Early-April, 2007
Web domain: April, 2007
Logo: Mid-April, 2007
Incorporation: Mid-April, 2007
Web upload: September, 2007
Official closure of the company: Febuary, 2011
Web site pages and text copy
Intro to Lucky Grape
Managing a business can sometimes be tough.
One of the toughest things is paying attention to the smallest details - those little elements that can make the difference between good and great. Design, the solving of problems in a creative or unique way, is a major component of success stories in business.
Great businesspeople are always striving to make things better - their product, service or the ambience of the environment. If you want to continue to make your business better, the next step is to contact the designers at Lucky Grape, Sean or Jim, to discuss some great options for improvement.
Lucky Grape is ready to help you make your business better.
What Lucky Grape does
Lucky Grape is a design consultancy that submits improvements wherever needed to whomever needs them.
Sean and Jim observe the environment and constantly assess and improve. Some of these improvements are submitted as suggestions to the business owners to begin a dialogue about how to enhance their user experiences through better design. Lucky Grape provides easy-to-read forms with assessment of existing conditions and suggestions for improvement.
Lucky Grape can help business managers with many areas of design and problem solving, including:
• Identity and branding
• Stationery letterhead, envelope, and business card
• Brochures, pamphlets, and reports
• Maps, signage, wayfinding, and directories
• Menus and table tents
• Store and restaurant layouts
Sean and Jim believe that our society and our quality of life will be enhanced through the implementation of rational design and attention to detail. Improved design provides a bit more order in a chaotic world and simplifies life for users. Lucky Grape exists to educate users about the value of good design, upgrade design consciousness, impact perception of design, improve quality of life, and increase profits.
Previous clients and projects
Some projects/clients that Sean and Jim have worked with include Oklahoma City Will Rogers Airport, Science Museum Oklahoma, Bob Howard AutoGroup, and the University of Central Oklahoma.
The people behind lucky grape
Lucky Grape is two smart guys with years of creative problem solving experience. The principals, Sean and Jim, are dedicated to making things better, to improving quality of life, and to helping businesses and organizations enhance their communication, products, and marketing.
Sean Cobb has recently been released from a successful rehab program which is helping him overcome his addiction to Catholic schoolgirls in uniforms, you know, the uniforms with the lace around the collar and the knee-high socks with the green plaid pattern. Mr. Cobb must now wear an ankle monitor and is not allowed to leave the central Oklahoma metro area nor is he allowed to stray too far from his parole officer, Mary Catherine (a former Catholic School Headmistress - don't even ask what that's about). Sean's hobbies include Internet porn, fantasy role playing (just guess what type of little girl Sean likes to dress up as), housecleaning, and weekly trips to Remington Park where Sean moonlights as a stable shit shoveler - try saying that real fast five times - stable shit shoveler, stable shit shoveler, stable shot shiveler, shable shit stoveler, shitle slut stabler - there, I did it. Sean is currently married but is also satisfying a young mistress he met while hitchhiking through the Arbuckle Mountains in the spring of 2004. Together (but only on every other weekend) they operate the Get-'em-High Bed & Breakfast although they refuse to advertise so nobody knows about it. We think its just a cover up for illegal drug smuggling to Okies in the Arbuckles. But that's just our opinion - Sean will probably deny it.
(Sean's bio was written by Jim - it never made it to print - Sean rewrote it.)
Jim Watson has written horoscopes, acted on stage in numerous roles, written on creative problem solving, sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon under a full moon, sat at the top of a Mayan pyramid in the moonlight and walked around an Egyptian pyramid, met Lyndon Johnson in the bathroom, and owned Ringo Starr's autograph. Jim has 30 years experience in design including interiors, furniture, products, graphics, and environmental design. He has invented a flag waving hat, the word neurobics, a dog leash belt, and several pieces of furniture; and holds two US Design Patents - for a Round Backgammon board and TravelPants. Jim has 25 years experience teaching design and creative problem solving at seminars and at 4 universities: Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, and UPAEP in Puebla, Mexico.
According to Jim: I am a minimalist. I love to travel. Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah is my favorite natural sight. Disney World is my favorite man-made sight. I like to drink coffee in coffeeshops. I like to write. I like to invent. I like to solve problems. I don't think teachers and medical support staff get paid enough. I don't like laughtracks on sitcoms. I am a dog lover. I like eating out with friends. I love New York City. I love to teach and to push minds. I love sudoku and crossword puzzles. I love to solve mind games. I am fascinated by word origins. I like to read the newspaper. I don't like telemarketing spiels. I don't like boring stories. I think life is a hoot.
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