Creating a brand for Hatari Bros.

Hatari Part 1: Where the brand begins

This is the first in a series of posts that let you behind the curtain to see what we do for our clients, from branding to e-commerce, and beyond. Many thanks to our friends at Hatari for letting us share their client story with you.

From the name up

Our client Hatari sells their own line of hot sauces online, while also operating a hot foods e-commerce website they acquired called Uncle Big’s Fiery Foods. They asked for Uppercut’s help to rebrand and rebuild Uncle Big from the name up.

The first step with any naming project is to look at how a client’s competitors are marketing themselves. The highest ranked online stores with product selections comparable to Uncle Big had sound-alike names like Hot Sauce World and Hot Sauce Emporium. Knowing this gave us two directions to explore: follow the trend or differentiate.

Following the trend, our list of potential names (with available domain names) included candidates like Hot Sauce Central and Hot Sauce Inferno. Side-by-side with the competitor names, these blend right in. Which can be good, if you want to leverage the understanding consumers may have of similarly named offerings… but can be bad if you consider the risk of blending in, or appearing unoriginal.

We decided that our client would benefit most from differentiation. And since their new website would feature product categories like hot spices, rubs, and extracts, a more all-inclusive name shouldn’t include the words “hot sauce” at all.

A new list of names and domains was brainstormed, and then we mercilessly culled that list by applying these two beliefs:

1. A brand’s name should do something to attract, intrigue, or explain.
2. A brand’s name is an opportunity to establish the direction for all marketing that will follow.

That left us with a handful of viable heat-themed names. The two strongest options were presented to the client, and within a day they chose one to move forward with: Hungry Volcano.

With a great new name squared away, it’s on to the next step: visual identity!

Mobile Friendly Websites

Is Your Site Truly Mobile Friendly?


Some are calling it ‘mobilegeddon’ but Google’s changes to its search algorithm favouring mobile friendly sites are really there to incentivize businesses to work harder on creating a better user experience. And that can’t be bad, can it?

You can read more about it here, but basically, if your site is NOT mobile-friendly, as of today (April 21, 2015) this will likely adversely affect your Google search rankings.

How do you know if you need to make changes? it’s simple – just type your URL in here.

If you get a good result – well done! And if you get a bad result? Make sure to contact us to see how we can help.

Some of the most common issues (text too small, links too close together etc) can be pretty simple to fix so don’t be alarmed.

Uppercut won two Anvils 2015

Uppercut Takes Home Two Anvil Awards

Uppercut at the 2015 Anvil Awards

The Ad Rodeo Association is the celebration of creative excellence in Calgary. We had a great night at the Ad Rodeo Association Anvil Awards on Friday with Uppercut picking up two Anvils and a Merit:

Anvil for Best Website for YYC You There

Anvil for Best Cross-Platform Experience for YYC You There

Merit for Best Mobile Game or App for DECO

See all the winners

Type Camp 2015 at Adobe in San Francisco.

Notes From Type Camp


Two members of our creative team — Shauna Hartsook and Karen Chu Gervais — attended Type Camp workshops in San Francisco earlier this month. Fairgoods is a regular sponsor of Type Camp, including the SFO workshops, and we donated Jerk Balloons and Brief Greetings for the gift bags.


The first workshop took place at Adobe San Francisco HQ, a spacious, art-filled building that was inspiring enough on its own. Instructors Xandra Zamora and Shelley Gruendler took us through an exploration of hand-lettering with the parallel pen using both Blackletter and Neuland letterforms.

The second workshop took place at the amazing Letterform Archive, which is curated by Rob Saunders. Instructors Stephen Coles, Alexandre Saumier Demers, and James Edmonson demonstrated how to draw and select type.


The morning focused on a scribble technique that’s useful in creating or experimenting with new letterforms, and to practice lettering types in different weights. The afternoon was spent studying typefaces and how to select the right face for a project.


The whole experience was wonderful. If you’re interested in learning more about typography and design, you should definitely go to Type Camp.

Happy Birthday to Us

We celebrated our third birthday on February 1, and we can hardly believe it’s only been three years. When we started Uppercut, we had a specific vision and plan, with a close-knit team who had already been working together for years.

A lot has changed — some of it wonderful and some of it really difficult. Which is why, at this point, we wanted to take a moment to look at what we’ve accomplished in that time: We’ve built over 50 websites and more than 20 apps, designed 25 logos, and launched four ventures. And we’re pretty excited about what the next years will bring. So happy birthday to us, and thanks to everyone who has been part of our story. We couldn’t have done it without you.