Dark Horse Design Ensures Tutela Plastic Surgery is a Cut Above the Competition

Dark Horse Design caters to businesses of all sizes, in a wide variety of industries from locations throughout the world. But with their home base in Neptune, New Jersey the team at Dark Horse Design always find themselves a little extra excited when presented with the opportunity to collaborate with and celebrate New Jersey resident clients.

Dr. John Paul Tutela from Short Hills, NJ is a plastic surgeon with a booming business. With offices in both New Jersey and New York, Dr. Tutela is busier than ever before. In looking at a calendar packed with upcoming industry events, Dr. Tutela knew he could rely on Dark Horse Design to make the most of his marketing efforts at each trade show and event.

Trade shows & events provide businesses with incredible opportunities to connect with potential clients, patients, and partners. Dr. Tutela knew he would be communicating directly with countless individuals in his specific, ideal target market at each of the upcoming events. It was vital for his tables and booths to represent the professional, cutting edge, and sexy aesthetic of his plastic surgery business.

Dark Horse Design created a chic branded tablecloth as well as a sleek, easy to use pop up banner, which together set a sophisticated and professional tone for the trade show and event spaces where Dr. Tutela would be interacting with potential patients.

To best inform these patients of the services he offers, Dr. Tutela also requested Dark Horse Design create a trifold brochure. The brochure includes information on some of Dr. Tutela’s most common procedures including the increasingly popular “Mommy Makeover,” which was performed on Nicole “Snooki” LaValle of MTV’s smash hit show The Jersey Shore several months ago. In addition to collateral print materials, Dr. Tutela asked for customized water bottles he could hand out to anyone visiting his tables and booths at the trade shows and events.

Make your space the place to be at the next industry trade show or event. Contact Dark Horse Design for all your customized materials! 

Partnering With Dark Horse Design Is Money in the Bank

Dark Horse Design and Ansell Healthcare maintain a longstanding relationship rooted in delivering outstanding products and services at price points and values clients and customers can depend on.

To make the most of their presence at the upcoming Becker’s Hospital Review 8th Annual Meeting and Tradeshow, Ansell Healthcare once again turned to the creative team at Dark Horse Design for their marketing and promotional materials. With countless hospital employees, healthcare industry professionals, and powerful decision makers pouring through the tradeshow doors, Ansell Healthcare recognized an incredible opportunity to communicate directly with buyers.

At this year’s tradeshow, Ansell Healthcare chose to focus their message on the incomparable value of their products. By switching to Ansell Healthcare surgical and exam gloves consumers are able to actually save money. Dark Horse Design and Ansell Healthcare decided the best way to reinforce the message of saving to clients and potential consumers would be from the very moment attendees stepped foot inside the tradeshow. Dark Horse Design created a totally unique welcome bag promotional gift, which would immediately capture the attention of attendees and keep them buzzing.


To stay in line with the theme of practicality, usability, and value, it was imperative for the promotional items at the tradeshow to be clever as well as functional. Dark Horse Design created a custom bag-drop pop-up promotional piggy bank as a way for healthcare providers to begin visualizing and correlating the concept of money in the bank with Ansell Healthcare products. The bank opens to reveal an invitation to the Ansell Healthcare tradeshow booth where attendees are able to learn more about the company’s extensive and exciting line of cost saving products.


At the booth Ansell Healthcare representatives will hand out seed paper coins. One side of the coin boasts the outline of Abraham Lincoln along with the words, “Plant & Seed Wildflowers.” The Ansell Healthcare logo is proudly displayed on the reverse side of the coin. When the paper seed coins are planted they will grow into gorgeous wildflowers, which will serve as a reminder that Ansell Healthcare products are an investment in growing savings.

Your brand deserves better than utilizing overlooked and discarded promotional items! Contact Dark Horse Design for unexpected and exciting promotional tradeshow materials.

Spring is no break without Skyn!

Spring may have just sprung but the team at LifeStyles Condoms is already looking forward to hot summer nights. With summer still several months away, your favorite condom company is getting their fix of fun in the sun this year at Spring Break.

LifeStyles Condoms reached out to Dark Horse Design to commission a unique and totally exciting Spring Break Promotional Bundle. The goal was to design a one-stop Spring Break shop, which would ensure sun worshippers were fully protected throughout any super sexy Spring Break getaway.

The Dark Horse Design team understands the role package design plays in the way products are viewed, purchased, and consumed by customers. The aesthetic for each of the elements in the ultimate Spring Break Promotional Bundle needed to be sleek and most importantly sexy in order for fun loving Spring Breakers to use the SKYN products during their adventures.

The impressive promotional bundle was created to protect Spring Breakers during sunny days at the beach as well as on long steamy nights. Dark Horse Design supplied and printed every item in the promotional bundle, which includes a 24 pack of SKYN Original Condoms, a convenient branded beach cooler, aviator style sunglasses, and a branded beverage koozie to keep things cool no matter how hot Spring Break gets.

The Spring Break Promotional Bundle is available for purchase directly on the LifeStyles Condoms website. By offering customers branded products they are proud to wear, carry, and show off LifeStyles is able to maximize advertising and give their brand legs.

Dark Horse Design creates brilliant promotional merchandise custom tailored to best serve the specific needs of each client. If you are tired of selling or gifting the same stale branded marketing items to your customers year after year there is no better time than now to let the exceptional Dark Horse Design team break you out of your promotional rut! With brand specific give away and point of purchase promotional items your brand will stand apart from the crowd! Boost your advertising with by having your logo printed on virtually any promotional product you can dream of!

Contact Dark Horse Design to learn more about how unique customized merchandise can take your business to the next level. 

2016 American Graphic Design Awards Winner!

We're dusting off the shelves for more awards!

Towards the end of 2016, we were honored again, as 3 of our designs were chosen as winners in the 2016 American Graphic Design Awards Competition. In its 53rd year, GDUSA's competition, sponsored by Verso, highlights areas of excellence for creative professionals across the country.

The American Graphic Design Awards honors exceptional new work with in over 20 categories including package design, Logo design, print, web and motion graphics. Out of over 10,000 entries only a small percentage of winners are chosen and we were grateful to receive awards for our work for Ansell Healthcare for the Encore® Glove Smart PacksSkyn® Excite™ Gel, a proprietary female stimulating gel and the BuyCondoms.online Logo for their new ecommerce site.

You can find our winning designs here and flip through the online GDUSA issue here.

 BuyCondoms.Online Logo - ecommerce site

BuyCondoms.Online Logo - ecommerce site

 Skyn® Excite™ Gel - Female Stimulating Gel

Skyn® Excite™ Gel - Female Stimulating Gel

 Encore® Gloves - Smart Pac

Encore® Gloves - Smart Pac

2016 has been an incredible year for us. We've been hard at work doing what we love doing and in the process have continued to meet our Number 1 goal - making our clients happy. 

We're looking forward to what 2017 brings us. Wishing you all a wonderful new year! 

Chris & Ron

2016 Health + Wellness Awards Winner!

The American Health + Wellness Design Awards™ competition honors first-rate graphic communication in one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy. The category encompasses traditional medical and healthcare industries and more holistic concepts of health and healing and Dark Horse Design is proud to be included in the selective list of winners. 125 winners were chosen out of just over 1,000 entries in 17 categories and we happened to snag TWO

The online magazine can be found HERE (we're on pages 64-65).

Our Logo for BuyCondoms.online, LifeStyle Condoms' new direct to consumer ecommerce site was chosen as a winner in the category of Logo Design. 

 Click image for more about this design

Click image for more about this design

Our packaging design for Ansell Healthcare's NEW Encore Smart Pack, a global line of surgical latex gloves was chosen in the category of Package Design. This design is a continuation of our original redesign initiative of Encore, but modified to accommodate the incredibly innovative SMART Pack also allowing for global sale and distribution.   

Stay tuned, because we were just notified about a few more...

Project Spotlight: World Wide Metric Timeline

To honor World Wide Metric’s 45th anniversary Dark Horse Design developed a special, commemorative logo for the company to use in marketing throughout their milestone year. The anniversary logo was extremely effective in communicating a fresh, yet recognizable look to consumers.

When the commemorative logo was unveiled it was so well received that a second project to honor the anniversary year was commissioned. World Wide Metric challenged Dark Horse Design to create a marketing piece, which would showcase the company’s rich history of experience, customer service, and unparalleled industry knowledge. Our innovative design team was up for the task and responded with a brilliant and comprehensive timeline.

With experience and longevity serving as the backbone of World Wide Metric, Dark Horse was confident a timeline would be the best way to highlight the company’s events, milestones, and years of service. Instead of asking customers to read pages of information, a timeline provides comprehensive company history at a glance.

 Wall Graphic - Direct print to 3mm Sintra. 

Wall Graphic - Direct print to 3mm Sintra. 

The team at Dark Horse Design was able to efficiently organize and display an enormous amount of information into a compact, easy to read, conversation piece. Major world events were incorporated with milestones in the company history. World Wide Metric moments are blocked in their signature blue color and highlighted with their logo.

 Pop-Up Banner 33" w x 80" h

Pop-Up Banner 33" w x 80" h

Dark Horse Design transformed the World Wide Metric 45th Anniversary Timeline into an easy to assemble pop up banner for tradeshows. A larger wall graphic consistent with the revamped logo as well as the pop up banner was crafted for display at the office.

The timeline and coordinating wall graphic were used by World Wide Metric throughout all their exciting 45th anniversary festivities and can now serve as unique marketing materials at tradeshows and events for years to come.

Step up your trade show material swag! Contact Dark Horse Design to start a commemorative logo and promotional items for your special occasion or celebration!


Project Spotlight: Logo Design buycondoms.online

BuyCondomsOnline.com was recently launched by LifeStyles as a portal for consumers to directly purchase condoms, lubricants, and devices from the comfort of their own homes. LifeStyles, a 31 year old, US based consumer products division of Ansell Limited, is a leader in superior sexual health and pleasure products in both the United States and in Canada.

The creative team at Dark Horse Design has worked on numerous branding, packaging design, and advertising projects for both Ansell Limited and LifeStyles. When LifeStyles launched BuyCondomsOnline.com, Dark Horse Design was charged with creating a clean, yet playful logo for the newly minted website.

Professionally designed logos have the ability to effectively communicate a maximum amount of information in a compact, visually appealing image. With one glance an impactful logo can send a message about both the story and the spirit of a product or service.  

As BuyCondomsOnline.com sells condoms and sexual health products it was crucial that the website’s logo would provide customers with an assurance of confidence and security. Through clear communication, careful listening, and a unique collaborative approach, the creative team at Dark Horse Design was able deliver a logo, which celebrated the trust as well as the competitive price point consumers have come to expect from Lifestyles. The result was a clean, easy to understand, completely identifiable logo with a colorful, flirtatious twist. 

With the logo complete, Dark Horse Design created several header banners for BuyCondomsOnline.com to use on their social media platforms as well as in their website promotions. The header banners boast a vibrant, bold look complete with a playful vibe. Headers and social media banners offer companies an opportunity to target consumers in a more direct fashion. Unlike a logo, banners and headers can be swapped, changed, and updated for holidays and events and also used to highlight social issues. 

Dark Horse Design Places in Top International Award in 2 Categories – 2016 Summit Creative Award

Neptune, NJ

Out of more than 5,000 submissions from 21 countries, Dark Horse Design is named a Silver and Bronze winner in the 2016 Summit Creative Award® competition for its creative work for Ansell Healthcare in the categories of Package Redesign and Collateral Redesign, respectively.

"We're always proud of the work we do for our clients, and we're really honored by having that work recognized among the best in two categories in such a sizable international competition."

– Christine Rusin, Co-Owner, Dark Horse Design

Entries in 20 major categories are judged against a stringent set of standards. During its blind judging (entering company names withheld) the Board of Judges search for and identify innovative and creative concepts, strong executions and user experience, and the ability to communicate and persuade. Winners were selected in a wide-range of categories from print and broadcast to, online advertising and social media.

“Winning a Summit Creative Award is a significant accomplishment in ones career. With vetted judges, tough judging criteria, two-phase blind judging processes, and strict bylaws limiting winners, only deserving entries receive recognition.” Said Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director for the Summit International Awards (SIA). “The creative work this year was outstanding.  Watching the judges debate the details of individual entries in the run-off for the tops spots was inspiring.”

More information about each of the winning pieces can be found below. 

 Click for details about this project's redesign.

Click for details about this project's redesign.

  Click for details about this project's redesign.

Click for details about this project's redesign.

Ansell is a global leader in protection solutions. Ansell designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of hand and arm protection solutions, clothing and condoms. Industrial workers, healthcare professionals and patients, and consumers around the world invariably associate Ansell with premium quality, optimal protection and superior comfort. 

“We always look forward to working with Dark Horse Design when we’re launching new products. The branding concepts and creative designs that they produce show their thorough understanding of our diverse line of products. They always have a knack for providing us with exactly what we’re looking for."

– Angus Healy, Snr Director Marketing, Medical Solutions Global Business Unit
Ansell Healthcare LLC

Ansell’s Medical Global Business Unit offers a unique combination of perioperative safety products to protect patients and healthcare professionals alike. Our innovative range of medical gloves and healthcare safety devices are designed to prevent allergic reactions, staff injuries in clinical settings, and medical errors.

This year's SCA creative competition included companies from the following 21 countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, England, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Martinique - French West Indies, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The SIA organization was founded in 1994.  Annually it conducts the Summit Creative Award, the Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award and the Summit Emerging Media Award.  Additional information about the Summit International Awards organization, its competitions and winning firms, like Dark Horse can be found on the SIA web site at www.summitawards.com. 

Dark Horse Design is a full-service advertising, marketing and design agency that specializes in print and package design in Central Jersey. Priding themselves on superior customer service and understanding the needs of their diverse clients they're able to create killer designs that are not only captivating but also functional. To learn more about Dark Horse's capabilities and services: www.tdhod.com


Client Spotlight: 5-Star Garage Door

5-Star Garage Door's owner, Rich came to us just after starting his company. After many years of experience in the industry, Rich knew he was ready to provide superior garage door installation and repairs starting his own company, but needed some help to solidify his brand. He initially approached Dark Horse Design about creating vehicle graphics for a new work truck. However, in order to do so, he knew he needed a brand identity. 

When we asked Rich what he envisioned for his logo, his only request was that we incorporate the American Flag and 5 stars. We wanted to design his logo to create an impact, and to reflect the strong dependable services he takes pride in offering his clients. He was thrilled with the results. 

5 Star Logo_final.jpg

Once the logo design was established, we were able to dive deeper into creating some other items necessary for 5-Star Garage Door to really hit the ground running. The logo transitioned nicely into vehicle graphics and now his vehicles are well recognized on the road. 

We were also happy to design his business cards, custom, multi-part job service and part order-forms to keep his business organized and t-shirts (both screen printed and embroidered) for his technicians and sales team.  

 Embroidered logo & flag on sleeve.

Embroidered logo & flag on sleeve.


Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we were able to secure a domain name and design an easy-to-use website for 5-Star that his company is now able to manage and update on its own. 

 Five Star Garage Door offers professional, knowledgable and responsive installation and repair service in Central Jersey. 

Five Star Garage Door offers professional, knowledgable and responsive installation and repair service in Central Jersey. 

Why you need to add eCommerce to your brick-and-mortar business...

If your shop is like most brick-and-mortar stores, you probably already have a solid client base of regular customers or local window shoppers who know what you sell. However, if you don't have ecommerce integrated into your existing website you're not meeting your customers' expectations, since the majority of them are already online. 

Sure, you may have a website describing the items you carry, which is generally helpful, but today, consumers want to know specifics about what particular items they can expect to see when they walk through your door. According to this 2013 Study study, 88% of shoppers admit to looking online for products before deciding purchase them from a store. 

When asked what kind of information it would be useful to have from their favorite retailers before going to a physical store, 82 percent of consumers selected having access to current product availability as their top choice. However, the Accenture research showed that this is offered by only 21 percent of retailers.
— 2013 Accenture Study

Recently we had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Kinahan, a Durango, CO artist who specializes in oil paintings of the flora and fauna of the American West. Being well known in the Four Corners region for many years, she gained national attention when one of her paintings, The Defenders, was featured on HGTV's Property Brothers. 


Although Elizabeth currently shows her work at Studio & in Durango, not all of her potential customers have the ability to come see her work in person. She needed help giving her existing website and online store an overhaul, while also streamlining the ordering and shipping process to new customers across the US. She was also looking for the ability to fully monitor and update the stock she currently has available, track her inventory and make the overall shopping experience easy for customers. 

Since integrating an online store, in addition to showing her work at the gallery, Elizabeth has seen sales increase beyond her expectations, nearly tripling since its integration. 

To find out more about integrating an online shop, setting up a website for your company and increasing your current sales, reach out to Dark Horse Design. They'll make the process easy for you, allowing you to be in control of your business and help you increase your current sales by reaching customers that care about what you're selling. 


Why hire an Advertising Agency?

If you think hiring an Ad Agency is SCARY...

Think again.

Whether you’re a company working with a limited in-house team, or a business owner looking to expand past your promotional strategy, the thought of hiring an advertising agency has probably crossed your mind. Are you limiting your business by doing your own promotions? Is now the time to finally make the jump to approach an agency? Yes and yes!

But ‘Why?’ you ask... You wouldn’t let just anyone do your job or run your company, so why let just anyone design your advertising? In order to receive the attention you know that your company deserves, a lot of time needs to be invested. Let that be our job to handle so that you can handle yours – running your business.

As a business owner, you know your company best, but that biased view could lead to missed opportunities that you need to fuel growth. We offer an outside and objective viewpoint for alternate solutions to your business’ marketing plan. We work to maximize your audience by offering a fresh perspective for your business to grow.

What is the best way to increase your sales and to gain new customers?

Utilize all aspects of advertising toward your target demographic while solidifying your brand identity. Finding the right agency to maintain your brand will help your business to sustain that growth. Dark Horse Design can be that agency for your business.

Marketing Spotlight - Missed Opportunities for Holiday Sales

With the holidays in your rear view mirror and a bright and promising year on the horizon, January is the perfect time to step back and reevaluate your business. Spend time reflecting on 2014 to understand what makes your company shine. Determine which processes can you revamp and make smoother. Make a list of the tools you wish you had in your professional arsenal.

In an effort to help you prepare for a prosperous 2015, Dark Horse is excited to share two proven and effective methods to take your business to the next level!

It has been said that urgency is the single most important element for business success. Stay organized and be ready for orders the moment they come in with a custom three-part order form designed and printed by the talented team at Dark Horse.

Experience unparalleled confidence and assure your customers that each order is valuable and will be processed with attention to detail. By presenting customers with a clean, professionally designed and printed custom order form you set the tone for a straightforward, enjoyable consumer experience.

Increased revenue is most likely your number one goal for this and every year. Easily increase your sales by offering your customers the option to purchase gift cards. Let the creative team at Dark Horse develop a unique, customized gift certificate or gift card for your business.  

Sleek, personalized gift cards and gift certificates show your loyal customers and future consumers they can expect a smooth, professional experience with your company. Personalized gift cards and gift cardholders from Dark Horse will give your business a polished edge! 

As your trusted partner and friend in business, Dark Horse is happy to assist you with both the creation of your gift cards, and also of your own gift card program. Dark Horse is proud to handle every aspect of a project from conception through to the completed product!

Contact the team at Dark Horse to learn more about growing your business with custom sales order forms and personalized gift cards.

Project Spotlight - Pirates of Hilton Head Holiday Cards

The holidays and a new year full of endless possibilities are quickly approaching. December presents a wonderful opportunity to send thoughtful messages of appreciation and good cheer to the people who have supported your business throughout the year.

Show your customers, vendors, partners, and employees the value you place on your relationships with a custom card designed by Dark Horse. An ultra fast turnaround time and convenient 2 day printing option enables you to send well wishes and promote your business in a fun and festive way, just in time for the holidays.

More companies are following the growing trend of email blasting impersonal, electronic holiday greetings to every contact in their database. Unfortunately, the warm and intimate feelings associated with holiday cards, is quickly lost in the avalanche of junk and spam mail.

Existing client, Pirates of Hilton Head operates out of Hilton Head, SC and offers pirate adventure boat rides for children. Pirates of Hilton Head places deep value in maintaining and fostering relationships with their customers. This client commissioned Dark Horse to create a fun and totally unique holiday card this season.

In the design, Dark Horse left the inside top portion of the card black to provide the client with space for a handwritten personalize message to the children and their families.

Restore the time-honored holiday tradition of sending hopes for a happy and successful new year by having Dark Horse create and print a professional and exciting holiday card to sending your existing and potential business partners and customers.

Discover how Dark Horse can take your holiday cheer to the next level.

Client Spotlight - Luv Furever

Over the years at Dark Horse, we've had the pleasure of working with many charitable organizations and often do pro bono work for the ones that are particularly close to our hearts. Luv Furever Animal Rescue is one of those groups. They are an animal rescue organization that relies on volunteers, foster families and donations in order to provide animals in their care with the necessary food and medical treatment they deserve. These animals live with their foster families until they are adopted into forever-homes. 

Luv Furever approached us because they were looking to create a charity T-shirt design. One that their volunteers could wear at fundraising events and that they could also sell, in order to raise additional donations for the animals in their care. We incorporated a graphic that they've identified with and included the key words that truly show what their organization is all about while also including their name – "Rescue. Adopt. Luv Furever." 


These shirts were a big hit. Foster families have taken to wearing them while out and about with their foster pets. They really like the ability to use the shirt as a vehicle to begin conversations with other animal lovers about the role they play in rescue, encouraging others to open their homes to an animal in need. 

For more information about Luv Furever: http://www.luvfureveranimalrescue.org

Project Spotlight - Encore Surgical Gloves

At Dark Horse we pride ourselves on our ability to understand the specific needs of each of our diverse clients. A skilled designer can create visually appealing packaging, but our highly talented staff of creative professionals at Dark Horse takes innovative product packaging to the next level. Killer package design should be both captivating and functional. By asking the right questions and listening to our clients’ requirements, we are able to decipher exactly how a product will ultimately be used and in turn determine an innovative solution.

Existing client, Ansell Healthcare wanted to re-launch six of their existing surgical glove packages and introduce three new items. Three packaging components would be included for each style: a shipper carton, an inner dispenser box, and a pouch containing a pair of gloves. Our client stressed the importance of medical staff members’ need to identify and access the surgical gloves they prefer quickly and easily.

 After reviewing feedback from the medical community, our team at Dark Horse learned medical facilities are typically brand loyal. Health care professionals locate the type and style of protective, surgical gloves they prefer from a closet or shelf, chiefly by the appearance of the box. Armed with this knowledge, we developed dynamic new surgical glove packaging for Ansell Healthcare. Playing with the theme of an unveiling, the reinvented design is revealed by peeling away the original, clinical looking, concept. Our Dark Horse team added a bold and exciting dash of color to make it even easier for end users to differentiate between the gloves.

 The packaging we created for the Ansell Healthcare surgical gloves was extremely well received. The clever, peel away concept enabled a seamless transition to the new, bolder design.

 Learn more about how Dark Horse can revamp your product package image

 After & Before Encore Style 85

After & Before Encore Style 85

  After & Before Encore Ultra

After & Before Encore Ultra

  After & Before Encore Microptic

After & Before Encore Microptic