Reel Fish

Branding, Packaging, Print, Exhibition, Web

Exhibited in MICA Grad Show 2018, Reel Fish is Baltimore’s first sustainable seafood brand that aims to both educate and excite younger audiences about sustainable fishing by highlighting traceability from sea to market. Bold typography and colors featured in the screenprinted packaging and more call attention to action needed in sustainable seafood consumption and policy.

Check out Reel Fish's feature in Bmore Art magazine here!

Packaging for fish (as well as the frequent buyer cards shown above) was customized using Reel Fish’s signature fish icon, screenprinted using neon pink and black inks onto natural-toned butcher paper, which provided just the right amount of color pop. The packages were then sealed with a sticker that had space to write in the species’ name, origin, and date of catch. To-go packaging was also made, adding stickers and screenprinted accents. Fun fact: the containers are recyclable and biodegradable!

Reusable tote bags were also made for in-store purchases, whereas insulated shipping containers heralding “Real Fresh, Reel Fish” on the sides were intended for customers that prefered delivery. As a bonus, shipping boxes had a hot pink interior and were sealed with the brand’s signature fish pattern tape. 

I let Reel Fish’s exhibition space speak for itself with its bold typography, colors, and message. The kitchen island and bar stool + table give a nudge at the restaurant setting, without letting a purely restaurant branding project be the sole focus (pun intended). My main goal here was to educate and excite younger audiences about sustainable fishing by means of a restaurant and lifestyle brand.


For the website, I aimed to showcase Reel Fish’s traceability, so I made a special section that lists the three steps in getting your seafood from sea to market. I made up event names for the schedule, created icons for the traceability process screens, and used my own packaging photos throughout, even making a GIF of the fish packaging opening on the landing page.

You can view a video of the website here.

At the beginning of this project (my capstone project as part of MICA’s PBGD program, no less!), I made my own version of a dictionary in order to spur ideas related to sustainable fishing. My dictionary, a “menu” of sorts, comprehensively showcases fishing methods worldwide, as well as lists “best” and “worst” choices of seafood. To grab consumers’ attention, “appetizers” included unappetizing (i.e. unsustainable) fishing methods such as bottom trawling and dredging. The menu then expands to entrées, which lists best (i.e. fish that are caught sustainably) and worst (i.e. species that are overfished or caught under poor fishing regulations) choices of seafood. Sprinkled in are bits of knowledge on management plans, farmed versus wild seafood, and the status of sustainable fishing in several countries. The menu is mounted on a clear plexiglass board, meant to reflect the transparency of Reel Fish’s practices.

Thanks to the wonderful friend and designer ML Howell for modelling this reely great tote! 

And finally, to put a cap on capstone, I made a process book large enough to encapsulate all of the work I did for Reel Fish. The 30-page Japanese bound book measures 10x14 inches and covers everything from my initial research, trials and errors, and (finally) exhibition. 

Thanks to the MICA PBGD ‘18 cohort for guidance and sick playlists throughout the capstone process!

Watching — Pushing Daisies
Reading — The Master and Margarita

Work — WNW, LinkedIn, Behance
Social — Insta, Pinterest, Twitter

© Cora McKenzie, 2018