Dr. Beezy's

A medicine line inspired by the 1900's traveling patent medicine shows.

In my last graphic design course at UW-Stout, we were required to create a completely branded mock company which would be on display during our Senior Show. Professionals, students, families, and locals would come through our booths to view our projects.

I wanted to make a commentary on the types of drugs people take now without realizing the ingredients in them. Similar things happened in the 1900's with traveling patent medicine shows. The faux-doctor would usually construct a side show act — a circus or something out of the norm — that would draw all the townspeople in for the day. He'd then sell his patented remedy for a limited time. People would throw money at these doctors in order to be cured of their ails they didn't even realize they had. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of these "medicines" were just random, sometimes harmful, ingredients mixed together. Sometimes they even added a little opium or other drugs to get their customers addicted (in case the "doctor" decided to return). At the end of the day, the doctor would close up shop and dip out of town before these people would realize the concoctions didn't work.

I thought it would be interesting if today our medicine was marketed in the same way. What if our prescription bottles were all handwritten? What if our distributers had sweet merchandise you could purchase? What if they set up fun festivals or unique events to get their customers to gather around for a day? Hmm...

At the end of the semester, Dr. Beezy's was born. I'm sure my Great-Great Grandfather, on the day of his wedding, would not have suspected that he would become Dr. Beezy, curer of all ailments, for his Great-Great Granddaughter's Graphic Design Show in 2010. I loved the photo, and after a few tweaks and edits, his face became my logo. I designed three different lines targeting specific parts of the body. I added bulk options and also travel sizes, so no one ever had to be without their Dr. Beezy's. I hand drew all the typography and gold foiled embellishments on all the containers myself. I screen printed the on-the-go samples and constructed their packaging. I included my version of a side show act as well: I recreated three Wooly Willy's with Dr. Beezy's face instead and encouraged passerby's to give him a new hair style or facial hair.

After working on several short projects a semester, it was exciting to work on one project for that long. The requirements were pretty open to interpretation, so seeing where I could go and how far I could push the company became a really fun task.