Branding: The Belmont Inn

Maine is the New England state I’ve unfortunately spent the least amount of my time in. Who knows why; everyone is always raving about the beaches and the forests and the quaint towns with their lobster rolls. This is probably a side-effect of being a child of Cape Cod; summer vacations rarely strayed far off Route 6 growing up. We did go to Kennebunkport once! If I were to spend some time in Maine though, the town of Camden would be first on my list to visit; and I’m pleased to say I will be doing so in July!

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This came about by way of The Belmont Inn, a historic bed and breakfast which is under new ownership this year - a perfect time for a brand refresh! I was so excited when the proud new innkeeper, Kim, reached out wanting to give the Inn’s look a facelift. The elaborate Victorian script and lilac illustrations she had inherited were feeling a little dusty.

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The Belmont Inn is a big, gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian home tucked away among bursting gardens on a quiet street just a stroll away from the ocean, and I wanted to make the logo all about that iconic structure. Kim agreed. Making the Inn the face of the brand seemed obvious; it was the image that welcomes vacationers first to their home-away-from-home, and what they anticipate returning to summer after summer. So, I made a little drawing of the Inn and it quickly became the logo.

Kim didn’t want to lose the nautical culture and tradition of the location as well, so we complemented the logo with seaworthy blues, whites, and greys, as well as a fun sailboat pattern that really brought the branding together.

This is best seen in the Inn’s print suite, where the logo, pattern, and pallet come together and really shine on business cards, letterhead, a postcard, and note cards. The envelope is actually my favorite part, with sailboats peeking through in the lining.

I can’t wait to see The Belmont Inn’s new branding be put to work this season, welcoming new travelers from around the world. Including Jake and I, when we venture out to coastal Maine at the end of July!

Some logo outtakes for your consideration: still love that fly fishing gal!

Branding: Keeler Concepts by Design

Branding for an interior design firm was a first for me, so I was thrilled when Brittany and Robyn of Keeler Concepts by Design in Chatham, New York got in touch. I genuinely loved the style and designs of their spaces, as well as the process behind each project: every room begins with hand drawn plans that reveal thoughtful, informed design and an artistic eye. The branding process is always easiest when I am excited about the client, and I was immediately tempted to ask the mother-daughter team to have a go at my outdated kitchen. I just loved their work.

Photo courtesy of Keeler Concepts by Design

Photo courtesy of Keeler Concepts by Design

Robyn Keeler’s kitchen and bathroom designs have been featured in Better Homes, Women’s Day, and more, and she is well sought after in the Berkshires, Hudson Valley, and beyond. We wanted to create a logo and brand that spoke to that high quality, but also conveyed the warm, intimate feeling characteristic of her spaces, totally refreshing their look. I noticed that it was keen attention to details that really made these spaces deeply personal, and wanted to bring that into the branding.

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The logo was built from pattern details I pulled from a piece of antique wallpaper, cleaning them up and arranging them around a wordmark. I love the elegance of the arrangement balanced with a boldness - the brand has a definite presence while remaining very stylish.

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Bringing in secondary marks, pallet, pattern, and texture, I wanted to keep things very bright and clean; I love the contrast of nude pink with a deep, rich turquoise for this. Complemented by an earthy green and white marble details, this branding speaks to many of the elements of interior design while remaining very versatile.

I love the way the business cards came out in particular: clean, stylish, and professional!

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This brand was a pleasure to work on, and I am so excited to see Robyn and Brittany put it into action. I’m thrilled we could collaborate towards branding that well represents such beautiful and intelligent interior design work.

A few logo design outtakes too, always like to show a little of my own process behind the final results:

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Branding: The Gilded Oyster

When Quinn’s Fine Jewelry closed its doors in my hometown of Wilbraham, everyone was sad. No more little green boxes under the Christmas tree! My father was perhaps the saddest, as Denise Quinn, the owner, had made anniversaries and birthdays very simple for him for years - he knew to always check my mom’s wish list for the perfect sparkly gift.

So Dad was awfully pleased when I told him Denise had gotten in touch with me about some branding - for her new shop on Cape Cod! After relocating to Falmouth, she and her husband Brian had the itch to have a storefront once again, this time embracing the heritage, culture, and aesthetic of the Cape that they love so much. They settled on the name The Gilded Oyster, in reference to an all-time favorite golden oyster piece her son had created. I rejoiced: gold foil EVERYTHING, please.

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Denise wanted the logo focused on the oyster for which the shop was named. I played with that symbol in a few different ways, including adorning a little mermaid illustration with an oyster necklace (I had to try it), but the design Denise chose combined one of my all-time favorite script fonts with a simple line drawing. It reflects the elegant, natural designs characteristic of the shop’s jewelry collections, and nods to that timeless Cape Cod nautical aesthetic.

Developing the branding and website was just as fun, and allowed me to gild to my heart’s content. Denise was after a calm, beachy look and feel and loved the combination of sea glass aqua with gold, so we brought that in to most all elements of her shop.

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My favorite piece was the business card - gold foil oyster! The sign for the front of the shop is going to look just like these; it’s in production now and I cannot wait to see how it comes out.

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I love the way all these pieces came together to bring a fresh, classy brand to Main Street in Falmouth. Now I just need to get over the bridge to check out the shop - Denise opened the doors just before Christmas! This was so much fun to work on, and I’m excited to see the Gilded Oyster flourish when visitors make their way to the shore this summer - my dad included.

Oh, and a couple logo outtakes!

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Anyone want a mermaid logo???

Interview with T.E.L.L. New England

Just before the craziness of the holidays, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jenn Bakos of the wonderful T.E.L.L. New England and talk a little bit about my business. Jenn and T.E.L.L. do such a great job of celebrating the local businesses and people that give New England its heart and soul, and I was so honored to be included in their mission.

T.E.L.L. put together a blog post on The Homegrown Studio, interviewing me about what I do, how I do it, and why the New England community has been so essential to the growth and success of my business. Click here to read the whole post.

More than anything, it was such a pleasure to chat with Jenn, and learn more about the important work that T.E.L.L. is doing to grow community. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store for 2019, and am hoping to contribute to their efforts in whatever way I can!

Thank you Jenn and T.E.L.L. New England for this fantastic opportunity!

Logo Design: Riverwood Farm

The day I met Diego, I hopped in his farm truck and he drove us down a winding wooded path in Haydenville, leading to his one-acre plot of farm land along the Mill River. Riverwood Farm was in the August thick of it’s first full growing season, and it looked to be going well: tomatoes hung full and ripe from their vines, corn reached towards the towering trees above, and baby fall greens were already popping up in straight rows.

Diego had reached me through Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, CISA, which is an incredible resource for farmers in the Pioneer Valley. He’d been receiving support towards developing his business through their Beginning Farmer’s Program, which had guided him towards effectively branding his farm. That begins with a memorable logo, and I was so glad to hear from him when he saw my work and felt like it’d be a good match.

I was impressed by how much Diego was accomplishing on his acre in the woods; Riverwood Farm is truly a one man operation. He runs a no-till farm, as a means of keeping the soil healthy and fertile. The farm supplies vegetables to several local restaurants like Bistro Les Gras and The Freckled Fox Cafe. He also runs a farm stand up at Valley View Farm, making his fresh vegetables available to the community throughout the growing season.

Diego wanted his logo to be deeply personal, speaking to the hands-on, sustainable, small-scale operation he was running. His connection to the community and to his land needed to come through. So, what better way to do that than to put the farmer right in the logo?

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This illustration came to me first and most easily when I first began the process for this logo. I just drew what I had witnessed when I visited Riverwood Farm: Diego working his land by hand, under the shade of the forest by the river. Paired with a friendly hand drawn font, it instantly became full of personality. I was so glad he went with this option, I felt it suited his vision for the farm so well.

I won’t soon forget the other concepts for this project, though - here are the other three I presented to Diego.

They all paint a picture of Diego’s farm in their unique ways, but it’s the farmer in the chosen logo that really lets all that is at the core of Riverwood shine through.

I’m excited to see what’s next for Diego now that his brand is coming to life! Beginning farmers: make sure you get in touch with CISA, they have some incredible resources and grants that can take your farm and business to the next level. Take advantage! I’m looking forward to doing more with them in the future.

Images courtesy of Riverwood Farm

Logo Design: Rockingstone Farm

Rockingstone Farm in Barre, Mass. has just the kind of story I love - old local farmland being reenergized by a new generation. Lindsay Higgins first got into contact with me in the spring, looking to create a logo for the farm she and her family had been developing over the last year.

This effort has been particularly exciting for Lindsay because it is a new chapter in her family's history: the land was originally her grandfather's. The farmhouse was built in 1776, and now Lindsay and her husband Liam were working to create a farm and home of their own on the 100 acre property, and raise their two children there. They'd already been bottling and selling maple syrup from 350 trees, and opened a farm stand on Route 122.

The name Rockingstone Farm is after a natural landmark in Barre, just minutes down the road from the farm. Two boulders are balanced on top of the other in a seemingly impossible way; a teetering monument in the woods. The spot has been visited by generations in Lindsay's family; she sent me this photo of her mother at the rocking stones in the '70s, and also one of her children playing there today. 

For this reason, it was important to Lindsay that the rocks be incorporated in the logo, and the unique namesake was immediately where I wanted to go with the project. It proved to be no easy task though - rocks aren't always the easiest subjects to draw. After pages and pages of doodling and countless attempts from every angle employing several mediums, a few renderings were finally starting to do the rocking stones and all their natural wonder some justice. 

Here's the final logo we agreed would be the face of Rockingstone Farm:

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The detailed ink drawing of the stones went beyond my typical style and comfort zone, but definitely described the rocks best. Maple leaves fall around the the rocks, speaking to the farm's current focus on maple syrup production. The traditional serif font nods towards the rich heritage and history behind the farm, but a clean, sharp layout keeps things modern as the next generation builds a future. I think this will be the start of a strong brand for the farm, representing all it has been and all it's going to be. 

I came up with a wide variety of options for this logo, playing with the best ways to describe and incorporate the rocks, and suggesting some different directions all together. Both Lindsay and I liked the concept that incorporated the old red barn on Route 122, but agreed the rocks should be given priority. Hoping we can still use the barn illustration in some future pieces!

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I'm very excited with the concept Lindsay chose, and can't wait to see how she uses it to brand her farm. 

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Higgins

Logo Design: Cedar View Polo Club

It's always nice to reconnect with old friends. I was so happy when Debi Gale got in touch a few weeks ago - my sister and I rode horses with her for years when we were growing up, and leased a wonderful quarter horse named Kramer from her for a while. She and her family had since built their own gorgeous farm in Somers, CT, and her son Drew is in the process of establishing a polo club there. Games would be starting soon and they were in need of a logo. 

I came out to their property on a sunny afternoon, a quiet haven among towering cedar trees. I was so impressed to see the polo field they had been grooming for the last five years - it sat finally ready to see games this season. Debi and Drew showed me around as we caught up, and described the logo they were after - something classy and fun and built around the iconic pines that would become the symbol for the team: Cedar View Polo Club.

This was one of those logos where the inspiration and creativity just flowed, especially after I was just off of a trip to Lexington, KY for my full time job, where life revolves around horses. I was excited to draw some polo ponies and bring in elegant fonts that would be the core elements for this brand.

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I was so pleased with the design they chose - a crest logo that gestures towards traditional, preppy branding for the sport of kings, but is softened with retro, fun touches. The focus remains on the horse and cedar trees, and I think the whole logo will remain very versatile for all sorts of contexts - particularly for team shirts and hats, which I am eager to see!

I was excited about some of the other concepts too, but definitely felt like they went with the strongest design. Here are some of the alternates:

Still kinda in love with the one in the middle though. Hoping to pull elements from it for something else someday, we'll see.

Looking forward to developing this branding further - and for games under the cedar trees this August! Thank you Debi and Drew!

Branding: Kelly & Co.

Spring is the best time for a brand refresh. Last fall I worked on a new logo for Kelly & Co., a favorite local maker of linen clothing and home goods, and recently I've been working with Erin to expand the new look on to tags, packaging details, and more. I'm loving the way everything is coming together!

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First we created some small and large sew-in tags for Erin's clothing items, as well as napkins, dish towels, and linen coffee filters. Then we went a bit larger with wrappers to package up the coffee filters, and hang tags for wearable favorites like the Everyday Dress and Pinafore Apron. I love the way the flax branch drawing from the logo looks as a pattern, and we ended up carrying that look through all of the branding. The soft neutral shade works well against Erin's variety of brightly colored linens. 

I was lucky enough to receive a handmade Pinafore Apron and dish towel in the mail last week! The apron will see plenty of use in the kitchen, studio, and garden this summer. The linen Erin works with is durable and practical but so elegant and lightweight too. 

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Looking forward to developing this brand further; it's always a pleasure to work with Kelly & Co.!

Custom Holiday Cards

It's hard to believe how quickly Christmas is coming...I hate to rush it, Thanksgiving pies not even in the oven yet, but I'm already starting to feel the pressure of everything that needs to get done in December. 

I did get a jump start on my holiday greeting cards this year! A little line drawing of my barn. And, I'm taking orders for custom cards! If you want your farm (or home, or studio, or cat, or anything) on the front instead of mine, drop me a note! I think it's a nice personal, but subtle, take on holiday correspondence. 

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37 days until Christmas...? Place your orders soon!

Logo Design: Stephanie Boyd Works

When Stephanie Boyd led me down the stairs to her pottery studio in Williamstown, I was blown away by the depth and breadth of her work, and the evidence of an intense practice. Finished mugs lined shelves, several works in progress awaited colorful patterns and a final glaze, and new ideas were sketched out not far from her throwing wheel. Stephanie was particularly excited about a new process she was trying out involving monoprinting right onto her clay, creating funky patterns and interesting textures.

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I get so excited to see other artists' workspaces, getting a window into their unique creative process. There was a lot going on this one; Stephanie has played with an impressive variety of styles and methods since she devoted herself to pottery full time four years ago, creating an exciting body of work under the business Stephanie Boyd Works. She was feeling like it was time to start bringing it all together under a recognizable brand though, so we started on a logo!

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We wanted something clean and versatile that would speak well to her wide breadth of work, from timeless tablewares to bold statement pieces, as well as whatever new direction she may take next. It was important to keep things fun, too, because Stephanie's work is super fun. Did you see that monster plate?! 

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The final logo makes use of one of my hand drawn potted plants, with a little Matisse flair that Stephanie has been infusing into her own work lately too. Each element of this one is brush stroke heavy, reflecting Stephanie's artistic approach to each piece and the confidence and freedom she does so with.

Here's a few alternates that I will not soon forget. Pottery is so relaxing to doodle, bringing me back to freshman year drawing class where hours were spent with in front of colossal still life sets with dusty charcoal in hand.

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The empowered mug hand was meant to speak to some of her more socially and politically focused work. Stephanie is organizing an impressive collaborative art project called Vessels for Change, in which local potters and artists are joining forces to create and sell mugs to benefit the Berkshire Immigrant Center. They've already sold out on the mugs, but you can still make a donation!

This was such a fun project to work on; developing brands for artists is particularly important work to me and I'm happy with the direction this logo took. Thanks Stephanie!

All images courtesy of Stephanie Boyd Works