Logo & Packaging: The Shelburne Honey Company

I met Tim Smith and Courtney Basil of Apex Orchards last winter, at a marketing workshop I taught with CISA. While a lot of the farmers in attendance were just starting out, Tim and Courtney were there representing a farm that had been in business since 1828. Tim is a fourth-generation farmer, and Courtney helps him manage the operation, which is largely focused on apples and other tree fruits.

Marketing a farm with so much history is an interesting challenge, as the needs of modern consumers and the rich heritage of a place press up against each other. One area of the business Tim and Courtney really felt needed updating was their honey products, which are sold under the name The Shelburne Honey Company. The delicious honey was lacking a consistent logo, and the labeling needed a refresh.

Tim has been producing honey since 1972, and wanted to maintain the heritage of the locally established honey, while making sure his products were standing out on shelf. The original label included hand drawn floral details by his aunt, which I thought was really special. I thought playing with the original design would be a great way to transition the products into a new era, while still paying homage to its roots.

I spent a lot of time cleaning the original floral drawings up, rearranging, and creating a brand new logo out of them:

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Tim, Courtney and I really liked the results; it felt like a great balance of old and new. When applied to labeling, it really cleaned the products up and made them look like a family.

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We used the established Apex Orchards red color to draw a subtle connection to the main business, and color-coded the banners to distinguish between different products: Original, Clover, and Creamed Honey.

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I really like the way they all look together, and can’t wait to see them printed out and on the shelf in the fall!

Branding: Cara Totman Photography

Cara Totman’s work has been catching my eye for years. Her photos have always stood out to me as having this magical atmosphere about them, capturing light and shadow in a way that elevates every one of her subjects and makes them sparkle. Whether it’s an engagement shoot, a wedding party, an intimate portrait, or a lush landscape, there’s this consistent mood in Cara’s photos that never fails to intrigue me.

Photo by Cara Totman Photography

Photo by Cara Totman Photography

So I was thrilled when she got in touch to work on some branding; designing for artists that inspire me is the very most satisfying!!! And, I was just so happy to finally meet Cara IRL! Turns out she is just as magical as her photos.

Cara wanted her logo and branding to embody a vintage, ethereal style, and wasn’t afraid to get a little quirky. She loves retro surf poster typography, and is very inspired by Oaxacan culture and art, where she recently spent time taking some seriously incredible film photos. My goal was to make sure we came up with something that complemented and spoke to the consistent style and atmosphere of Cara’s work.

Taking all that inspiration into account, we arrived at a logo that we both agreed was very her:

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Cara is particularly good at capturing the female form, and it is a subject that speaks to many of the avenues she pursues with her business. I also think Cara is exceptionally good at inspiring a sort of radiant confidence in her subjects, no matter the context, and I wanted to convey that here. The woman in the logo is inspired by an actual photo by Cara, and when framed by stylize flora and vintage typography, the result is that retro, mystical, playful feeling we were going for.

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The fun part was expanding this logo into its larger branding. Secondary logos and marks came naturally, a feminine and earthy palette was pulled from themes in her photography, and the brand pattern was actually the crowning piece, where a fleet of ladies joins our logo woman, to create several little repeat scenes. I’m a little obsessed.

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This was a dream project for me, and I’m so excited to see it shine alongside Cara’s work as she begins her 2019 wedding season, holds super fun and empowering events like Celestial Sessions, and continues to flex her creative muscles in capturing the beauty of every day moments. Thanks Cara!

Branding: Field Notes

When I first met Joan and Kyle of Field Notes, we were still in a February deep freeze. I shuffled over a very solid layer of Hudson Valley ice to the Lansing Farm greenhouse, where it was nice and warm and smelled like dirt. Joan and Kyle pointed out all their varieties of newly started plants, which naturally flowed into their many plans for Field Notes’ second season of farm dinners: the seedlings were destined to feed many mouths this summer, after all.

Field Notes was established when the two chefs came to Colonie, New York from Vermont, looking to gain a better appreciation of where the food they were cooking came from. They did this by teaming up with the Lansing Farm family to establish a farm-to-table restaurant, using crops grown right on the farm to serve weekly meals on the same land. The first year was a success, with many delicious meals and memorable evenings against the backdrop of wildflowers and farm sunsets, and they were looking forward to expanding in their second year. They knew it was the right time to refresh their brand, and I couldn’t have agreed more.

We wanted the new logo and branding to not only reflect the beautiful experience of a rustic dinner on the farm, but also the hard work that goes into harvesting and preparing a meal. Joan and Kyle are big believers in understanding what goes into growing and raising the food we eat, and aim to tell that story with every meal. Their branding should of course do the same.

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In developing the logo, I wanted to give significance to the elements of those meals, as the ingredients journey from soil to plate. This approach really gives the details of that process an elegance, and makes it clear that there is a whole lot that goes into a well-prepared feast.

In the branding process, we expanded that concept even further, making the illustrations of the farm, kitchen and table elements front and center, translating them well into secondary logos and pattern, all in deep eggplant and leafy green colors that evoke the pallet of a late summer harvest.

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This really came together in the menu design, which showcases Field Notes’ ever-changing and artful preparations of the freshest ingredients available.

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And, because we didn’t want the warm, intimate aura of a summer farm dinner to be lost, this additional illustration is going to work in concert with the rest of the branding to call to mind those late moonlit evenings filled with laughter, good food, and great company.

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I am so pleased with the way this project came out, and am grateful to Joan and Kyle for inspiring me with their vision and then turning me loose with it. It was a fun one to work on and I can’t wait to see it come to life as they kick off their 2019 season!

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!