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5 Things to Do When Attending the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York

We’re New York City bound for this summer’s Fancy Food Show! Are you? Do you want to go somewhere new while in town for the show? We wanted to share five of our favorite places to visit when we’re in NYC. Try one or a few of these hot spots while you are in town––we promise you won’t regret it!

We would love to meet up during the show and chat about how we can extend your on shelf presence. Click here and we will reach out to set something up!

1. Thea Grant

Whether you are looking for a unique gift to bring home, want a one-of-a-kind statement piece of your own, or want to be inspired––head to Thea Grant in Brooklyn. This charming design-and-lifestyle store is family-run by a talented husband and wife team and offers high end, handmade jewelry and intricate metal pieces. They specialized in uniquely beautiful antique and estate pieces that tell a story, you never know what gem you will find. We could not leave without purchasing a custom stamped brass keychain that they made right in front of us.

BONUS: While in DUMBO, make sure to check out mexican hot spot Gran Eléctrica. We love their fresh eats and unique cocktails, especially on a hot day in the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample a few of their speciality tequilas and unwind while dining al fresco.

2. Two Kids and a Dog

While in Brooklyn, stop by Two Kids and a Dog at the Pearl Street Triangle. We stumbled upon this sweet children’s store when searching for the perfect authentic (yet fun) souvenir for our son––a NYC garbage truck toy that was a HUGE hit! The store is perfectly curated with unique toys, children’s clothing, gifts, and speciality items.

3. New York Water Taxi

Looking for a different way to explore the city? Head to the water! The New York Water Taxi to be exact. This is the perfect way to see different parts of the city and its surrounding areas, especially if you are short on time. We suggest buying an all day pass to explore and stop along the way, then hop back on and venture to another part of the city. Our favourite route is to go from Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen to Battery Park to view the exquisite gardens, then head over to South Street Seaport for waterside shopping in unique, restored wharfside buildings from the early 1800’s. From there, we like to head to Brooklyn/DUMBO for some more great shopping and good eats. Then, travel back up to Midtown via the State of Liberty and Ellis Island. Pro tip: bypass the long lines to see the Statue of Liberty, and drive by it while on the water taxi. You get super close and stop for about 10 minutes for some quick photo opportunities. The water taxi guides are very friendly and provide a wealth of knowledge about NYC while ferrying around the city.

If you want to explore art galleries, we love to start at 28th Street in Chelsea and snake our way between 10th and 11th Avenues taking in the different art along the way. The galleries are free to enjoy and most are open Monday through Saturday. Make sure to check out this interactive gallery map to see which artists are showing and plan your trip. The last time we gallery hopped, we happened to stumble upon a Damien Hirst exhibit by spotting one of his famous formaldehyde sharks in the gallery’s front window. Cue fanboy/fangirl moment! You never know whose art you will run into. This is a great way to recharge and get inspired by all of the creativity around you.

It’s hard to believe that the High Line was set to be demolished in the 1990’s! During the 1930’s, the city built this elevated freight rail line above the streets of the West Side in response to the dangers of pedestrians walking on the street level tracks. After dwindling train usage, this space became an unused wasteland. Thankfully, the community pulled together to save this now beautiful 1.45-mile public space that is home to over 500+ species of plants and trees. We love getting fresh air along the greenway and stopping for refreshing treats such as an Italian ice or even pop into a local bar for a quick pint.

We can’t wait to see you at the Summer #FancyFoodShow.

Drop us a line and let’s chat about how we can help amplify your brand’s voice and on shelf presence. Click here to learn more about what we will be doing at the conference or use the form and we’ll reach out to you!

 

Wanting to try somewhere new to grab dinner after the show? Check out our 5 favorite places to eat while in New York.

Want to meet up and talk branding?




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Expo Insights: Our Top 3 Trends from this year’s Expo West

Early in March i made my yearly pilgrimage to Expo West, the largest natural products trade show. I go to discover new products, get inspired by innovative packaging design and meet the amazing folks behind some of our favorite brands. Below is a recap and insights of some of my favorite finds – enjoy!

1. Kombucha is still king (or queen)

We saw (and sampled) a lot of the fizzy stuff. What we’re noticing is flavors are getting more subtle and nuanced and the potent “vinegar” reputation have all but gone away. Kombucha brands are innovating and really growing into their own. This is partly to push the boundaries of how we define kombucha but also to differentiate between the insane amount of brands on the market.

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The packaging design of Better Booch is what caught my eye. The colors were very inviting and looked great as a family. As I sampled the flavors they were all quite tasty but my favorite is Golden Pear flavor. I also really appreciate the use of the boston round bottle (a familiar sight in the category) paired with their solid branding.

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The folks at Flying Embers were great to chat with while I sipped on their tasty Ancient Berry flavor of hard kombucha. Their perspective is as millennials become more and more focused on health and wellness (but still want to have a good time). They’re looking for alternatives to beer – enter hard kombucha – a light fizzy probiotic way to get a buzz. Based on the rising popularity of ciders I think they’re onto something. Design-wise I love their can design with the bold foliage illustrations along the top and bottom of the can.

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Wild Tonic was the first hard kombucha out in the market we sampled at last years Expo so it was fun to check in and see what they’re up to. They highlighted their new seasonal selection: Strawberry Blood Orange – super refreshing and tasty. Wild Tonic’s design is very distinctive and recognizable – from their bold logo to their blue distinct bottle.

2. Unique & ownable vessels

As I walked the show I was stopped in my tracks by some amazing packaging substrates. These ranged from little pots containing plant based yogurt to baby blue powder coated bottles. These brands understand that it’s a crowded and busy world out there and if you want to stand out you need to look different on every level.

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Culina Yogurt was by far my favorite product of Expo. I literally was stopped in my tracks when I saw these little crocks that look like pots for plants. Not only does the little pot look amazing and so different from other yogurts, after you’ve eaten the tasty plant based yogurt you can use it as a planter!

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As I approached the Sunwink Beverage booth I was drawn in by the baby blue bottles assuming they were just full wrap labels. However As I was chatting with them and sampling their tasty tonic I learned they were powder coated! They really went above and beyond with this treatment and it matched their minimal flavor illustrations perfectly. I’m not sure how scalable powder coated bottles are but here’s hoping they can make it work.

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It’s hard to top all the great chocolate bar packaging at Expo however Elements Truffles definitely showcased an innovative but also handmade packaging in their Ayurvedic Inspired Chocolate bars. Embellishing each kraft box is a hand stitched fabric label highlighting the item name and a nice little illustration. Having the hand stitched label really drives home the attention given to their products and their specialty nature.

3. Redesigns

Expo is a great time to spot redesigns and new looks launching and a few caught my eye. What struck me about these particular redesigns is the boldness in each – stepping out of their brand’s comfort zone and creating something that is quite exciting.

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If you are a fan of bitters I’m sure you’ve come across Hella Cocktail Co and their bespectacled bowler hat packaging design. I’ve always enjoyed their old-timey barkeeper look however their redesign is a big jump into a more serious, established brand that is an authority in all things cocktail. From their refined chiseled logo to their flexible design system across their family of products the new look is a great upgrade and helps to build their reputation.

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Compostable picnicware is not a category you’d think would be all that exciting – necessary and extremely important- but not super exciting from a packaging point of view. Well the redesign of Repurpose is here to blow all our minds and make us question why we’ve accepted boring packaging from picnicware all these years. Their old packaging was fairly basic and standard for the category, but their redesign features bold colorful illustrations and clever copywriting (Strong as F*rk, Kind to the Earth is the item name for Forks.) Repurpose shows us that you can have asense of humor and save the world at the same time!

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I’ve loved Sir Kensington’s ever since they came out with their dapper packaging and their redesign is paired with the launch of some new products including a line of Vinaigrettes. The redesign focuses the attention on the iconic Sir Kensington with a simple bold blue background, fun ingredient illustrations, and simple clean typography. It’s great to see an established brand with a great personality continue to evolve.

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Defining Your Brand’s Personality Through Illustration

Color, shape, movement, imagery, emotion, brand recognition, sales- illustration is a great solution for capturing and conveying the unique qualities, feelings, and emotions of your product on its packaging design. Whether you chose to be literal or abstract and expressive, illustration can be a great way to help your product to stand out, differentiate your brand from competitors and create brand recognition with shoppers.

While we can talk about illustration all day, we know less talk and more pretty photos are what you crave! So let’s dive in and take a look at a few different examples of illustration in the marketplace including one of our recent projects which features rich, expressive drawings to capture a sense of place.

Bold Characters

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Burnt & Salty create bold and unique flavor twists on traditional condiments like mustard and glazes. To capture their daring, irreverent take on traditional cuisine they’ve chosen to highlight a fun illustrated character for each of their flavors with stark silhouettes, crazy eyes, energetic shapes, and bright colors. The playful characters speak to the brand’s personality and adventurous products.

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Sauer Frau bills itself as the first ever squeezable sauerkraut, kicking up the bratwurst game a few notches! Sauer Frau’s illustration style feels like something out of a comic book with restrained, formed lines. The “Sauer Frau” character as part of the logo pulls you in with her serious, no nonsense expression. Each flavor in the family has a simple yet bold color associated with it creating an unexpected billboard that still feels relevant in the condiment category.

Literally

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Epic Provisions has always done an amazing job showcasing their products through packaging design. One of their latest products, Pork Cracklings, feels like its been pulled from the pages of a mid-century kid’s adventure novel complete with a limited color palette and vintage inspired typography and shapes. The pig illustration is realistic and feels scientific or from a veterinary textbook. The illustrations on their packaging speak directly to their ‘back to basics’ view of food and their desire to utilize the simple yet powerful diets of our ancestors.

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Roland Foods is an importer of more than 1500 foods from around the world. They have a variety of packaging design within their product catalog, but the style that caught our eye is the realistic representation of products on their canned food. At first glance it almost reads as a photograph because the illustration is executed so pragmatically, yet upon further inspection you start to see little splashes here and there which add a layered homemade artisan feel to the restrained style.

Our Latest Project – Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters Packaging Redesign

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When we first started working on redesigning Virgin Islands Coffee Roaster’s packaging we knew we wanted to find a way to feature the lush colorful views of the Virgin Islands and try to create a sense of place.

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We drew inspiration from Dorothy Draper’s iconic tropical floral wallpaper and merged that style with a coffee plant and bananaquit, a bird that is part of the Virgin Islands story and the brand. Wanting the plant to feel wild and organic, we allowed the coffee plant illustration to climb up one side of the front of the coffee bag then spread across the gusset and around the back.

We worked to create the feeling of looking through a coffee farm and discovering this packaging nestled in the leaves. The coffee labels each feature a scientific line drawing behind each coffee name in the product family, which provides a contrast to the more fluid coffee plant. Fresh, exotic, energetic and memorable we feel this packaging redesign captures the spirit of the brand and the product that lives inside.

Click the button below to view our Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters Redesign project and many more ways we’ve helped client’s define their brand’s personality through compelling design. 

VIEW MORE WORK

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Why We Joined the Specialty Food Association (It’s not just because we love food!)

We recently joined the Specialty Food Association (SFA), a trade group that represents the specialty food industry. Sure, we LOVE to eat and are always on the hunt for new foods and beverages to fall in love with, but the decision to join was actually in an effort to further educate ourselves on all aspects of the industry, increase our company’s expertise in the specialty food packaging realm and in turn, give us the ability to help more clients realize their success.

Why We Think It’s Important

We’ve been familiar with the Specialty Food Association for many years, learning about their importance in the industry back when we worked in house for The Fresh Market. Their sofi awards – think the Oscars of the food world – have been informing grocery buyers and and industry professionals of innovative and trending products in the current market for the past 46 years. We remember helping with the submission that would lead to The Fresh Market’s 2011 sofi award win for Outstanding Specialty Food Retailer Award. There was also the bi-annual buzz throughout the office when the buyers and executives would prepare for SFA’s Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows and return with tales (and sometimes samples!) of exciting new products and trends they experienced at the show.

When we set out on our own to establish Buttermilk Creative as the premier specialty food and beverage packaging design agency we already understood how essential keeping a pulse on the industry is to the success of our clients. Since the launch of our business we have attended several food shows throughout the year each year, including SFA’s Fancy Food Show. However, this spring we took it a step further by becoming official card carrying members the Specialty Food Association! Woo hoo!

What Our Clients Stand to Gain

While we appreciate all the warm fuzzy feelings associated with being a part of this organization, we also recognize that this is a great asset for our clients and the enhanced services we can offer them. We will continue to annually be in attendance at the Summer Fancy Food Show. In 2017 the Show featured more than 2,600 exhibitors, with representation from 57 countries around the world and showcasing more than 180,000 specialty food products. The Show is the largest marketplace in North America devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages. These shows provide us with an opportunity to see the near future of specialty food and beverage, meet the makers and founders, connect with many of our clients and stuff our faces with some of the most amazing food and beverages (we told you we love to eat)!!! Yet the true highlight is that we are able to observe what is trending in the marketplace in all areas of packaging design including advances in sustainable materials, cutting edge printing techniques and diverse interpretations on what resonates with shoppers (plus we geek out on a lot of amazing packaging design!). We also gain new perspective on the challenges and struggles unique to the specialty food and beverage world and learn how we can help alleviate these hurdles for our clients.

Yet the true highlight is that we are able to observe what is trending in the marketplace in all areas of packaging design including advances in sustainable materials, cutting edge printing techniques and diverse interpretations on what resonates with shoppers

Becoming an SFA member also allows us to become further immersed in the community as well as get in the inside track of the industry. We hear about every policy update, headline, or cutting edge trend. That means we can build on our knowledge and continue to speak specifically to our clients needs and opportunities that relate to production, consumer trends, shopper insights, and learning about overall strategies that will help drive sales and lead to their success.

Here’s to more knowledge, more connections, more food and of course the most success for your brand!

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Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Special Printing Effects

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Special Printing Effects

If you command a high premium price for your products, then they better look like it- and with today’s technology specialty printing and materials are well within the reach of big and small brands. We saw lots of interesting products at Expo – here’s a few:

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Omiberry, a subtly sweet sparkling berry drink, captures your attention with a beautiful gold and rose gold foil effect. Also there are mysterious die cut holes throughout the label that make you want to pick the product up and look around it.

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Holy Kombucha takes advantage of foil label printing with nice shimmer on their logo and item name. And even though they have a lot of color coverage the label still shines because of the foil underneath. All of it reinforcing the “holy” aspect of their name.

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Lovingearth chocolate bars utilize embossing to create interesting textures on their products and reinforce the beautiful simplistic illustrations created for each item. The colors are very nice and deep as well. Another great example of actual visual texture that engages the shopper from the shelf.

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K’ul Chocolates go all out for their chocolate bar packaging. From custom shaped boxes and windows, foil printing, multiple types of materials, and a beautiful foil label that seals everything up – the whole experience is rich and gives the shopper an idea of the quality within. We love seeing a specialty company embrace this level of of specialty.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Our Favorite Finds

Color Stories

Sustainable Innovation

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Color Stories

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Color Stories

Color plays a huge role in the decision to buy a product, so it’s no surprise we’re seeing bold, bright colors on a lot of the products featured at Expo West. Here’s some of our favorites:

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UnReal makes yummy, guilt free riffs on traditional snacks like M&M’s. The candy space is very colorful, and UnReal does an amazing job creating a billboard of bold bright colors with striking design to complement. In a world of bubbly letters and swooshy effects, UnReal takes a different design stance, just like their products.

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Sun & Swell Foods is on the other end of the spectrum. Soft, warm subtle colors that evoke their name and origin in Southern California. These colors feel very natural and let your eyes rest when you see them on a shelf of loud, bold snack & energy products.

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Serenity Kids Baby Food takes the high road with their design and color choices instead of falling into the usual traps of baby food design – cartoony, bubbly silly design with bright, garish colors. We love the sophisticated and understated color choices and these will absolutely standout amongst other baby food brands.

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Thunderbird Bars was by far our favorite color story. They do a great job of picking up queues from the natural energy bar space utilising warm earthy textures and then take a complete 180 and throw in a bold neon green. Or they embrace their origins and throw a bold bright Texas flag across the packaging. Each bar has a different vibe and feel, but the thunderbird shape is always consistent.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Our Favorite Finds

Sustainable Innovation

Special Printing Effects

Our insights from this year’s Expo West | Our Favorite Favorite Finds

About a month ago we attended Expo West in Anaheim to walk the many aisles and see innovative & inspiring products. The following posts run through our insights and finds we’re excited to share.

Expo West is one of the largest, if not the largest, trade show for the natural products industry. With over 3000 exhibitors and estimates of 80,000 – 100,000 attendees it can be an overwhelming and claustrophobic experience – but it can also be very helpful and inspiring.

We went this year and spent 3 days soaking up all the emerging trends, innovative brands, and inspiring entrepreneurs who move the needle for the industry. We’re excited to share our insights and discoveries with you below.

Our Very Favorite Finds & Discoveries

We always do a ton of research before the show and map out the exhibitors we know we want to see and meet, but there are always folks we discover on the fly wandering the aisles.

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Soma Kombucha, one of the many kombuchas we tasted, is our favorite. The flavors are super subtle and very tasty. Design-wise we are impressed with the gold accents on the label and the bottle is custom – even with a design in the bottom of the glass. We really appreciate all these amazing details.

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The Bitter Housewife is the whole package – bitters bottled in a flask shape with cool retro custom shaped diamond labels. The colors and typography used also have a vintage feel.

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Blume Honey Water was one of our favorite unique products. A subtly sweet and refreshing drink with interesting flavors like Vanilla Citrus and Ginger Zest. We also really like the bee/honey dipper character that appears on the labels.

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Tea Drops is one of our favorite whole package products – cool packaging design and an innovative product. We like the playful, whimsical feel of the packaging which matches the light fun brand personality. The product is very cool – the tea isn’t in tea bags, it’s made into “drops” that dissolve as the tea brews so there’s no waste.

Enjoy our other stories from 2018 Expo West:

Sustainable Innovation

Color Stories

Special Printing Effects

A Case for Packaging Redesign

The start of a new year gets everyone thinking about fresh starts. We set resolutions to exercise more, eat better, and other general improvements to our health and lifestyles. So what about brands – specifically those who have physical products? Should they be thinking about refreshing their look? We think so – read below to learn about when it’s time, what you should be thinking about, and see some real world examples from our client’s whom we’ve helped or are currently helping hit the refresh button.

When It’s Time

There are a few factors that go into determining when it’s time for a packaging redesign.

One is timing; if you are a fairly young company who’s had products out there for around 5 years or less you likely have the same packaging you launched with. Think about how much your company has changed over that time. So shouldn’t your packaging design follow that same trajectory? If you have a more mature company that is established and your products have been on the shelf for 10+ years then you can also use the 5 year rule. If you haven’t taken a hard look at how your packaging is performing on the shelf recently (or ever!) then resolve to go through that process soon -sales could be at stake.

Relevance is another. Whether you are established or fairly new it’s always good to have a pulse on what your competitors and the general market are doing design-wise and measuring against what you’re doing. Trends come and go and you should be wary of jumping on any bandwagon – however – there could be callouts, certifications, or an overall design shift worth noting and adjusting to. As new product offerings become more familiar the general public becomes more savvy and marketing copy, names, etc. might need to change to respond.

Efficiency is the last factor. Printing technology is an ever evolving industry and service. It’s always good to ask around and see if what you’re doing on the material side of things still makes sense. If you have pressure sensitive labels have you crunched the numbers between digital and offset printing to make sure you’re hitting the most cost effective minimums? If the numbers make sense, digital is a great way to run smaller quantities, or easily add special effects to your labels for instance. A redesign can also help simplify your assembly/production line by helping you rethink the way you are currently putting everything together or propose different packaging options.

Who have we helped or are helping redesign?

Most of the clients we’ve been with from the very start, but a few of them have come to us for help in redesiging their packaging. Below is an example of a redsign case hitting the shelves as we speak. The other two are currently going through the process, so we can’t share everything right now, but we hope to give you insight into how we’re working through both projects.

Re-Define
The team at Fire Cider have been at it making their tasty tonics since 2010. We started working with them reimagining their main packaging vehicle – the labels on their iconic amber boston round bottles. As we researched the competitive landscape and applied our best practices in packaging design we still needed to keep in mind that Fire Cider already had a strong, distinct look and quite a cult following. But we also knew there were areas we could improve around helping them standout on the shelf, highlighting their unique ingredients, helping shoppers quickly understand the product, and appealing to a broader and larger audience of retailers. Our redesign reorganized the label and focused the main content onto a colored badge in the middle of the label. Each of their flavors now have a color associated with them to help spotlight them on the shelf and help shoppers differentiate between their favorite tonics. We also worked closely with Fire Cider to provide space on the label for more concise storytelling, selling points, and conveying to the shopper what the tonic tastes like. The new labels are slowly hitting the shelves and getting great feedback so far. We’re excited to hear how this redesign will help Fire CIder grow their business this year. But don’t take our word – read Fire Cider’s press release announcing their new packaging here.

Re-Energize
After a devastating hurricane season last year, Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters are ready to refresh their packaging and reboot their brand. Since 2012, VICR have packaged their delicious coffee in kraft bags. At the time, it fit their handmade, artisan, rustic feel. But for their redesign we are looking at a few different, more colorful bag options that not only better embrace where their business is today but that also function better on the production side. Speeding up the bagging process for their employees not only means getting their delicious coffee out to more people faster but also drives down their labor costs. For the redesign we’re drawing inspiration from the bright, vibrant colors found in the caribbean, which we are experimenting incorporating into the various coffee labels. We’re also looking at including custom illustration inspired by the tropical wallpaper prints by Dorothy Draper. The spirit and resilience of the team at VICR is also inspiring as they set up their new roastery & tasting room in south Florida and continue to clean up the original roastery in St. Thomas. That’s all we can share for now – but stay tuned for the finished work.

Re-Imagine
The makers of TruAde came to us with a need to help breathe new life into a heritage brand. We first started researching the history of the brand to find any clues or elements we can use in the redesign. We loved the look and feel of the vintage TruAde advertising and marketing materials. Below you can see some of our favorites. As we looked over the materials we honed in on the star as a design element which could bridge the old and the new. The redesign encompasses multiple sizes, substrates, and containers which pose different challenges as we reimagined the new designs. We also had to figure out how to differentiate between several flavors. The original TruAde was very colorful, so we knew we would capitalize on that tradition as we put together the color palette for the brand. As we speak all of the files are off to the printer and should be launching soon. Once they hit the shelves we’ll be sharing the full redesign so stay tuned. For now we can share a little snippet of the new logo along with some of the historical reference we drew on for inspiration.

Redesigns can help your brand redefine, reenergize, and reimagine. They are a natural part of your company’s life cycle and should be taken into consideration as your brand grows.

Is your company interested in a redesign? Feel free to reach out to Andy or Nicole to chat about the project.

The Bird & the Brew: Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters Case Study

Occasionally we’ll share an in depth look into our work we do for clients. For our first post we’ll shed light on the packaging and logo redesign for the Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters.

Starting from Scratch

Our work with Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters actually started with an exploration into redesigning their packaging. But as we talked with Ramsey Smith, President & Co-Founder, we figured out that before we could work on packaging, we needed to create a new logo.

After researching ways to represent their unique island setting without clichés, we landed on the simple line art illustration of the Bananaquit, a common bird found all over the Virgin Islands. After digging deeper we learned that it also belongs to the Tanager family of birds, an important part of the coffee plant ecosystem.

Our first goal for the new logo is to be more relevant to the heart and soul of the brand and its unique location. Our second goal is to create something that can compete with the highly competitive current coffee category leaders. We felt the old logo was too limiting visually and typographically. The new logo features a unique and ownable typeface and iconic mark that is recognizable enough to appear on various materials, with or without the wordmark.

It’s in the Bag

As we finalized the logo we started working with the whole team at Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters to start brainstorming new packaging options. We had a few objectives we had to keep in mind:

  • must be sustainable & compostable
  • needs to be relevant
  • should to perform well on the production line.

We kept all of these in mind as we worked in the studio and on-site with the team prototyping options. We explored different layouts, materials, and structures as we honed in on the solution that worked best.

New Packaging

Our final packaging solution for Virgin Islands features a simple kraft square bottom gusseted coffee bag with a clean but dramatic narrow and long label that wraps around the front, top, and back of the bag – effectively sealing the bag. Three different sizes were created to accommodate the variations in product weights, all while keeping the look consistent.

The new packaging managed to preserve the brand’s hand-crafted feel but gave it a more sophisticated and eye-catching feel. VICR’s coffee is sold on crowded island grocery store shelves so we wanted to create a design that could stand out just about anywhere. The light label stock against the brown kraft bag creates engaging contrast, and the pop of yellow from the bananquit creates even more interest.

How Buttermilk made it better

“Since we launched the new logo and Packaging we’ve continued an 80% growth year over year.  

The new logo allowed us the flexibility to use it across the board in many mediums for customers signage, our merchandising and also expand our reach into creating our own brand identity.

The packaging was a large scale undertaking that increased our retail sales and opportunities well into the 100% year over year mark.  Packaging is a forever changing and very competitive market and having the ready to go support from Andy and Buttermilk allows us to stay ahead of the game.”

– RAMSEY SMITH, President & Co-Founder, VIRGIN ISLANDS COFFEE ROASTERS

Our insights from this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC | Trend 3: Revolutionary Redesigns

About a month ago we headed up to the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show to walk the many aisles and see the best & brightest amongst specialty food and beverage. The Following posts run through our insights we’re excited to share.

Trend 3. Revolutionary Redesigns

Redesigns are big and scary undertakings but when brands decide to refresh it can pay off with better relevance with new customers and an opportunity to freshen up a potentially stagnant brand. We noticed a few big brands going through facelifts and redesigns.

Morris Kitchen:
Morris Kitchen threw us for a loop (in the best way) with their sleek, simple, illustration pattern driven redesign. We’ve always loved Morris Kitchen for their unique take on cocktail mixers and tasty concoctions like Tomato Beet and Citrus Agave. Their old design felt homemade and simple, which fit with the brand’s positioning- but the design update feels fresh and contemporary and will definitely stand out on the shelf. The simplified treatment of the ingredients in each label drives home the fact that there’s only the best inside.

Roland Foods:
Heirloom brand Roland Foods keeps their heritage with a simplified treatment for their wordmark and refreshed packaging design. We love that they were able to simplify the logo but keep the wordmark in place. The new mark will be more flexible across the brand and could introduce Roland to new customers. They really upped their packaging design game as well with interesting photography work adorning their canned goods and amazing bold colors for their sardines, just to highlight a few.  

And not a full redesign…

Bob’s Red Mill:
but we appreciated this new take on presentation within their brand from Bob’s Red Mill for their line of Muesli. We’re used to seeing Bob’s Red Mill products in clear sealed bags with a label and Bob’s smiling face. However those bags aren’t the easiest to work with once opened – plus we felt like there’s a ton of opportunity there for a design refresh. So we were excited to spot this particular update to both the bag and the design for their Muesli. Still staying true to their original look and feel with Bob’s likeness but pulling in new typography with a vintage feel, plus the use of banners as containers for content helps organize the front panel. And the scroll work and filigree elements add a nice homespun touch, reinforces the brands core values.

Read our Trend #1 Post

Read our Trend #2 Post