Over the past year, I’ve been very lucky to be able to work with the talented, creative, visionary owners of local food company Earth + City. Lisa and Cassandra and their team create healthy, plant-based prepared foods for sale at many farmers’ markets around town, as well as select retail locations and cafes in Toronto. Their offerings are delicious, fresh, and healthier than your average snacks. Their macaroons are addictive! They initially approached me to refresh their logo and update their WordPress site. Over the past year, I’ve also created business cards, signage, labels, and now we’re working on a longer-term package design, which is a first for me!
They knew that they wanted to retain the circular shape, grey tones, and simplicity of their original logo, and they wanted to showcase Cassandra’s photography on the website and on other printed items. They also wanted to put the focus on their seasonal, local and mostly organic ingredients, without using the predictable ways to do this, e.g. using a lot of green, literally calling out “fresh! local!” on the packaging, or using overtly environmental symbols like leaves or trees. We arrived at the decision to show the ingredients and the finished products as much as possible (in photography on the website, listing the ingredients prominently on the labels, and allowing the products to show through the packaging), in order to let the products do this work.
In order to achieve these goals, I went about designing a very simple logo which would reference their previous one, but with updated typography. We tried overlaying the wordmark on images, and in different colours, but ultimately arrived at a subtle chalky/stoney texture to be used when the logo appears on a white background to give it a bit of depth.
The colour palette complements their prepared foods and the kraft paper packaging that they use. The colours are derived from their fresh ingredients, and tones which work with them. We’ve expanded the palette to include a range of tones from light to dark to work on any background and context.
For the website, they knew they wanted something very clean which would allow the photography to stand out. Building on two WordPress templates, I designed the site to be very simple, with a lot of white space, and keeping with the grey tones from the logo. They wanted to drive traffic to their new ordering function, so that’s front and centre on the home page. In addition to this new online ordering service, the site also includes info pages about their business, and a frequently-updated blog where they post recipes and in-depth writing about local food issues.
The labels put the ingredients front and centre, and the current packaging places the emphasis on the textures of the products. Right now we’re looking into having some custom packaging made specifically for their retail offerings, so check back later this spring for updates! In the meantime, go find them at your local farmers’ market (if you live in Toronto!) and do not under any circumstances leave without getting a macaroon.