- Case Study: Dozen Flours
Baking blog visual identity development
Passionate baker from Seattle, Washington, USA, who curates a baking blog called 'Dozen Flours,' on which she shares her wonderful creations with the world.
Develop a visual identity for baking blog.
My client has a full-time day job but her real passion is baking, and she loves spoiling people with her baked treats. Curating Dozen Flours is a way of sharing her creations with the world. She is often commissioned to bake for others, but in her words, the baking business and blog isn't about making money; it's about making people happy, celebrating special events, and learning about food.
Six years ago, when my client was trying to decide on a name for her blog, she was watching the movie, 'Stranger Than Fiction,' and, there's a scene in which the two main characters reach a turning point in their relationship. Mr. Crick, an IRS auditor, is infatuated with a baker whom he's auditing, and in an attempt to win her over, he brings her a 'dozen flours;' a tray filled with 12 little bags of flour. Click here to watch the scene.
This scene struck my client as being so incredibly romantic and sweet, and the name for her blog was set.
Predominantly women of all ages, but majority are 20–45.
Creative, quirky, joyful, homemade, comforting, and approachable. Feminine and playful, optimistic and loving. "Like a hug you can eat."
Client usually gravitates towards asymmetrical designs, is not afraid of color, and loves clever logos. She has a tagline, "Sincere acts of sweetness," that could be incorporated. Client hopes that logo is colorful but that it would still be recognizable in black and white. She loves "swashy, swirly fonts that are rich with movement." Also, she uses little red hearts as a signature on her baked goods when it's appropriate so she thought it would be great if a heart could be be incorporated somehow into the logo, even if just in a tiny way. Finally, client specified that she DID NOT want a cupcake.
Step 1: Wordmap Exercise
After familiarizing myself with a client's business, objectives, industry, target audience, and competitors, the first step of my creative process is to conduct a wordmap exercise, during which I write out any words or phrases that come to mind. This helps me establish launch points for visual exploration.
- Step 2: Inspiration
After revealing creative pathways of exploration through the wordmap exercise, the next step is to seek inspiration. This mostly comes from visuals, but can come from music, food, traveling, or anything else that will help establish an emotional connection to the material.
- Step 3: Thumbnail Sketches
Once I have become sufficiently inspired, I launch into a thumbnail sketching phase. The objective here is to employ free association mechanics to visually build upon the creative pathways derived from the wordmap exercise. In the thumbnail stage, no idea is a bad idea; no sketch is a bad sketch. It is important to visually explore all avenues; to leave no stone unturned. Selecting solid concepts for further development occurs once all ideas have been exhausted.
- Step 4: Refining Ideas
After exhausting the thumbnail stage, the next step is to pick the standout concepts, and develop them further. Often, some concepts that may seem worthy to explore ultimately end up going nowhere, and are abandoned in lieu of pursuing only the absolute strongest of ideas.
Concept 01: Rolling Pin & Dough
- Concept 02: Circular Type Design
- Concept 03: Swishy-Swashy Type
- Concept 04: Script Typography
- Concept 05: Heart Hands
- Concept 06: '50s Housewife Character Design
- Step 5: First Drafts
After developing the standout concepts, and weeding out those that don't work, it's time to move ahead with the electronic refinement and presentation of 3-5 of the absolute best concepts.
Concept 01: Script Typography
While this concept is dynamic and expressive, and employs a clever hidden meaning, the real beauty of this design lies in its versatility of application. Stylistically rooted in artisan craftsmanship, it can be written in pencil, pen, Sharpie, or cake piping, or it can be letterpressed, stamped, or silk screened. I would encourage my client to learn how to write both the full script as well as the monogram, so that she can actively participate in this identity's propagation in her own hand.
- Concept 02: Heart Hands
This concept is quite complex in its juxtaposition of themes. The whimsical illustrative style presents an outwardly playful aesthetic, yet its crest-like lockup and deeply symbolic visual metaphor give it structure and balanced strength. It conveys messages of warmth and sincerity, as well as passionate artisan hand-craftsmanship. This concept works as well in one color as it does in multiple colors, thus ensuring its versatility of application. Due to its heavy line work, this logo would make an excellent etching, embossing, or stamp.
- Concept 03: '50s Housewife Character Design
Much more than just a logo, this illustrative concept delivers a comprehensive visual language through the collective assemblage of unified, supporting graphic elements. Cheerful, wholesome, fun, quirky, and feminine, this concept perfectly aligns with the majority of touchpoints raised in the creative brief. Extremely versatile, this concept employs a main mark and several secondary marks that all share the same aesthetic properties, thus ensuring maximum brand retention in any application. This concept can be expanded upon over time to include various character poses or simple animations.