Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lakeside Maple Branding and Packaging

One thing we love about our job is the chance to get involved with someone’s dream and help to make it a reality. Several months ago, we got a call from some hard-working entrepreneurs who had created a delicious all-natural trail mix sweetened with maple syrup. They wanted to take their brand to the next level, so they hired us to create a new logo and a whole new packaging scheme.

A little history: our clients started out selling trail mix out of a backpack at local music shows. When they started selling out at farmers’ markets, Lakeside Maple founders Mark and Lilly knew they were onto something big! The brand was based on a trail mix recipe Mark’s mother baked for him as a reminder of the flavors he enjoyed while living in Vermont. Named after the road Mark grew up on, Lakeside Maple focused on producing simple mixes with healthy ingredients. As they grew too big for using hand-made, hand-lettered labels, they looked to us to help them create a beautiful brand identity that projected quality and a tradition of small-batch goodness.

Our assignment was clear: Create a brand identity and packaging that looks like the product tastes—like artisan-crafted, all-natural, tasty gourmet trail mix.

The project started with a phone conference. (In-person meetings are great, but we are located in Tennessee and Lakeside is based in New Jersey.) They shipped us samples of the product so we could taste it. As soon as we sampled the trail mix, we knew our client was going places. (Anderson Design Group Founder & Creative Director Joel Anderson ate a whole package in one sitting!) Inspired by the all-natural goodness, our design team sketched up logo ideas. Designer Aaron Johnson produced the winning logo. After that, designer Edward Patton started working out the details for a packaging system that could grow with Lakeside Maple as it evolved.

We rendered the logo in a hand-done, imperfect style to convey the small-batch care that goes into the product. We used natural colors and arranged the type to resemble the lettering you might see on trail guides and outdoor hiking maps.

The client already had success with a few packaging configurations, so we saw no need to suggest anything different. The 2 options were: clear plastic zip-lock pouches—ideal for hikers, and mason jars—ideal for larger volume packaging for families or serious trail mix junkies. To help hold down costs, we designed 2 standard sizes of labels that would fit on all of the various sizes of pouches and jars. We also created a color coding system that would allow them to introduce new flavors in the future that would be easily distinguished from the Original and Spicy flavor mixes.

Our new logo and packaging helped Lakeside Maple to take a huge leap forward, catching the eyes of everyone from hikers to buyers from major grocery chains. Sales immediately started increasing. The new branding and packaging now looks as good as the product tastes (which is freakin’ awesome, if you ask us!)

Check out their website to learn more about their story and products:

Creative Director: Joel Anderson
Logo Designer: Aaron Johnson
Packaging Designer: Edward Patton
Photography: Edward Patton