Brand and digital concepts for a local Minneapolis cafe looking to expand a portion of their business into local meal delivery and catering
As a small cafe in Eden Prairie, Minnesota The Tomato Vine enjoyed delivering tasty, "home-cooked" meals to the people that entered their store usually on a regular basis. Those same people continued to ask when they would be expanding to new locations or offering online ordering. By listening to their audience they began preparing a new home delivery service which would deliver organic, home cooked meals to the doors of the patrons who loved the food and were willing to pay a bit extra to get it delivered.
I typically define the lens as I go through the design process bit by bit. I like to move beyond where I think the project needs to go and then re-evluate what I've done. We leveraged the content the restaurant was already using to talk about their unique menu and style and moved that same tone over to the meal delivery. Always focusing on the quality of food and the ease of delivery. We began brand exploration, quickly focusing on the narrative for a local restaurant delving into the home cooked delivery business. Crafting the message and business plan before the rest of the touchpoint was vital as it largely changed how the site itself was going to speak to the different audiences looking to use it.
The main part of the site was the new focus on the three core experience personas. "I would like a meal delivered to my home, I would like my event catered, and I would like to visit your location and sample your food."
I split the content in two in order to speak to the two different experiences. It was important we look at personas at an experience level, how they were coming into the site and what they were looking for. At any moment a normal customer could become an online order or an online order may decide to cater, visit, etc. We wanted the experience to offer a pathway for each experience type and a way for them to transition needs.
The goal of this project was to create an experience which could be vocalized for a round of private funding to get the capital in order to implement the idea. We wanted to send a message of well thought out, creative opportunities that would grab peoples attention, inspire the curious to test it out and find a loyal fanbase who would invest in the service over time. I pulled inspiration from old farm signage form the farms where we sourced food. Vines played an important part in the new visual direction especially as we explored what iconography and service explanations might look like with the new style. The colors were revamped and we combined modern typographic influences with vintage, art nouveau inspired faces to keep the brand modern, a little dated, but warm and inviting. Like a bed and breakfast with a modernist twist.
* All work is mine. Custom icons, illustrations, embellishments, logo, etc.
This was an exploration in creativity and using the skills that I love and have been crafting to create something unique, fun, and full of personality. To solve a visual problem that met the needs of the business, spoke to the audience, and allowed the brand to speak its own voice. Thats the most important lesson to be had from this excercise. I believe its important for a brand, business, individual to speak with an authentic voice. The path to disvocer that voice is different for everyone, you can use research, gut feeling, conversations with your audience, your own personal preferences, all of these things can be used to define your voice. I won't say there's one path, one solution, its a matter of identifying the activities to get you where you need to be.