One of the most creative parts of launching a brand is designing a logo – if you do it right, the logo should accomplish several things:
1. Become a quickly recognizable and ownable symbol – In 2002 my son and I visited a remote honeybush farm in rural South Africa, and despite the unfamiliar territory, we could easily recognize a sign for Coca-Cola.
The need to create an icon is especially important for Eat the Change™ because we hope to offer multiple product lines. We want to make sure people come to recognize our logo wherever they find it in the store and associate it with our Chef-Crafted, Planet-Based™ offerings.
2. Evoke a relevant emotion or feeling that people associate with your brand Even when it’s a small line on a shirt, the skyline of Patagonia helps evoke a feeling of outdoor adventure.
The logo for the Innocent brand in Europe is supposed to be a face with a halo over it, though some mistake it for a pig’s snout. Either way, it’s got a fun, whimsical look to it, that helps people feel like the drinks will be tasty and enjoyable (which they are).
3. Be clever or whimsical so that people enjoy seeing it.
I still always look for the arrow when I see the FedEx logo.
And I love the PLNT Burger logo because it can be seen as a planet, which goes with the name. But it also works as a burger, with the two yellow buns sandwiching the lettuce, meat and tomato.
4. And the fourth one is a little more intangible, but create an image people want to be associated with. I knew Honest Tea was generating an unusual amount of loyalty when I met this guy in California who had become a customer for life:
We saw similar loyalty with Beyond Meat, where athletes would be spotted wearing our hat, just because they liked the product and the brand.
So with these ambitious goals, I enlisted two amazing women who I’ve worked with for almost two decades to help craft a logo for Eat the Change™. Mandy Coelho and Taylyn Tatka (who we affectionately refer to as “Tandy”) used to work with me at Honest Tea and now run T Creating Co, where they also created the PLNT Burger logo.
Their branding process challenged us to focus on key elements we wanted Eat the Change™ to evoke. Through a series of questions ranging from, “adjectives that describe our brand best,” to "where would our brand hang out,” they helped us boil down our brand to four words:
HARMONY · BALANCE · PLANET · CONNECTEDNESS
From there we collaborated to create a mood board of images that set the tone of the brand and to make sure we were all in the same zone as they developed our logo. Here were some of those images and why I gravitated to them:
Then I sent Tandy some images and colors that inspire me. For starters, I have always loved this Chinese scroll painting that hangs next to my office desk. It’s a Chinese piece of art, but also has a spare, Japanese aesthetic to it – simple and balanced:
It evokes the balance of yin yang, but in a more natural, poetic way.
In terms of color, I got this shirt at a triathlon and loved the combination and contrast of the deep, rich blue and turquoise (and even wore it to our first design meeting).
Then my wife and I kept running into the color turquoise. First it was a necklace she bought at a craft fair.
Then a running watch I bought and the only color they had in stock was turquoise.
And finally, we wanted to communicate a feeling of momentum, as evoked in this image of the Great Wave of Kanagawa.
After several iterations, we landed on this logo:
Some people look at our logo and see waves and land in harmony and balance.
Some see a new, hopeful dawn with the sun coming over the horizon.
Some see an embryo, and the promise of new growth.
Some see it as a wave of change.
Whatever you see in our logo, we hope it becomes a memorable and evocative icon for both delicious taste as well as a call to action that empowers people to choose foods more aligned with their hopes for a cooler planet and a healthier future.