Branding A Family
Benson's Pond & Bogside Acres
In my hometown of Plympton, MA, resides a small family owned farm called Bogside Acres. Bogside Acres is the sister farm of Benson's Pond, a cranberry bog, in Middleboro, MA. These two farms are owned and run together by husband and wife team, Erin Williams and Cass Gilmore. Because the two farms are operated together, there was a need to connect them visually, thus resulting in a total rebrand.
Running a small business keeps their owners busy. This leaves non-essential things, like design, in the dust. By branding Bogside Acres and Benson's Pond together, it provides clarity that they work in unison.
What it means to
be a small business
Small businesses are what make up a community. Their impacts and presence are unique to the location they live in. What sets apart a small business from a retail chain, is it's personality. Small businesses have the opportunity to brand themselves in ways big box stores may not be able to. With small intimate teams, small businesses have more freedom to develop uniqueness.
Successful small businesses will drive traffic. People will come from near and far to enjoy goods and services that they cannot get from other places.
To the right are the two marks I developed for Benson's Pond and Bogside Acres. They live together in harmony but can live independently as their own entity. The aesthetic is homey, personal, and natural– which is what these businesses embody. Using a serif typeface gives it the back-road farm feeling, but tracking and case-types help it stay modern.
Below is roughly half of the sketch process for the marks from July 2019 through February 2020.
What feels like home
When designing digitally, there are basic things you pick out– typeface, color palette, composition. But when you develop things that will live in physical space, theres a third dimension to consider: Texture.
There are natural textures that feel warm, down to earth, and like home. Things like brown paper from a local grocery store; Imperfect ink stamps from homemade stamps of old fashion companies; Distressed edges and textured paper, as if it was handmade from paper pulp.
Bogside Acres and Benson's Pond live in natural spaces. It feels right to mirror their location with natural, down home textures.
Creating something special
I laser cut the stamp backwards, but thats okay because you can just flip it in photoshop
You can develop a unique brand mark, but that does not mean that the brand is special. One of the things I tried to do was to bring special qualities to the brand through materials and creative techniques. Because it is a small business, there is no need to develop deliverables that need to be cheaply mass produced. If you have the power to keep it small and keep it special, that will set you aside from the competition. Handmade things always feel more authentic and special.
The bag to the left displays the Bogside Acres brand mark. Although it may be difficult to see not in person, the mark is stamped onto the bag in black ink. The stamp was developed using a laser cut piece of wood.
Below are greeting cards that were made by hand. The 4x4" card is textured print making paper. The image is a citrus transferred picture made using a pasta maker as a printing press (gotta get creative when you are on a budget).
Upon meeting Bogside and Benson owner, Erin Williams, she said something that I never thought about. I asked her about business expansion and reaching out to broader audience of potential customers (in regards to Bogside Acres). Erin said "It's a small operation, but its a loyal following". And thats when I realized that to be successful you do not have to be big, thus, I knew I had to keep the branding authentic.
Upon developing deliverables, I kept it personal to what they would utilize the most. Instead of designing a whole stationary suite, I got to have more fun and create illustrations.
Below are three drawings I did for the Bogside Acres' online store. These were an alternative to putting pictures of meat on the website, because that does not always look appealing. I used Procreate for clean lines and consistency throughout the illustrations
Small business, big presence
In the world of small businesses a popular outreach strategy is social media such as Facebook and Instagram. But sometimes theres a layer of internet presence that is missing, and that is a website. Generally perspective clients will start their research on google, looking for a website. The website is how you reach an audience that is actively seeking your services. Social media is how you maintain your clientele, give updates, and maybe grab a few new straggling clients. Both are important, but a website is how you grow.
Using Webflow, I focused on adapting my physical principles to the digital space. While carrying over the same characteristics, it was also important to build an easy user experience so a perspective client can learn about your services without having to try.
Both digital spaces reference one another and were built as a family.