07 Aug 2013

Baking a Brand: Milk & Honey

Let’s be honest: Cake batter gelato and lavender lattes sell themselves. Without one bit of branding, Milk & Honey, a breakfast, lunch, craft coffee and gelato shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, could sell their fantastic foods out of a cardboard box and people would still line up, money in hand.

But about six months before they opened, the owners came to us in search of an identity—something to convey that their concept was local, high-quality, homemade and, most importantly, real. They offered up a few ideas, shared a list of goals, said they wanted a logo with a thick, handwritten script, then literally sat back and told us to run with it.

And we ran.

A dream project in every sense of the word, the Milk & Honey brand came to life first through the logo, then grew into business cards, envelopes, and a mini website. Then it grew into interior styling, signage, coffee sleeves and tins, giant wall menus and murals, gelato cups, juice labels, popsicle sticks, grocery store packaging, freezer wraps, gelato carts, t-shirts, hats and so much more.

Once we got the style and direction settled, we brought in freelance writer Danny Bonvissuto—a former restaurant critic—to contribute smart, sexy, and sophisticated copy with a bit of a Southern twist. But the baseline of all the design and copy was fun, which comes across in the shop, where people feel energized and engaged as soon as they walk in the door. From the menus to the wall art, there’s wit and warmth tucked into every nook and cranny. The combination of great words, custom illustration and interesting type treatments really elevates the brand and creates a friendly feeling of community. Despite the small space, Milk & Honey truly is a place everyone wants to be.

And when we say everyone, that includes us. We are officially addicted to Milk & Honey coconut milk lattes. Don’t even get us started on the build-your-own breakfast sandwiches or the gelato…and the paletas.

Behind every dream project is a dream client. The best part about working with Milk & Honey wasn’t the jars of free salted caramels (even though we’d love monthly deliveries – hint, hint). It’s that the recipe for everything connected to the concept starts with fun, creativity and a true openness to all ideas. We can strategize and fuss over fonts all day long, but the client who trusts their design team’s direction helps make the brand truly great.

Onto a little eye candy. The collage below wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a few talented photographers, including the folks at Chattavore, Our Ampersand Photography and Milk & Honey, plus David Monen. And though the image is a little taller than former NBA star Magic Johnson, it only covers a portion of the project. Enjoy the scenes and the style…and try not to salivate too much.