Branding for Mama Month

Acupuncturist Courtney Moore had a product idea. And after years of dreaming and planning, she was ready to see it come to life.

In her work, Courtney has a special focus on guiding new mothers through their first post-partum month, known in Chinese medicine as the Golden Month. She dreamt of creating a curated care package: a box full of products, herbal remedies and wisdom to help mothers take care of not just their babies, but themselves, during this crucial period.

She wanted to create a visual identity for her brand and her product. To get started, we did a deep dive into who Courtney saw as her target customer. It was women who were curious in alternative medicine, but not necessarily deeply knowledgeable. Women who are have a yoga practice, and enjoy kombucha, who wanted to feel like they were doing right by their bodies, but who might need help easing into this unfamiliar territory. What would make this box full of foreign-seeming herbs and tools feel inviting to the mother unfamiliar with Chinese medicine modalities?

Over a series of conversations, we began thinking of ways to elevate the box from a collection of objects to an experience. We also started thinking about ways for this to feel like a gift, a touchstone of self-care in a time typically thought of as being self-less. How could Mama Month feel like a welcome support to a new mom, instead of more daily to-dos in her already hectic day of caring for an infant?

At the same time, I created some questions for Courtney to ponder as we delved into the look & feel of her product. In my experience, creators often know instinctively what their brand is and isn't, but sometimes find it challenging to describe in concrete terms. So in my work, I often like to pose what I call "hard questions". I brainstorm many different qualitative factors I could see relating to the product, and create a series of continuums that pit two opposite (but both potentially positive) ideas against one another. This exercise helps to surface many key differentiators for the brand that might otherwise remain buried in the creator's mind, and also serves as a great jumping-off point for further strategic decisions down the road.

Here was how Courtney saw her product:

The most interesting results I took from this were an emphasis on simplicity and user-friendliness, feminine and warm but not overly "girly", and a style rooted in luxury so it would feel familiar and approachable to an upscale American audience who loves fashion magazines but can also get down with a juice cleanse. This led us to start thinking about wanting to present this as a product more similar to beauty and spa products (soothing colors, inviting, calming), rather than a box of exotic foreign supplements.

For the logo, we wanted to keep a nod to the traditional roots of the Golden Month, while feeling fresh and alive. Additionally, since the product does have a medical aspect to it, Courtney wanted the logo to convey a sense of trustworthiness. We chose a serif typeface to convey trust, with a hand-painted background of a calendar page for a reference to the "month" of self-care.

Logo Suite for Preserved

Today I want to share the recent work I did re-designing the logo for Preserved, a DIY-fermentation supply shop and school in the heart of the Temescal district of Oakland.

Inside the wonderful world of Preserved in Oakland

Inside the wonderful world of Preserved in Oakland

Owner Elizabeth Vecchiarelli had some desires for the new look:

  • She wanted something fresh and modern-feeling
  • But she still wanted some sort of traditional or "classic" feel: a nod to the strong history and culinary tradition that her business is built upon.
  • Yet, something with playful feel, not too stuffy.
  • We wanted to maintain the hand-drawn illustrative style that would match the illustrations I had previously done for her recipe books and zines
  • Finally she brought me the classic French "le Parfait" glass jar, often used in food preservation and which has a lovely, old-world and feminine feel.

 Designers love constraints, so, with all these inputs in mind, I got to work!

All the logos were hand-drawn by me and then digitized with Adobe Illustrator.

After incorporating Beth's feedback and the perfect amount of refining, we had it! I'm so pleased with the way this logo suite turned out. Make sure to check out Preserved in Oakland and subscribe to their newsletter, which is chock-full of fermentation recipes & inspiration!