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Thesis summary / Process book


thesis summary


TRUTH IN SPIRITS THESIS TOPIC: Convincing consumers to care about how their hard liquor is grown, through the creation of a farm distillery.

AMERICAN AGRICULTURE The food chain in America is dominated by a few disproportionately powerful agrotech conglomerates, who have put profit ahead of consumers, farmers, and the environment. The strong pesticides and herbicides used in modern American agriculture are poisoning the environment. GMO-related pesticides are contributing to the colony collapse disorder, which are devastating the bee colonies vital to the pollination of many plant species. Since their commercial introduction in the mid 1990s, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have come to dominate American agriculture. About 90% of corn— the quintessential American crop—is genetically modified. Transgenic crops are considered intellectual property, which allows a few companies to control the market through patent monopolies, and to perpetrate one of the most aggressive patent assertion campaigns in history against American farmers.

The three largest companies control 70% of global seed sales. Their market power gives them the ability to set or influence price, and also gives them immense bargaining and lobbying power over government food production policy-making. Using their control of seed patents, they actively block independent research on the real effects of eating genetically modified foods, while funding flattering research “studies”. Companies like Monsanto are actively trying to keep normal, non-GMO seeds out of farmers’ reach, buying up seed companies across the Midwest and writing legislation to make lawful seed saving difficult. They spend tens of millions of dollars to fight against rightto-know laws for consumers, taking away our freedom to make informed choices about what we put into our bodies, and hinders our freedom to vote with our wallets against damaging practices that go against our beliefs.

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T HESIS SUMMARY

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AMERICAN SPIRITS

KEY MESSAGING

Due to the rise of the food movement, more and more consumers are paying attention to how their food is grown and where their food comes from. Unfortunately, this same awareness does not extend to the hard alcohol that they drink, even though it is sourced from the same agricultural system. My goal is to help these consumers realize that the same agricultural issues apply to hard spirits, and to inspire them to be mindful about what they drink.

×× Make sustainably farmed spirits desirable

DELIVERY SYSTEM This goal will be accomplished through the creation, branding, and marketing of a covetable seed-tobottle distillery, where the benefits of sustainable, self-grown, locally-sourced non-GMO spirits will be emphasized and integrated as a primary part of the brand identity. Using an engaging, desirable brand as vehicle will make the topic desirable, rather than preachy, in the eyes of consumers. It will also give consumers choice in the limited market of sustainable spirits.

×× Help people realize that hard alcohol is sourced from crops. ×× Help mainstream the food movement—as in don’t just preach to the choir. TARGET AUDIENCE My primary audience consists of American drinkers who are somewhat knowledgeable about sustainable food issues, but do not associate it with hard alcohol. My secondary audience consists of alcochol drinkers who are not engaged with food issues, but are open to learning more. My target audience is between ages of the 21 and 34, well-educated, with a disposable income. They drink alcohol at least several times a month. They consider themselves environmentally aware, and do make some effort to buy locally grown foods, but it may not be the biggest focus of their lives. CHALLENGES & CONSIDERATIONS I need to bring a working brand to market that delivers a sustainable message while being appealing to a broader audience. It is important to not just project a crunchy green image and preach to the already converted. I need to create a desirable brand that will be able to win and loyalize converts in a broader audience.

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TH ESIS SUMMARY


UNTAPPED OPPORTUNITY Although Americans are starting to care about where their food comes from, they haven’t yet extended this awareness to the sourcing of hard spirits.

ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE

n

66% of survey respondants said they tried to make environmentally responsible food purchasing decisions.

WANT ETHICAL INGREDIENTS

n

o

70% of survey respondants said that they were concerned about where food comes from and how ingredients are grown. They were worried about companies like Monsant and made an effort to buy organic or non-GMO.

BUYING LOCAL 63% of survey respondants said they made an effort to buy locally grown foods.

o

97% However...

could not name a single non-GMO liquor.


“People want to eat well. They want to know about the provenance of every piece of lettuce that goes in their mouth. They want to know where their meats are raised Why should what they drink be any less important?” WARREN BOBROW F O O D & C O C K TA I L W RI TER

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TH ESIS SUMMARY


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DELIVERABLES Goal: Make people care about how their hard liquor is grown. Secondary Goal: Create a covetable brand and product line that will draw in a non or partially invested audience.

Products

WEb Presence

The product line would consist of a Fire-Roasted Corn Bourbon, a Family Reserve Whiskey, an Applejack, a line Infused Wheat Vodkas (Pinenut, Cranberry, and Chili Pepper). All product packaging would have a brand focus on the farmed ingredients

An informative website about us and our mission, about our products and our farm, with information about scheduling farm visits. A blog with real updates and real content that ties into our hand-crafted, sustainable farm-focused brand identity. A social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. All of this would be live and active and real.

The Fire-Roasted Corn Bourbon would be an actual product brough to market. All others would be mocked upped and conceptual.

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TH ESIS SUMMARY


Farm Showroom

Event + MArketing Collateral

A showroom at the farm for visits. Point of sale display. Farm visits and tours. A digital tour by smartphone (App). The actual showroom stuff would be conceptual digital mockups, but the digital tour would be real.

Press kit with samples to be sent out to influencers, Collateral for bar events and trade shows such as literature, activities, coasters, swag, displays. The event is very real, for our actual launch. But trade show stuff would be mocked up.

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PROCESS BOOK


Process book


DESIGN PRINCIPLES It's of utmost importance that each element is considered and meaningful. These are the central messages that guide this project in branding and design.

FARM ORIGIN / IMPORTANCE OF INGREDIENTS

HANDCRAFTED / PERSONAL / VARIABLE

This is the most important element. It is the focus of my thesis, after all, to have my audience become more mindful of where their liquor comes from. Aside from that, from a marketing standpoint the fact that we grow our own hand-picked ingredients from seed to bottle is what makes us stand apart.

That certainly comes off as a mouthful, but the soul of that message is the same. Actual nature is not uniform. Think of tomatoes or eggs from the farmer's market. They look and taste different from one week to the next, but they taste amazing. You can taste what went into the dirt. You can taste the drought. You can taste the seasons. It's a much more personal experience of the world. It is as things ought to be.

STEWARDSHIP We want to focus beyond buzzwords, beyond labels, to actually make people more mindful of how their actions affect the world. It's not just about booze! We exist because we believe we can make the world a better place. Farming and agriculture is essentially natural. It's how we human animals evolved to feed ourselves. It shouldn't be poisonous or unstustainable. Everything we do, we try to do the right way.

HISTORICALLY INSPIRED / FORWARD-LOOKING Of course we are inspired by history. But rather than fetishizing the past, we're crafting a new (old) way to do things and boldly pushing forwards to be part of the change we want in the world. In terms of design, it's important to consider the difference between "analogue" and "self-consciously vintage". Another consideration would be the difference between "historically-inspired" and "historical vernacular."

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P ROCESS BOOK

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BRAND IDENTITY | MOODBOARDS

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LOGO | INSPIRATION

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LOGO | SKETCHES

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LOGO | SKETCHES + DIGITAL ITERATIONS

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LOGO | SKETCHES + DIGITAL ITERATIONS

OAK

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LOGO | DIGITAL ITERATIONS OAK

& GLO R Y O A K & G LO R Y OA K

OAK

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G LOR Y

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G LO R Y

OA K & GLORY

O A K & G LO R Y O A K & G LO R Y

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O A K & G LO R Y

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G LOR Y

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OA K& G LO R Y

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OAK

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O A K & GLO R Y

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 &  OA K

OA K

OA K

 & 

& G LO R Y

OAK & GLORY

 & 

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OAK & GLORY

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& G LO R Y

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GLORY

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OA K & GLOR Y

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LOGO | SEMI-FINAL ITERATION

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 & 

O A K & G LO RY O A K & G LO RY O A K & G LO RY

 &  O A K & G LO R Y O A K & G LO R Y  &  K & G  O A O LO A KR Y

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&  &   &    & 

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& G LO R Y K & GLOR Y O&A K & GO ALO RY OAK G LO R Y OA K& G LO R Y

O A K & G LO RY

 &   &   & 

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OA K

& GLOR Y

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& GLOR Y

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OA K

& GLOR Y

 & 

 &   & 

 &   & 

 &   & 

 & 

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ILLUSTRATION | STYLE DIRECTIONS

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ILLUSTRATION | STYLE EXPERIMENTS

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COLOR | ITERATIONS

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TYPOGRAPHY | ITERATIONS

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BOTTLE DESIGN | STYLE BOARDS

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BOTTLE DESIGN | SKETCHES

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BOTTLE DESIGN | LABEL SKETCHES

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BOTTLE DESIGN | ROUGH MOCKUPS

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BOTTLE DESIGN | ROUGH MOCKUPS

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BOTTLE DESIGN | ROUGH MOCKUPS

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BOOK COVER | ILLUSTRATION STYLE IMPLEMENTATION

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MONICA WU

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T H E SIS DIRECTED STUDY

DAV ID HA K E , A dvi sor PHIL HA M LE TT, G raduate Director


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