Behind the Branding
Behind the Branding
February 7th, 2019 • York, Maine
Written by: Kate Fagerstrom, Senior Graphic Designer
One of the coolest things about working at Stonewall Kitchen is the amazing visual history of the brand. You can see this today in our stores, through the pantry-like shelves, the upside-down crates displaying products and especially through our recognizable packaging and labels.
Did you know that the writing on the front of each label is actually Jonathan King’s handwriting? When the company first started, back in their Farmers’ Market days, Jonathan hand wrote each and every label. Jon always used a green pen and wrote on an off-white label or hang tag. The color of each product name is still green to this day. In fact, until a few years ago, Jonathan still handwrote out the names of every product for us! We have a large collection in our office of his original versions of the names, which we would scan in and digitize onto the labels that you see on our products. From these handwriting samples, we created an in-house font based on Jon’s handwriting. This is what we use today in our Design Department. Keeping as much of the history of the brand alive as possible is always our ultimate goal.
Beyond the handwritten, home-made aspect of our design, we also always try and honor our classic New England roots. We use darker, more colonial colors, such as our maroon, evergreen, brown and navy. These colors really speak to who we are as a brand and our true England style. Even the design of our packaging gives off a vintage feel. One of my favorites is our Fine Home Keeping collection, which was designed to be reminiscent of old perfume and apothecary labels.
Of course, we do like to have some fun with color too, using color blocks to speak to the flavors of each of our dessert sauces, crackers and simmering sauces. We use colored side panels or color bars on the labels or packaging to speak to a specific flavor in a product. On our new Basil Alfredo Sauce, for example, we use a basil-green. There’s also a tomato-red color bar for our new Pizza Cracker and a sea-sky-blue for our new Sea Salt Roasted Peanuts. Sometimes we even like to use color to speak to the history of an item, such as our Waffle Cookies (also known as Stroopwafels). A classic Dutch treat, of course we used a traditional Dutch blue to reinforce this product’s history and allude to its inspiration.
Every new label and package we create is given the same amount of time and consideration as Jon and Jim put into crafting their brand 28 years ago. From the handwriting on the front of the jar, to the colors used, to the inspiration behind each design. And even as we grow to encompass new brands, we continue to use the same values of creativity, inspiration, quality and innovation in every design we create. For you, our guests, and to honor this great brand that continues to grow and evolve today.
After growing up in New Jersey, Kate found her place in Maine, reveling in the history of New England. Her favorite haunt is Acadia National Park, where she and her family vacationed when she was young. Kate has a passion for history, antique shopping, science, art and of course, good food, all of which she has found here. After graduating college, Stonewall Kitchen was the perfect location for all of her interests and Kate is proud to say she has worked for the company for almost eight years. Her favorite products? Kate will always say our Truffle Marinara, but at the moment she also loves our Hot Pepper Cranberry Jelly.