Behind-the-Brand | THiNK Ingredients
Updated: Mar 8
One of the things we love most about designing a new or rebranded identity is the power it has to help our clients reach their full potential. Strategic branding is transformative and empowering.
We thrive on collaboration, so it helps when we work with inspiring people who are passionate about what they do.
Enter THiNK Ingredients a business of executors and visionaries; those round pegs in the square holes. The rebels that go against the grain. They help food product developers reduce the time they spend on formulations by offering the latest ingredients and knowing exactly how to use them. THiNK Ingredients are experts in formulation, so their customers can deliver what consumers demand - ingredient labels they understand.
We were elated with the clear thinking results of THiNK Ingredients’ rebrand. To give you the full story, here’s a behind-the-brand look at the complete process of how the identity was developed.
ONE (1) | DISCOVERY
We realize clients know their business best, so they have a valuable role to play in the design process. The initial step includes the completion of a discovery consultation questionnaire, to get to know the business inside and out before any strategy or design work begins.
Think Ingredients’, partners Heather Buchmann and Andy Sinkovits, reached out to us to create an elevated brand image that had purposeful execution and simply captured the spirit of the business.
TWO (2) | STRATEGY
Our branding approach is built by combining strategy + creativity. We listen first and then learn what makes our clients idiomatic, diving deeply into their industry, studying the challenges and nuances of how companies in their sector grow. We learn about their competition, research what makes them ambitious and how we can build a strategy that stands out above them. In the end, we use all this information to curate and carefully blend together our clients' strengths and what makes their business unique.
Next, we create a written brand strategy to define how to communicate the proposed vision. This forms the creative brief and the guidelines we refer to when the concept design stage begins.
Within the discovery questionnaire, we asked for a selection of adjectives that Heather and Andy felt best described their brand. They answered with the following:
Together with our industry and competition research, these words informed the brand strategy for Think Ingredients’ rebranded identity.
So, what makes them stand out? One word, Think. Because that is what they do differently.
Next, a mood board and colour palette (shown below) was curated to visually convey the feeling described in the brand strategy. The mood board sets the tone of the proposed brand identity and very importantly, ensures our thoughts are in line with our clients. We must be in agreement on visual direction before proceeding to the concept stage.
The ‘THiNK Differently’ strategy challenged the norms, demanding change through innovation but not at the expense of the brand’s mission of producing ingredients that are clean, proactive, sustainable, and efficient. It was rooted in a culture that fosters ideation, individuality and the novel pairing of science and food.
Colours are strong brand identifiers.
The brand palette was modern and refreshingly unexpected, in comparison to what was traditionally seen from the food ingredients industry. The colours were a harmonious blend of a split-complementary pairing of blues, plum and oranges with hints of grey and gleaming white. The plum and shades of blue play nicely with the cool neutral grey slate and polished concrete of Think Ingredients’ interior office space, while the oranges work with the warm and rustic wood tones. This dynamic, yet the professional colour story has a pivotal role, by connecting the identity with their ideal market; the open-minded, knowledge-seeking, young female R&D professional and the middle-aged male manufacturer owner.
The overall style direction has a contemporary, urban meets barn feel. The emphasis is placed on cool tones and clean lines to convey a smart and bold aesthetic. The focus is on a thoughtful reduction of elements to reach simplicity, applying the minimalism value of assessing what’s important and what’s not.
THiNK Ingredients is a brand that is little more than what you would expect.
The use of sans serif typography connects to the modern aesthetic and imparts notions of strength, professionalism and efficiency with the straight-edged, strong and linear lines.
We felt by introducing shades of blue and plum with a drop of orange; the brand will instantly have authority with a modern, yet approachable and friendly quality that inspires the target market to take action.
Blue is determined, self-sufficient, loyal, goal-oriented and intelligent. Blue inspires integrity with the feeling of confidence and the state of responsibility. The mixing in of lighter blue levels out the dominance of the darker shade, aiding decision-making and clear thinking.
Aqua is refreshing and associated with energy, balance, harmony, idealism and prosperity; all characteristics of the brand.
Plum combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. Purple is yes, unconventional, yet it’s original, distinguished and often associated with luxury, power and ambition. Purple also represents wisdom, devotion, and independence. The inclusion of this hue shows that the brand is associated with quality, is purposeful in its execution while inducing a calming effect that encourages imagination and ingenuity.
The shades of orange are included to inject warmth, optimism, and aid in the generation of new ideas through creativity and freedom. Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Studies have shown that the colour can create physical effects such as increased hunger, oxygen supply to the brain to aid in decision making and stimulated mental activity, tremendously fitting for the thought based food-oriented business. Orange commands attention, it is the action colour. It is associated with change, excitement, vitality and success; showing that Think Ingredients’ is a determined and confident brand.
Shapes also play an important role in the development of an identity. It's often the most innovative approaches that happen in the background that gives a brand a layered and deeper meaning. The use of squares develops a sense of power and strength. They are synonymous with logic, certain, trustworthiness and order. Since utilizing science and new technology are central to this brand’s drive, this makes the square an ideal fit.
Leadership, powerful, and brimming with strong edges, the triangle and THiNK Ingredients together inspire improvement, focus and represent action. Triangles suggest excitement and growth. The use of this shape speaks to the progressive approach to developing functional ingredients that provide effective and result-oriented solutions. Triangles have energy because they are pushing in a certain direction. They might not induce feelings of security and comfort like rectangles or squares, but they do wonders for showing the innovation behind a brand.
THREE (3) | CONCEPTS
After defining the visual brand direction, it was time to begin developing the logo concepts – our favourite part of the process! Our strengths lie in creating brand identities that translate our clients' vision and bring their message to life in a visual way.
The greatest challenge of creating a logo is incorporating several aspects into the design while still keeping it simple.
We had several considerations in mind during this stage, including:
Keeping the design versatile and functional
Encapsulating the business philosophies
Creating a broader appeal to secure untapped global markets
As always we start by using pencil and paper to brainstorm visual ideas. From there the ideas with the most potential are refined.
Since design is subjective, we provide clients with a choice, by presenting two (2) completely different concepts that we confidently believe answer the directive.
However, a brand identity is more than just a logo; it’s a complete visual system. It will add depth and personality to the brand, giving our clients the confidence to implement and grow.
As part of the concept presentation, we also deliver a brand storyboard that includes the other design elements – secondary logo, submark, colour palette, typography, patterns and social signatures. In addition, digital in use renderings are developed to showcase how each logo concept could appear in a real-life situation.
For both concepts, the subjective elements were extracted to showcase the systematic approach used to create each THiNK wordmark.
CONCEPT 1 - TH!NK Inside/Out Wordmark
This concept design brings together the strategies of minimalism + negative space. Here we explore the relationship between innovation and action with the use of rectangles and triangles. The exclamation mark (!) as the lowercase (i) in the word TH!NK expresses excitement and emphasis on the brand’s dedication to a single category of food. The letter ‘N’ is created by two triangles point up and down. The triangle at the base, pointing upward signifies a strong foundation and what the marketplace + the client, get out of the food formulations created, global + personal sustainability. The triangle at the top, pointing downward or inward, symbolizes what goes INTO the food formulations; the better + more nutritional ingredients. The orange triangles / negative space ‘N’ is highlighted to denote action and is associated with innovation, freedom, and success -- all characteristics of the brand's mission.
Collectively the elements, create an ownable TH‘!N’K mark that represents, new ideas and innovative ways of approaching food formulations in a minimalistic way. The colour palette reinforces the emphasis on originality and power, while its creative and determined quality inspires the confident brand.
CONCEPT 2 - THiNK Partnership Wordmark
This concept design focuses on the ideation and partnership of two like-minded visionaries. The THiNK wordmark was created by combining a lowercase (i) with that of rotated number (2) to form an ownable letter ‘N’. The result is a highlighted ‘iN’ that symbolizes the INgenuity involved when pairing science and food. The subjective element creates a mark that radiates strength, discipline and leadership. The use of squares and rectangles develop a sense of power and strength, as they are synonymous with logic, certain, trustworthiness and order. The harmonious blend of complementary colours; blue and orange, emanates a fresh and modern feel. The colour blue inspires integrity with the feeling of confidence and the state of responsibility. The mixing in of aqua levels out the dominance of the darker shade, aiding decision-making and clear thinking, while orange grabs your attention, stimulates the mind, showing that Think Ingredients is a bold, optimistic and secure brand.
Both concepts were outstanding branding options. However, Heather and Andy had no hesitation in choosing their preference of Concept 1.
FOUR (4) | REFINE AND BUILD
The only revision the chosen concept required was to invert the exclamation (!) mark to be a lowercase (i) helping the clients’ visualize the negative space N a little better. This update solved their readability concerns, as well as aided in the understanding of the 'N' in the negative space while still giving the THiNK wordmark character.
Due to the considered design approach, we usually have minimal design refinements. This really helps to speed timelines up!
Next, was the build-out the web, print and social collateral. To put it simply, that is the process of designing all the other items that will be needed to communicate and launch the new brand identity.
For this rebrand we created the following:
Product Sell Sheets
FIVE (5) | LAUNCH
The client launch package always includes a plethora of logo files for both print and web use; including all the brand elements, patterns and typography (font files).
Thanks to the brand storyboard, Heather and Andy understand how to use their new brand identity going forward.
We also provide a step-by-step web tutorial to enable clients to make simple updates whenever needed.
For all our brand identity clients, we offer an ongoing design service to ensure that all future projects align with the new branding.
When you invest in your brand, you're building a level of confidence within yourself, your business and your clients. This rebrand was a clear success. Think Ingredients' visual identity, website, print and social collateral enhance their professional image, allowing them to innovate bringing their expertise to food formulations, developed using clear thinking.
Heather and Andy are now creating the right impression – their branding has taken Think Ingredients to the next level and effectively communicates and provides them with a broader appeal to secure their global untapped markets, making the business’ identity successful for subsequent growth.
Don’t just take our word for it. See what Heather had to say:
"We have been working with Jessica for almost a year now and continue to be thrilled by her work. We started with a total re-brand and have expanded our relationship with her now to include a new website, marketing materials, and much more. She is a good listener that can expertly turn our thoughts into a great design.
She is organized, thorough, creative and has an excellent style. We recently finished our new website launch and I thought, "Wow, that was so much easier than I was expecting". She very clearly articulates her vision, the process and what she needs from us - this means quick turnaround time and very little back and forth. I highly recommend working with Jessica!" -- HEATHER BUCHMANN, THINK INGREDIENTS
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