It is continually a delight to wrap up a brand identity client, and watch with excitement as they release their new branding into the world. The branding work we do encompasses what they are already about, and helps to further communicate that vision to others. My latest branding project for Upstream Farms & Enterprises was no exception.
I connected with Matt and Joe Brugger of Upstream Farms & Enterprises at a business round-table discussion, through the Engler Entrepreneurship Program at UNL, where I offered design advice to college students interested in entrepreneurship. The Bruggers wanted to re-brand their family farm (which has been in their family since the 1920's), from Brugger Farms to Upstream Farms & Enterprises. Additionally, they want to create new channels of communication between farmers and consumers, and create an identity that would capture all aspects of business they wanted to create as a part of their farm. Their immediate excitement and passion for their family farm, purpose behind their re-brand, and ultimate goal of wanting to be a voice to consumers made me realize this was going to be an exciting project take on.
At the outset of a branding project clients fill-out a brand questionnaire. Within those questionnaires we dive into different pieces of their brand, the why, and the heart behind what they do.
One of the questions that I love is, "what words do you want people to associate with your company?" Matt and Joe talked about the following words, and a phrase that they feel identifies their heart:
- Work Hard for People
The Brugger's farm has many aspects to it, overall, they are looking to bridge the gap between the farmer and consumer. These words that they want to represent Upstream are exactly how they want consumers to feel when interacting with their brand. Upstream Farms seeks to inform consumers, produce great product, and deliver amazing services.
From the outset I knew that this brand will represent bridging that gap between consumers and farmers. I also wanted it to represent well the generations of the family that have put in the work to make this farm what it has been, and what it will become. Overall, the Upstream brand has to be one that builds trust, is transparent with information, and works hard for the people it serves.
At the start we were uncertain of exactly what the name of the farm would be. So, some of our initial logo concepts were for Brugger Farms, instead of the final name Upstream Farms. The challenging part of the first stage of any logo is taking all the ideas and inspiration and narrowing it down into a few simple concepts.
Thoughts while creating the logo included:
- Creating a farm logo that balanced rustic and modern
- How to respect the history of the farm, while still allowing the logo to propel them forward
- Figuring out concepts that could be adapted if/when the name changed (which it did - to Upstream!)
Here are some of the initial concepts:
All logo concepts start out as black and white, because color can be super distracting at this stage of the process. Color gets added later in the branding process, but at the beginning black and white concepts allow the design to be the main focus.
None of these concepts ended up being the chosen logo, but the first and third concept largely influenced the final logo that was created. The intertwined letters and partial circle mark of the first concept were used in the final Upstream Logo.
Using the inspiration, heart, and logo concepts the final brand is a strong logo mark to encompass the entire Upstream Farms & Enterprise operation. We focused on creating a brand that was modern, had touches of rustic, and felt authentic. You can check it out below!
In addition to the main brand, Upstream will have many arms of their business. So we created additional sub-marks with the 'UP' icon to identify them as a part of the bigger Upstream Farms & Enterprises brand. Overall, the main Upstream logos will be used the most, but we wanted to make sure each part of their operation had a sub-logo to use.
You can find the Bruggers selling all-natural beef at the Haymarket Farmer's Market in Lincoln on Saturdays. Be sure to also connect with them on social media for fun info on where your food comes from, a look into life on the farm, and where you can find food they have grown! Excited for the future of Upstream Farms & Enterprises, and know this branding is a solid leap in the right direction.
I'm so thankful that the work I do connects me with other amazing business owners. It is such a joy to create meaningful branding design to represent well the dreams and passions of others. Questions about branding or logo design? Comment below, or shoot me and email HERE!