So the deadline’s gone which means I finally have time to update you on what I’ve been up for for the past 8 weeks! I’ll do a post today on my Consumerism module and one soon on Typography, (you don’t want to miss that excitement!!)
Our brief was to name, brand, design the packaging and promote a new pie making company that specialises in making high quality British pies.
The first thing I did was begin to research the history of pies, what a pie actually is and the current social context in terms of food shopping and pie buying! A few things immediately interested me – it struck me that if you imagine eating a pie you might imagine it being brought to the table, all eagerly awaiting the first slice to be cut and finding out what’s inside the crusty pastry, however any renowned pie brand you might think of (pieminister, square pie, urban pie etc.) actually only sells individual pies. I thought there was a gap in the market for a pie brand that centres around this social pie eating experience. The other thing that seems to have changed is that there is no longer this anticipation of what might be inside a pie. In the past pies would generally have been homemade, meaning that the filling could remain a secret, whereas now with less people having the time to cook from scratch many pies would be supermarket bought, with the filling branded across every side. I aimed to bring back this sense of anticipietion (if you will!) and made my company all about ‘surprise pies.’
Once I had this concept it was all about making it translate and making it actually feasible. I looked at other companies that did a similar sort of thing (Able & Cole, Graze, Riverford) and one thing struck me, none of them every mentioned the word surprise, as it must carry negative connotations with it encompassing both good and bad outcomes! So I scrapped my working title of Surprise Pies and began thinking of another brand name.
I eventually settled on p!e, I think that p!e works on a number of different levels, initially it’s short, straight forward and almost cheeky in the way it is so obvious. An exclamation mark is a universal symbol for surprise and so clearly translates this element of my company in a way that isn’t too contrived, and on a deeper level an exclamation mark comes from the Latin for ‘joy,’ which is basically the core element of what my company wants to encompass. I also thought the exclamation mark could work as a logo in its own right as, surprisingly, it hasn’t yet become synonymous with any major brands.
From this point I got a little sidetracked along the idea of joy and kind of forgot the main thoughts behind my project:
Which then left me with the choice between carrying on with a weaker, but almost complete project or going back and focussing completely on the surprise element.
I decided to start afresh and settled on p!e being an online service where you can choose the ingredients you and your family like and each week a pie that fits these preferences is delivered to your home. I came up with the tagline ‘delivering that p!eday feeling‘ to capture the cheeky, friendly vibe I wanted my brand to have.
I then worked on a logo, looking at the idea of the letters kind of jumping out:
It was difficult to balance the weights of the ‘p’ and the ‘e’ and to create an exclamation mark that had enough personality to work in isolation. I used avenir next demi bold for the tagline and throughout the brand as it seemed friendly but not childish and I thought the weight complemented my logo.
The next challenge was to find a way that the ingredients could be shown on a website. I didn’t really want photographs as I didn’t think it would suit my brand, I then had to decide whether to show the animal meat came from or the meat itself. Showing the animal would be clearer, but it would limit the meat selection with things like bacon, sausage and pork all just showing a pig! So I illustrated the cuts of meat with labels to help distinguish each one.
Examples of my illustrations:
Because of the nature of my brand the packaging had to be quite minimalist, it couldn’t show any ingredients, nutritional information, bar codes or any of the usual ‘gumph’ you get on packaging.
I decided to embrace this simplicity and created a plain cream box with just the logo on top. I played around with the copy to give it some personality and created a reveal on the front using a die-cut exclamation mark which, when lifted, showed the full logo underneath – also introducing this idea of a simplified logotype. The address would be on a sticker on the side to make it easy to read when delivering, it is preceded by ‘delivering that p!eday feeling to:’ to make the delivery feel more personal:Copy on the base – ‘If you can read this, there’s a good chance your p!e is upside down’:
This inside of each box would be a different colour to add another layer to the reveal:
and inside each box would be an envelope which could tell you the contents of your p!e. I tried to use copy to tempt you to open it and hopefully build up the anticipation with a kind of ‘should I? shouldn’t I?’ feeling:
I wrote what each side dish was on the bottom of the container so it could only be read once the tub was empty – although a little superfluous as the sides are almost all immediately recognisable I felt it added to the idea of reveal:
I created a website to show how this concept would work, with the emphasis mainly on function over form. I introduced the idea of surprise by having a spinning roulette type wheel that will select which page you visit if you can’t decide. I did around 2o webpages in the end so I’ve just included a selection below:
I then began to think about promotion and how the brand would be viewed. One of the first things many people would see would be the delivery van, so I created a van design that I felt represented my brand (sorry about the poor photoshop skills):
Finally I looked at brand extension and came up with the idea of a vending machine that distributes surprise pies. Each p!e would contain a voucher for a half price delivery to try and encourage customers to sign up online. I thought it would be nice if the vending machine could link to your online preferences and use these to create your ideal p!e, this should also help drive website traffic as regular users of the vending machines may create an account:
And that’s that!
Hopefully this has made sense, sorry if it’s all a little garbled, I’m far too familiar with it all by now to tell whether this is cohesive – please drop me a comment if you have any questions or feedback!